Game Reviews

Monster Shooter 2: Back to Earth

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Monster Shooter 2: Back to Earth

The key to the Monster Shooter: Lost Levels's success was simple. It was a shoot-'em-up that got the vital 'shoot' and the 'em' bits spot on.

It equipped your lunk-head hero with an array of gleefully destructive and imaginative ordnance, and then threw hundreds of equally varied and sharply rendered enemies your way.

Monster Shooter 2 provides even more 'shoot' and 'em' for your money. But is that enough?

Quick answer

Yes. Yes it is enough. When the twin-stick shooter action is executed with such obvious love and attention, you really don't need to rip things up and start from scratch.

Besides, the level of invention continues to shine through Monster Shooter 2's inspired art design. This is a gorgeous cartoon-violent world filled with splashes of blood and intricate structures that exist only to cover you for a few brief seconds before blowing up.

Enemies come thick and fast, so you have to really pay attention to notice their little animations and quirks. Is that a bipedal orca waddling towards you? Oh, never mind, it's dead. Look! It's a weird alien snail thing that stuns itself when it hits a wall, exposing its weak belly... ah, dead.

Itchy trigger finger

The controls are just slick enough to contain such madcap action. By that we mean we've played tighter twin-stick shooters, but Monster Shooter 2's controls are easily good enough.

There's a lack of precision to the right-hand virtual analogue stick that's perhaps evidenced by the fact that the game is switched to auto-aiming by default. Suffice to say this is a bit of a waste of time for all but the most casual of players, so should be deactivated as soon as possible.

It's a bit of a fiddle to activate the peripheral controls for switching weapon (which has a satisfying clunk-click to it) and lobbing grenades, but it only requires a quick glance down to do so and this isn't a game that requires such elaboration too often.

It's all about shooting stuff, collecting stuff, and shooting stuff.

Perks of the job

As with the first game there's an entertaining temporary perk system at play here. Fill your rage bar and you'll get access to a random selection of enhancements that apply for the rest of the round.

You might get a longer health bar, faster reload times, or something less useful like more blood effects. There's even a Russian roulette perk (which is really more of a toss of a coin) that either nukes the level or kills you.

Joining this system is a permanent perks system where you can beef your character up for good. Obviously this requires some serious investment from the game's two main currencies, which can either be earned in-game or purchased with real money.

Economy of war

Yep, Monster Shooter 2 is built on IAPs (as well as the odd advert), but it's one of the least obnoxious examples of such a system. You can obtain everything in the game through playing, but items and upgrades that cost gold will take a little longer to afford without splashing the real cash.

You're rarely held up because you haven't spent any money. It's possible to run out of 'fuel' to enter a level, which seems like a somewhat unnecessary third currency, but this does recharge gradually over time, and there are various little things you can do (social network liking, watching adverts) to snag a little extra of each of the currencies.

A new buddy system enables you to pull a friend's character into the fray from time to time, which is a nice little touch and a good way to tackle trickier levels. It still doesn't change the fact that this is a very repetitive game offering very simple pleasures, though.

Monster Shooter 2's bread and butter remains shooting 'em' up, and it's very good at that indeed.

Monster Shooter 2: Back to Earth

Bursting with detail and imaginative character design, not to mention rock solid twin stick blasting, Monster Shooter 2 simply makes shooting stuff fun