Cat Quest is one of those games you find for under $20 and decide it’s worth taking a chance on. The first game boasted a vibrant world and an adorable cat on a quest to discover the truth about its past. It had humor, simple controls, and offered a nice break from the heavy RPG and shooter games many of us enjoy. The sequel, Cat Quest II, is out now for PlayStation 4 gamers. So how does this one compare to the original?
That Fur-miliar Feeling
We’re back in Felingard. However, when we start the game, we are not alone. Waking with us is a canine, and our guide Kirry informs us that we are Kingsblood, reincarnations of the rulers of Felingard and the Lupus Empire! If we don’t act fast, the current rulers of our ancestral lands are going to be at war. It’s a story rife with fun and ridiculous puns and references that may go over younger players’ heads but give older gamers a good chuckle/groan combo.
Our adventure kicks off on a very familiar overland map, with dungeons and ruins scattered about to explore. Furry friends in need wait patiently outside their villages with side quests at the ready, offering XP and sometimes new gear to outfit. These are the best ways to boost your level and earn mad cash to spend on upgrading skills and weaponry. You will eventually discover and cross over into canine territory, a rocky desert littered with fierce new enemies.
Traveling around the map is a bit simpler yet a touch confusing. A new addition to Cat Quest II is the Kingsmarkers. These buildings act as fast travel anchors; head inside and you’ll spot two “constellations,” one with five points for Felingard and another for the Lupus Empire. As you discover more Kingsmarkers out in the world you will unlock the ability to travel to those other points. I do wish there was a way to have them show you where exactly on the map you will come out so that I don’t have to try to memorize each location.
We Have the Paw-er!
While combat hasn’t changed in Cat Quest II, there are a few differences from the original. You still have one attack button (square) and one roll button (cross), and can hold up to four different spells using the shoulder and trigger buttons. One of the changes here is that you must locate plinths out in the world to acquire new spells. You can still visit the mages to level them up, you just can’t purchase new magic here. Another important thing to note is that you cannot slot the same skill on both characters. This means carefully balancing which characters have which magic skills and knowing when to swap during a fight.
Another new addition to the game is special abilities called Royal Arts. The only one I seem to have found so far is a passive ability that damages enemies if I dodge roll into them. This has come in very handy in a few instances. I know there are a couple others for me to unlock. Suppose I should put side quests on hold for a little bit so I can collect them all…
Fighting Like Cats and Dogs
Having two characters constantly on-screen in Cat Quest II is a blessing and sometimes a curse. When playing the game solo it’s great having the AI control the character I am not using when we’re being attacked by monsters. It’s fairly intuitive, meaning it will engage a monster when you get within its radius, but your companion also follows just a few steps behind you. If you start to run away from a fight, your buddy will be right on your tail. You can swap with the tap of Triangle, and if your companion is down you can revive them by standing within the circle encompassing them. Over time (or when the coast is clear) they’ll bounce back up.
But in co-op mode, things can get a little muddy. Despite having colorful markers to denote players 1 and 2 as well as the character models being so different, my husband and I often found ourselves thinking we were the other furball. Another bit where things get tricky is inside dungeons. You can only move so far away from each other both in and outside of the dungeons, but when you are in tight quarters and doing your darnedest to avoid traps, we often had to have one wait while the other moved to a safe section. Sometimes that meant standing right up against a trap and hoping you didn’t get clipped by it.
Cat Quest II is a delightful game with easy controls and a lot of content to play through. They stuck to its roots, which this fan is thankful for. Any time I am itching for something to put a goofy smile on my face, the game I’ll be reaching for will be curled up and happy to see me.
Cat Quest II review code provided by publisher. Version 1.02 reviewed on a standard PlayStation 4. For more information on scoring please see our Review Policy.