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There's a lot of fun to be had all through Rengoku II's 30 hours of play, but it's a very gameplay-focused title. The scenery can be tedious, and every enemy in the game – except for the bosses – is the same guy with a new weapon selection, but combat is so fast and responsive that this becomes almost irrelevant. Going into a room, quickly assessing threats based on who's got what weapons, and taking the bad guys out as fast as possible before they do it to you becomes incredibly addictive, especially when your chosen weapons work well together. Rengoku II is a big, fun, fast-paced brawler, and there just aren't enough of those around these days.
If the player focuses on the single-player experience and digs the game's style, Rengoku II can objectively be called a good game, and fans of dungeon-crawls/tower-climbs should have no problem enjoying the gameplay. The game is fairly repetitive, not bothering to bring puzzles or anything non-combat into play at all, but this is the nature of the genre, really. The original look and feel give the game a non-generic, non-I've-done-this-a-hundred-times-before feel, so even if you have, it isn't a difficult game to enjoy.
In total, I think it's fair to say that Rengoku II: the Stairway to H.E.A.V.E.N isn't really a sequel, but essentially an improved and more polished version of the first game—a sort of Rengoku redux. But, don't think I'm complaining. Although the series has been poorly received in the games criticism community, I found merit in Konami's choice to bring it to the States the first time, and the same is true of this sequel that no one, including myself, expected. As a matter of fact, there's even been talk of a PlayStation 3 iteration, which is great news in my book. Rengoku is a tight, focused experience not aimed at the average gamer, but it carves out its own niche and fills it nicely. It's an acquired taste perhaps, but one that I definitely crave.
Rengoku II is a dramatic improvement over its predecessor, although the gameplay is more repetitive than we would like to see. If you can live with those, you’ll get a lot of hours of gameplay out of the game, especially if you’re into collecting the various configurations that the game lets you.
Konami still has a ways to go before its Rengoku series can be called respectable, but Stairway to H.E.A.V.E.N. is miles ahead of its predecessor. The visuals look better, environments look great, and the customization in the game is addictive. Should the combat improve in the inevitable third iteration, this will be a franchise worth checking out.
As much as Rengoku II has improved upon its predecessor, the series still has a way to go, its biggest remaining issue being the lack of variety in combat. Still, the wealth of gear you can collect and the myriad of bizarre configurations you can come up with are quite compelling and tap into the same obsessive traits that draw people toward both toward dungeon crawlers like Diablo and mech simulations like Armored Core.
I don’t see much of a change or even enhancement over the last game to warrant an additional purchase. This game had all the potential to be a big hit, but instead, it’s just another bad sequel.
Rengoku II: Stairway to H.E.A.V.E.N. is mediocre hack fest that can fulfill an earnest desire to visit the virtual battlefield. Despite its good looks and wealth of customization options, Rengoku II: Stairway to H.E.A.V.E.N. offers little variety, modest action, and few reasons for purchase.
The story in Rengoku II is almost non-existent, and as incoherent as the controls. The level design is some of the worst I can honestly remember. Not giving a decent guide to get the player through the levels is inexcusable. Still, I did grab a few moments of enjoyment from it. I can't really recommend Rengoku II, because it's just not that good, but I'm not about to hold it up as an example of the worst that gaming has to offer. Still, I guess that's not much to brag about.
If you think Rengoku 2 sounds like the PSP's killer app, then you've pretty much ignored everything I wrote. However, it's not nearly as terrible as most reviews would lead you to believe. Don't judge this sequel based on the original; this faster-playing, smoother adventure is the game Hudson was trying to make the first time around. In other words, they were trying to make an enjoyable but unremarkable game. And now they've succeeded.
Considering the drubbing that the first Rengoku received in the press last year, you'd hope that the sequel was particularly stronger in every single way. Unfortunately, the game manages to duplicate just about every single problem that the first game had, from a weak storyline to an unbalanced combat system to unimpressive level designs. It's obvious that the development of this title was definitely stuck in purgatory, which is where you'll be if you decide to play this game.
