Developed by Rasul Mono and published by Ratalaika Games S.L., Ultra Goodness 2 is a cutely designed top-down shooter with big levels, time control and a cat companion with wings who fights alongside you. It is big on colour, loud on music, and overrun with bullets and an obscure plotline.
The plot – if you can call it that – sees your character asleep in front of a TV with his cat. Then he seems to be having a nightmare about the evil forces he bested from the first game (I assume) and wakes to see evil forces have returned from the news on his TV and decides it’s his duty with his faithful cat to combat the evil forces.
The first level you play on is in some kind of forest/jungle theme, with just soil and trees scattered around the place. There is a billboard next to where you start which tells you the controls, and you better remember those buttons as this is the only time you will be told them. You can’t check the controls on the main menu or the pause menu so this billboard is your only instruction, but thankfully there are not too many things to remember. The main thing is the right trigger shoots and right thumbstick aims. Ultra Goodness 2 has some time control element similar to that of Superhot, where if you don’t move or shoot then time slows down almost – but not quite – to a standstill. This allows you to plan some movement when there is a barrage of bullets coming your way – which will happen a lot.
There are two other forms of weaponry at your disposal; a bomb and an Armageddon attack. The bomb is super powerful and is shot in the direction you are aiming for. This can usually one-hit kill the tougher enemies and can cluster kill weaker enemies. This weapon has a cooldown before it can be used again.
The Armageddon attack is much trickier to use. When you push the button you are then rooted to the spot and you have to select 3 targets to attack. The designated areas are like 3 bomb attacks, but as you are rooted to the spot you are very vulnerable to attacks so there rarely is a time and place to use this attack. Your cat companion becomes your other method of attack as he fires bullets in the same direction you are aiming at first anyway.
Every enemy you destroy drops gems that you can use to buy upgrades for the cat. I say upgrades, it seems to be just different attack options but it’s a tad unclear. You just see 9 different attack styles which go up in price to unlock. I saved my gems to buy the 2 most expensive options. One gives the cat a strong laser attack and he attacks independently of where you are aiming. The other option was the same as the default attack except that the enemies burst into flames which I assume hurts other enemies that enter the flames, but it’s anyone’s guess.
There are 10 stages to a section and there are 3 sections. As I mentioned before the first section is a jungle/forest area, the second section is a desert area and the third section is an ice environment, just to follow the cliché level designs. Each stage varies in size and difficulty. The objective of the levels is to destroy all the enemies. You have a helpful compass that points you to the nearest enemy. You have 5 hit-points to make it to the end of the level, and some enemies will occasionally drop a health pick up which, in some cases, will be the key to completing a stage.
Ultra Goodness 2 favours the cautious approach, as charging in will see you dismantled very quickly – it is not very forgiving. Once you lose all your hit-points you die and you have to restart the stage from scratch, although you do keep the gems you collected. Some stages can take over 10 or so minutes to complete and with no checkpoints, death quite close to the end can be quite frustrating as you need to start it all over again. But it is a hard lesson to learn not to rush. The 10th stage on each area is the boss battle and beating all 3 areas sets up the final battle.
Ultra Goodness 2 is an OK top-down shooter. The time-slowing feature is nice but doesn’t really do enough to make it stand out. The awkward Armageddon button needed more work and I’d prefer the screen be a little more zoomed out, or at least give us the option to change it. It will take you about an hour or two to play through the whole game, though it is challenging enough to make it enjoyable so fans of this genre won’t be too disappointed picking this up.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.