I had a read over of our man Rob’s review of the first Reed title before starting this, and he noted just how tough he thought it was. I can easily report that Reed 2 hasn’t toned this aspect down at all. At times supremely frustrating, it has an odd appeal that meant no matter how hard I rage quit, I could never resist just one more go.
When it comes to describing the gameplay of Reed 2, it’s about as simple as it comes; jump around small stages avoiding obstacles and traps, collect all the blocks and open the exit door to proceed. Simple to describe, but absolutely not simple to do. Our protagonist is as flimsy as a wet paper bag, the merest of glances of a dangerous object enough to do him in. He’s also not the most precise character to control, and at times it felt as though he pre-emptively kicked the bucket before even getting near deadly spikes or arrows. His hit box felt a little too large, leading to panic jumping around and inevitably falling victim to some sort of hazard. His jump also felt a little unpredictable, the double jump sometimes not getting the height that I felt it could elsewhere.
It only takes a couple of levels to know that Reed 2 isn’t going to hold your hand. Each level is short, but packed full of tricky platforming designed to test our patience. Moving platforms, or ones that fall from under us, spikes at every turn and endless arrows shot across our path, every moment of play feels as though we’re lucky to have got this far.
Of course, often that luck runs out. Get hit once and it’s back to the start with you, feeble creature. It’s as much about finding the rhythm to a stage as it is reflexes, with multiple goes letting us figure out a set of patterns to follow for success. That doesn’t mean it isn’t frustrating as anything to die from the smallest touch of a spike, or an unseen arrow comes hurtling from off-screen.
Despite having to walk away on more than a few occasions though, the allure of the challenge kept calling me back. As is often the way, stepping away for a bit and coming back usually meant being able to beat an area I was stuck on (clearer heads and all) but it wasn’t long before I was stuck once more. Restarts are instant, thankfully, but any progress made is completely reset.
Whether Reed 2 will be your cup of tea ultimately rests on how you feel about near constant death and a high difficulty. Some less than precise controls don’t help matters, but even so I found myself still coming back to try, try, try again. Achievement hunters will no doubt persevere, though it’s probably one of the tougher Ratalaika titles to get that elusive 1000G.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.