The ongoing development of Warp's D2 seems to be taking an eternity. Finally we are able to play something from this much hyped sequel to theoriginal Playstation incarnation from the highly regarded Kenji Eno. Sohow is it shaping up?
So far so good. Once you pop in the D2 Shock disc, you are treated to amain screen which shows snow falling softly accompanied by classic Enogenerated mood music. There are a number of options: Opening Movie, FirstScene, Battle Mode, Snowmobile Mode, Secret Data Mode.
The opening movie is basically the original movie shown at the D2 pressconference last summer. The animation on the airplane is incrediblysmooth, but does suffer a bit of realism in some spots. For example, acouple of hi-jackers shoot off a few rounds in the plane without anyconsequence.
Hardly plausible if you know anything about airplanes. Whilethe eye and hand movements are realistic, other parts of the body lag,specifically the hair. The characters look like they are wearing wigs. Perhaps I am being a little skeptical but for a game that has been indevelopment for as long as it has, I expect perfection. My only othercomplaint is you have "gajin" (foreigners) all speaking in Japanese. Itlooks and sounds quite stupid.
Sure it is a Japanese game, but it lookssilly. Warp should use English actors and subtitle it in Japanese, muchlike most developers are doing these days. it has worked quite well withthe Resident Evil series, and it looks to do quite well with the upcomingBlue Stinger.
The first scene is pretty cool. Laura is in a cottage with anothercharacter. They are discussing what has happened, when one of thehi-jackers' suddenly enters the room. He then transforms into thiscreature. Quite well done and pretty graphic in some parts. Thetransformation continues until he turns into a large spider-like monster. The creature runs away when the army guy shows up and starts shooting atit. Take a look at the video I have put together which shows thehighlights from the first scene.
By looking at the design of the creaturesit is clear Warp has been greatly influenced by the classic John Carpenterremake of "The Thing". The creatures are very similar to the movie interms of design and characteristics. Damn the whole D2 story borrows heavily from "The Thing". A mysterious lifeform invading the human body,taking place in the freezing cold.
The battle mode is fun but could be much longer. Laura is searchingthrough the wreckage of the plane wheh she comes across a mutating flightattendant. The attendant then mutates into one of these spider-like formsand grabs a hold of Laura. You must utilize the machine gun and shoot thecreature while it vigoursly swings you around the cabin of the plane. Itdoes not take much to kill the creature. I would have liked to see somemore interaction with the battle sequence. Rumble support was also notutilized at this point, but hopefully Warp will add it in. Anyway checkout the second video to get a taste of the battle mode.
The snowmobile mode is nothing more than a race against time to knockdowna number of pylons. Your score is then saved in the "secret data mode" anda password is issued. Players then access Warp's homepage and upload theirtimes. The best time over a two month period will be awarded a realsnowmobile. Cute, but who gives a shit? It would have been more useful ifthe snowmobile mode had a real purpose, like a search and destroy aspect. You only have three minutes to drive around a boring field.
In summary, D2 has potential, but it seems it still has a far way to gobefore being anything worthy. This then brings up the question: What thehell has Warp been doing for the last two years? Let's hope they have notlost their focus in developing D2. I blew 4,800 Yen to get this demo aspart of the Real Sound 2 package, which by the way is totally uselessunless you can understand Japanese. My advice, if you are thinking ofpurchasing Real Sound 2 to get D2 Shock, don't! Wait another few months ofan improved and hopefully more playable demo, which will probably show upfree in a magazine or as part of the Dreamcast Partners program.
For viewing the movie, Quicktime 3.0 is required.
D2: Movie 1
D2: Movie 2
Review By: Micheal Weatherup