At last, closure! But... bleh.
The graphics and scenery in this game seemed to be much improved, and for the most part, the puzzles were more intuitive and logical than they were in the first game. The cutscenes seem to be even more detailed and beautiful than in the first game too.
Sadly, there's a lot I didn't like.
While the puzzles were more logical this time around, there was an annoying amount of "hunt the pixel". Some of the items you're supposed to pick up blend into the background a little too well, and there are a number of "look-at" hotspots that are simply too small and too difficult to see. I had to consult a walkthrough a couple of times - not because the puzzles were confusing, but because I knew
that I forgot to pick up some item somewhere
Also, the voice actors for the main stars of the game remained the same, but the actual dialog was pretty horrendous. Much of Kate's dialog feels like it was recorded as individual lines, completely outside of context. A lot of her comments don't quite seem to logically follow one another, and they give the overall impression that Kate has a rather short memory and attention span. An example:
"I'm Kate Walker! Who are you?"
"I'm Anna Voralberg, miss."
"Do you know Hans?"
"Hans is my brother!"
"So you're Anna Voralberg, then?"
"Do you have a brother named Hans?"
And so on. You end up exhausting all dialog choices with every character - not because their dialog is actually interesting, but because you need to hammer certain facts into Kate's head, and she can apparently only remember critical bits of information if they're repeated over and over again in different ways.
Also, for some reason, Kate is still carrying around her cellphone, though it's only used rarely, and I think it only ever needs
to be used once. Kate's mom and her boss call a couple of times, but they might as well not have. It was already made pretty clear in the first game that Kate had put her old life completely behind her. The cellphone allows you to call Oscar this time around, but that's not particularly useful. It's actually more amusing than anything else, especially if you call him from the next room. "You sound so far away! Come back soon!"
Also, there are certain circumstances in this game where mild language is used, and there's a very brief scene with a half-naked (but strategically covered) Kate. While it doesn't bother *me* much, I was under the impression that this was essentially a kid's game...
The Bottom Line
Well, it's certainly pretty, and it completes the Syberia story. Other than that, as adventure/puzzle games go, it feels awfully half-hearted.