Worthplaying Review: Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns

WP reports:

''It's harsh being a ninja nowadays. Modern military forces are just too team-oriented and loaded with fancy tech like automatic firearms and portable music players to be useful for your everyday stealthy ninja. This, combined with other fictional universes' increasing tendency toward modern mercenary companies, has resulted in a severe lack of demand for the art of ninjutsu in all its forms, Naruto notwithstanding. With this in mind, young Izuna and her family have been trying to find work and a decent place to live. As of the end of the original Izuna, they're still trying, and you're along for a hilarious, yet cosmically frustrating, ride into the world of the Roguelike.

Before we continue, a quote from my review of the original Izuna, which remains relevant to the sequel: "Have you played NetHack? If the answer is no, stop reading this review long enough to start downloading it because your gaming career isn't complete without a good run of the original dungeon exploration game - and it's free. NetHack's one of those games that not everyone has played, but everyone who calls himself a gamer should have played."

With that said, the roguelike subgenre has been quite popular recently, with Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon, three Mystery Dungeon games getting U.S. release, and now a sequel to Izuna. In a more crowded environment, does Izuna still hold up to its console and portable brethren, let alone the great PC classics? Fortunately, the answer is, once again, "Yes." While the sequel doesn't quite hold up as strongly as the original, Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns will attract the roguelike faithful as well as the hard-core RPG fans who haven't ever tried the roguelike subgenre. There's too much charm and too many improvements in Izuna 2 to ignore.''

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