Rengoku II: Stairway to H.E.A.V.E.N. is the type of PSP game you want to like because, let’s face it; it’s always great to find an original action game on Sony’s portable gaming machine. The problem is that while most sequels improve what went wrong the first time, Rengoku II seems to replicate every single flaw from the original. If it’s a great story you wish to get lost in you are in for a big disappointment and if you’re looking for a visually pleasing game with innovative action, well, I suggest you look elsewhere.
Rengoku II is incredibly repetitive. If the fighting was fun, this wouldn’t be an issue. If the game had an understandable story, it might be worth trying to progress through to the end. Instead, you’ll grow tired of Rengoku II rather quickly. If you were hoping for an improvement over the original, then you’ll be rather disappointed.
Rengoku II: Stairway to H.E.A.V.E.N. is everything that a sequel shouldn’t be. It doesn’t improve on the gameplay all that much, nor does it deliver a more enjoyable experience that the first. If you’re a fan of mindless dungeon hacks, you may find some enjoyment with Rengoku II. Otherwise, this is a stairway you don’t want to climb.
And that's what you get in Rengoku II. - lots of combat, some interesting upgrades and weapons and thousands of robots to annihilate. The gameplay isn't necessarily flashy but it can be a lot of fun if you are attracted to mindless and seemingly endless combat. If you like action games or light role-playing then there's no real reason not to give this game a shot. Give it a rental first to see if it's your kind of game.
If you were a fan of the first Rengoku on PlayStation Portable, you will probably feel well at home here. For everyone else, this is nothing more than a treacherous path through a dark and monotonous tower. The weapons, upgrades and melee attacks aren't enough to save what is an unsatisfying gameplay experience. Worse yet, the PSP's controls don't suit this game very well either. I recommend passing this up for another game from Konami, like Coded Arms.
Reprenant la quasi-totalité des éléments mis en place dans le premier Rengoku, cette suite ne relève le niveau qu'en apportant les améliorations les plus indispensables visant à rendre le jeu moins laborieux que son prédécesseur. Malheureusement, ça ne suffit pas à rendre ce titre plus efficace que son aîné.
In every way possible Rengoku II: The Stairway to H.E.A.V.E.N. is a worthy successor of the original game. That is to say that it matches the faults perfectly and does little to elevate the franchise to anything beyond mediocre. The gameplay is clunky by design and there are questionable features included that make the experience a tad frustrating. Bland graphics and repetitive sounds don't do the aesthetics any favor either. At this point in the PSP's life there are far better action games out there and really no reason to suffer through this one. Unless Hudson Soft and Konami completely rethink the franchise let's hope that there isn't a Rengoku III.
Calling this game a nice $30.00 coaster would be a compliment, as it would mean that you’d actually have to go into a store and buy it. Instead, avoid it like the plague and hope that it gets buried somewhere in a New Mexican Desert.
Rengoku II: The Stairway to Heaven seems to be an anachronism in the video game world. If this game had been released in the 90,s, it would have garnered its share of kudos and praise for being innovative and fun. However, the issues with the game lie in the fact that everything in the title has already been done. The title is further weakened due to the lack of inspiration and depth. It constantly plods along, and raises no interest for the player to continue which is very unfortunate, as the premise of the game,s storyline captures the imagination. Perhaps with better level design, Rengoku II could have been a contender, but as it stands right now the game fails to deliver the goods. Maybe the third time will be a charm.
As so many games end up being perceived, there just isn't a reason for Rengoku II: Stairway to Heaven to exist besides duping buyers into picking up a throwaway title, or, the most likely case, to get PS3 owners who've never played the PSP versions to pick up that game just because the franchise seems familiar somehow.
If I somehow still haven’t dissuaded you from picking this up, then at least do me a favor and play it on mute. The music is pure techno cheese, looped to the point of nausea. The sound effects are timid, barely audible, and pretty bad. Not that it would have saved anything, but the exclusion of voice-overs is kind of baffling too. Oh well, one less thing this game has to suck at.