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Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe (DOS)

100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  אולג 小奥 (169161)
Written on  :  May 17, 2002
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  2.83 Stars2.83 Stars2.83 Stars2.83 Stars2.83 Stars

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The immoral Simon doesn't help this sequel to reach the level of the original

The Good

"Simon the Sorcerer 2" is (most of the time) as funny as the first one, at times even funnier in a grotesque, hilarious way, especially when it comes to portraying crazy, weird characters. The puzzles couldn't get wackier, and every fan of mind-breakers will be delighted. Some dialogues and puns are really good ( I especially liked the joke with "king's seal"). In general, the strongest point of the game is its hilarious characters. The graphics are pretty good, although rather old-fashioned, and the MIDI music pleasant.

The Bad

In all other categories - but also in the aforementioned ones - "Simon the Sorcerer 2" loses greatly when compared to the original game. Let's start with the humor. True, the game is funny, but most of its jokes repeat those of the first game, exaggerating Simon's naughtiness and making him ask so many stupid questions that the player start doubting whether he can talk to people normally. The jokes, although quite brilliant at times, are not as memorable as those of the first game: they are too blatant, while in the first game they were more fine and subtle, like the very funny conversation with Gollum or the princess/pig issue.

The game's plot is not nearly as interesting as that of the original "Simon", and sometimes I was just asking myself what the hell am I supposed to do in this game. Instead of having the feeling of slowly, but surely approaching the final goal, like it was in the first game, all there was in "Simon the Sorcerer 2" is solving impossible puzzles just to lose everything and to start a completely new mission in another place. The game borrows heavily from the classic "LeChuck's Revenge", and I can't say all puzzles in this LucasArts' masterpieces satisfied me entirely. But "Simon the Sorcerer 2" shamelessly copies and exaggerates what was still acceptable - and most of the time, fascinating - in "LeChuck's Revenge": a series of strange, dream-like, grotesque puzzles. Now, in "Simon the Sorcerer 2" they are simply too strange and too grotesque. There are some which don't require any logical thinking whatsoever, just a mad clicking on icons and inventory items. The puzzles in the first "Simon the Sorcerer" weren't always credible either, but they were much more accurately designed.

But my biggest gripe is the main character. Simon was quite nice, although childish, in the first game. His goal was to save a good wizard from an evil one. In this sequel, Simon is impossible. He talks rudely to everyone, and he cares only about himself. I can play a game with a tough, brutal, aggressive protagonist, but not with somebody who sees a helpless man tied to a chair with ropes and leaves him like this, laughing at him. Is this supposed to be funny? Maybe, but to me, it was not. The game even doesn't leave you a choice: you must be this way, otherwise you can't complete the quest. I have no desire to play such an unpleasant character as Simon in "Simon the Sorcerer 2". Some people say about games who teach children to be violent, but what about games who teach children to be selfish and heartless? A hero of a shooter who kills terrorists is much more moral that Simon of this game, or Feeble from "Feeble Files" (also a game by Adventure Soft).

The Bottom Line

"Simon the Sorcerer 3D" has been finally released, but if it's true, as I heard, that the hero is even less appealing in this game than in the second one, I think it is a real pity. Nobody enjoys Simon becoming more and more immoral - not he himself, and certainly not the fans of the adventure genre.