Thanks to 2&30 Software for the review code
Title: Electronic Super Joy II
System: Steam (PC)
Release Date: 08/09/2019
In this sequel to the intense reflex platformer, you take control of a hero once again who sets out to cause shenanigans and stop the crazy villains seeking revenge on you. Not much of a plot here still, which is definitely fine, although fans of the first game will notice the occasional reference here or there, which can serve as fun bonuses!
Both the visuals and music are done in a pretty similar fashion to the first game, lewd humor and all. Not much to really note here since the simplicity works just as well here as in the original, though I will say I’m not nearly as big of a fan of the menus here compared to the first game.
While the first game had tidy and easy to navigate menus, ESJ2 goes for this oddball board game-like setup for its level select, which feels pretty confusing all things considered. Then on top of that, you have a main menu that definitely looks like a huge step down from the first game’s, though at least the main game still looks the part.
Electronic Super Joy II is pretty much just more of the same solid platforming goodness from the original ESJ, and with the same control scheme too: a restart button, a jump button, and a button for performing actions that certain stages can give you, such as a stomp technique and a handy airdash, and with the main goal of reaching the end portal in each stage without dyine. All in all, ESJII feels like more of what made ESJ1 good, with enjoyable levels with lots of challenge.
Just like before, the game is split by chapters, although the menu to select the stages in this game is different than in ESJ1, for it’s organized like a weird board game of sorts: a layout that really doesn’t work out for the best. Still, the game contains what ESJ1 had, just new and different… New levels, new bosses, and challenges, so most of what I noted for ESJ1 can apply to here.
With all that said, ESJII’s levels did feel like a bit of a step back compared to some of the more clever levels of the first game: the first game had very creative and fun platforming challenges that manage to even make the autoscrollers fun, but ESJII felt as if it wasn’t nearly as creative, and that a lot of things I stumble upon in this sequel, I already did before in the first game, leading to a sense of Deja Vu.
Still, the controls are tight and the levels are challenging yet fair, just like before, but I can’t help but feel that the first game has the edge in the amount of content, variety and enjoyability it offers. Of course, this game also has DLC stages available to purchase, but I wasn’t able to check those out for this review, and just stuck with the base game
In conclusion, Electronic Super Joy II is more of the same goodness that the original game had, only with not quite the same level of excitement. There’s still tons of well-made challenging platforming levels to enjoy here, even without the two DLC packs, and this works as a perfect bonus for those who enjoyed the other games in the ESJ series, but for a sequel it definitely doesn’t feel all too “new”, just more of the same, solid platforming action as before, only with not nearly as many of the absolutely outstanding levels that the first game had.
The good news is regardless of what I think here, the core game is pretty easy to give a full go due to being completely free on steam, even now: the two DLC packs not covered here of course, are bonuses worth considering if you want more content and to support the dev, which I recommend you should. It may not have as many levels that I enjoyed as much as in the first game, but I still found it to be a great enough supplement worthy of your time, even if some levels can take a lot of patience to overcome.
I give Electronic Super Joy II a 7 out of 10.