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SummaryFire and Forgettable: Cheap Deaths Galore!
The GoodLet's make one thing clear right away: Fire and Forget 2 is not a particularly good game. But this ain't the place to start talking about that, so first I'll try to point out the aspects of the game that are more or less decent.
When you compare this game with it's predecessor, you will see that Titus has improved almost every single aspect of that game. But considering how extremely bad Fire and Forget was this doesn't have to mean that this game is good, and frankly it doesn't. However the VGA graphics are certainly not bad and have a nice futuristic feel about them. The game takes place in a sort of techno post-apocalyptic setting and the game's graphics do a decent job of portraying this. It's like a more futuristic version of Mad Max: The Roadwarrior which is always a good thing (for some reason I'm just rather fond of the combination of cars & weapons). There's a nice collection of futuristic vehicles on the road even though a lot of them don't do anything. The high speed of the drawing routines (the game does give you good sense of speed) combined with the often fast-paced and sometimes rather cheesy Ad-Lib music may create some modest excitement. Most of the animations in the game are okay.
Giving your car the ability to fly was not a bad idea. It's like a aerial variation on Spy Hunter. Some enemies require you to stay of the ground while others will make you seek the temporary safety of the blue skies. There are also two types of fuel: gasoline and kerosene. When you're out of kerosene you can't fly anymore and are forced to stay on the ground. Being out of gasoline is even worse since you'll lose a life (unless you still got some kerosene left and can take off). This sometimes requires a bit of balancing. In each of the levels you need to catch up with the leader of the death convoy instead of reach a finish line. It's a enjoyable twist, if you drive rather slow (which you normally would never do) you'll never reach him. When you die you lose some ground, adding a slight sense of urgency to the game. It's a nice idea but bot implemented as well as it could have been.
The BadThere is something very wrong with the gameplay of this game. Fast reflexes are a must for every action gamer, but in this game objects & enemies often pop up quicker than I can anticipate. It really is cheap deaths galore. In order to complete this game you'll have to memorize that "after the fireball shooting robot on the right is gone, there is a land mine on the left of the screen" etc. Some sections you just can't get past without prior knowledge. Playing Fire & Forget II thus turns into going through the play => die => learn => restart => die a little later cycle. I eventually managed to cram the layout of all the levels in my brain and finish it, but to be blunt: it had nothing to do with skill and everything with memorizing the sequence of events during the five levels. The things you need to do are not very hard to do, you just have to know exactly when to do them. That's what I call bad game design.
The driving & car handling also disappointing. It's simple or must I say very simple. You only need to steer to the left or to the right side of the road when you want to to dodge objects or shoot enemies. When the road makes a turn you don't need to steer at all in order to stay on the road, you automatically maintain your current position and speed. Breaking isn't required either, you'll find yourself driving at full speed all the time (cause if you don't, your car isn't ready for take off).
- Something I found really odd was that there were hardly any sound-effects (none during regular gameplay!). If you design a game about blowing up lots of stuff, you gotta add some ear-pounding explosions! And as I mentioned earlier the music is sometimes cheesy.
- I never found out what exactly the bonus meter was all about.
- Some of the level bosses (convoy leaders) don't put up a fight. They really don't do anything at all.