Friday 16 October 2015

Paperboy 2 (NES review)

Developer: Tengen
Publisher: Mindscape
Released: 1992

Paperboy 2 was released four year's after the NES original and never arrived in the Arcades.

The objective is to deliver newspapers to houses that have a letterbox on their property; miss one or accidentally break their windows and they'll unsubscribe. You only have five lives and once you've lost them all you'll be fired. You can now choose your gender type and there's three different routes (Easy Street, Middle Road, Hard Way). The environment is very interactive and ditches regular Suburbia for a twisted fantasy world with cannons, gargoyles and sewer monsters! Some moments are genuinely funny such as when you splash water over the sunbather or when you hit the hog roast and it springs back to life! I also liked that your actions in each round are represented in the news headlines. Compared to the original it's much easier to reach your desired location with a newspaper as the hit box seems larger and the addition of a shadow below your character helps to gauge exactly where you are in relation to the environment. Halfway through each round the perspective changes to a top-down view; here you need to monitor both sides of the street and hit would-be robbers with papers; not only is this fun it's immensely satisfying foiling a criminal in the act! The camera then shifts again and you'll now be delivering papers to the left side of the street; it's a nice change and gives the world a 3D, expansive feel. At the end of each round there's a short obstacle course where you're tasked with hitting as many targets as possible; the course design is bad though and objects are placed in random areas with little thought. There is a bit of slowdown in the game but the graphics are much improved from the original.

Paperboy 2 isn't the deepest game in the world but the additions are welcome (especially the three different routes) as they enhance replayability. The challenge is much fairer and overall it's simply a more fun experience with good gameplay, a brilliant sense-of-humour and many laugh-out-loud moments.

Random trivia: The game was released on a number of other systems including the Amiga, Game Boy, Mega Drive and ZX Spectrum.

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