SteamWorld Dig 2 (PS Vita) Review

By Drew Hurley 08.04.2018 1

Review for SteamWorld Dig 2 on PS Vita

Steamworld Dig 2 has recently been added to Nintendo Switch's impressive catalogue of indie games, but for those who haven't yet picked up Nintendo's latest - and greatest - piece of kit, there are other ways to experience this steampunk, mining Metroidvania into the unknown. The Nintendo 3DS has most recently joined the list of platforms telling the tale of Dorothy and her journey to find her friend, but in this retrospective review, Cubed3 looks at the PlayStation Vita version.

In the original Steamworld Dig, Dorothy McCrank was just the NPC to hand in the recovered items to. She's getting somewhat of an upgrade here in the sequel, stepping into the role of the protagonist, heading out into the mines to try and find her friend Rusty, who after finally defeating the nefarious Voltbot in the conclusion of the first game, vanished into a mine collapse. As Dorothy digs into the mystery she finds people reporting Rusty has taken over for Voltbot and is engineering the destruction of the surface world. Will she rescue her friend or have to stop the monster he has become?

There's no need to have played the original here, as the story works as a standalone tale and the comprehensive tutorial section that the game opens with is more than sufficient to get players familiar with the fundamentals. However, players of the original will know exactly what to expect here; this is a sequel that is wholly faithful to its predecessor.

The gameplay is classic Metroidvania meets Dig Dug; 2D screen after screen of earth of various degrees of solidity to mine through, all the while juggling resources and returning to the home base to empty out the pouch full of valuables that have been excavated. It's simplicity at its finest and this boring is anything but boring.

Screenshot for SteamWorld Dig 2 on PS Vita

Initially, the game consists of digging through some rocks with a mining pick, cutting a smart path to be able to reach mineral deposits and hidden secrets - killing the odd spiky bug, collecting a handful of gems, and rushing up to the surface to cash in the excavated goodies from a pitifully small bag. Along with heading back to empty this bag, she is able to collect more items, Dorothy has to juggle her light source, health, and later water tanks. Health is rather self-explanatory. Take too much damage and die, losing the items salvaged along the way, although this amount lost can be lessened with upgrades. Light is of utmost importance underground and Dorothy's chest cavity has a convenient little furnace to illuminate the environments, but it has little charge before Dorothy is plunged into utterly engulfing darkness. Finally, there is Dorothy's aforementioned water tank, the contents of which are used to fuel unlockable gadgets along the way. Luckily, there are plenty of pools scattered through the caverns to refill.

This core gameplay remains the same throughout the course of the game but new gadgets completely change up the experience. Devices that let Dorothy cut through harder levels of rock, a hookshot to latch on to walls, and even Spider-man style swing across lava-filled chasms, jet boots to hover, and so much more. Each is unlockable in a new area of the subterranean world and each part of that world is distinct and diverse enough to make for a fresh new experience. There's an underground jungle where poisons drip from the ceiling, eroding through the ground; there's a huge aquifer to swim through; a digital world where electronic spirits chase endlessly… That world looks absolutely fantastic, too. Not as good as it looks on Switch, but still fantastic thanks to the solid design and style of the world that the developer has cultivated to deliver something instantly recognisable and original.

Screenshot for SteamWorld Dig 2 on PS Vita

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

It's hard to find anything wrong with SteamWorld Dig 2 or to even suggest anywhere it could do better. This is an absolute masterclass in game design that is absurdly fun and addictive. It constantly keeps players on their toes by regularly introducing new mechanics that totally change up the experience. The developer has polished every aspect of this to sheer perfection and delivered an experience that will make hours vanish. Regardless of platform, this is a game that deserves to be played by everyone.

Developer

Image & Form

Publisher

Image & Form

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I still love this game so much! Makes me wonder how the team's going to be able to improve for an eventual third game.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Watch Adam on the BBC! | K-Pop Korner FB Page | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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