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MDK 2: Armageddon (PS2)

MDK was a great game. I played the demo to death for weeks until I finally gave in and bought the full version. Shiny Entertainment, the greats behind classics like Earthworm Jim have passed the development torch for MDK's sequel to Bioware. Don't fret readers, the same humor and excellent gameplay that the guys at Shiny pioneered in MDK has stayed in tact. So guess what, our friend Kurt Hectic is back, and he brought along with some pals.

Following Kurt this time into the belly of the beast, in this case the center of a giant alien mining colony, are his two cohorts: one a gun toting robot dog with four arms, and the good doctor himself, Dr. Fluke Hawkins. Each character has a different style of play which is one of the things that makes this game great. Kurt's levels are the most like a traditional platfomer: running, jumping, shooting, etc. Kurt's action oriented levels, however, are balanced by Dr. Fluke's puzzle centered levels. Max's levels are all about blood thirsty shooting action, and for good reason. He has four hands, and he holds guns in all of them.

The story starts with our hero Kurt living a relatively trouble free life as a janitor for Dr. Fluke Hawkins. Then just when you thought we were finally safe from inter-dimensionally traveling strip miner aliens, they show their ugly heads once again. These aliens, riding "energy streams," proceeded to attack the earth in giant strip mining devices ("minecrawlers") that sought to steal the sum mineral wealth of the world and destroyed cities in its wake. Kurt and the good Doctor knew what to do, they armed themselves and took down the minecrawler pilots one by one. But (dramatic pause), like most stories of this type, the aliens got their second wind and are coming back for another round. It's sequel time.

MDK 2 is a solid action game. Its, mix of puzzler, with copious amounts of action can't be beat by anything out there right now. What MDK 2 does better than most is it continuously throws new and different challenges at you. Sometimes it does it too well. MDK 2 is not only challenging, in some areas its frustratingly impossible. Note the bosses and most of Dr. Hawkins levels.

The graphics aren't much more than a step up from the Dreamcast version with better lighting. The textures are nothing pretty, but the Dreamcast 2.0 graphics are made up by the vast scope of the environments. Almost all of Kurt's levels have a good amount of wide open space to stretch your legs. There also are some excellent effects that that make up for all of its downsides. Plus, the frame rate is consistent so the animation is fluid and there is no lag.

MDK 2 brings me back to the good old days of Gunstar Heroes for the genesis. It had just as much personally, and an equal amount of action. It's good to see that you can successfully recreate the frenzied action of a 2-D shooter in a 3-D space.

SOUND: 9/10
-I always liked the sound of Kurt's gun and sniper rifle.

- MDK 2:Armageddon is definitely a looker, and she's got a great personality, too.

CONTROL: 10/10
- The controls are excellent using the dual shock and you might even forget you're using a controller.

- You'll be playing this for a while, and you'll still keep playing even if you are frustrated by the difficulty.

FUN: 9/10
- It's about time someone made a good action/shooter again

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