Zenonia was a game that hinted at how well a fully-fledged eastern style RPG game could be implemented on the iPhone and iPod Touch. Now the sequel has arrived, and with it comes many new features the original did not have.
Zenonia 2 features two melee characters, two long range characters, millions of character appearance customizations, tons of weapons and armors, three difficulty levels, many bosses, and asynchronous online multiplayer. Most of these were included in the original, but the sequel also has more appearance customizations, weapons, and long range characters.
Zenonia 2 has melee and long range characters, each with their own unique abilities, advantages, and disadvantages. Melee characters on the whole have higher defense and health than the long range ones, but they have to be up close and personal when fighting. Long ranged characters on the other hand can utilize guerrilla tactics by shooting then retreating a few steps, then rinse and repeat until the enemy is dead. Needless to say, the variety of possibilities with the four characters leads to thinking when distributing stat points, as well as the ability to form extremely interesting and ingenious tactics during the online combat part of the game.
The online combat is flawless, with the ability to search for characters you want to fight. You can also add people that defeat you to your "Death Notes" list so you can access and challenge the opponent without doing a search.
The need to repair weapons as well as the "hunger" system in the original is present in Zenonia 2. You'll need to repair weapons or else they won't function to their full effect, and eat regularly to be able to have a full SP bar for special attacks. This may present a sense of realism, but is extremely annoying if you forget to check your weapons and food before a huge boss fight or big dungeon.
Grinding is also necessary in some areas if you want to have a chance of surviving the next dungeon and defeat the boss. While a little grinding is fine, in some places Zenonia 2 is just like the original and forces you to jump six levels just to be able to fare well in the next area.
The graphics are also of average quality. With what some games have demonstrated on the iPhone and iPod Touch, Gamevil could have at least improved the graphics a little. However, the current look of the game makes it seem too similar to the original and somewhat "dated." It's obviously a shout out to the classics, but a little upgrade would have been nice.
Lastly, the sound effects and in-game music in Zenonia 2 are mediocre. The music is comprised of three insanely short loops that play over and over again, and the sound effects seem to be cut straight from the original. Despite all the effort Gamevil put into this title, they badly neglected this area.
At the solid price of $4.99, Zenonia 2 is a good game for those who enjoyed the first one. If you're new to the series, I'd suggest you pick up the original Zenonia for $2.99 before dropping the cash on this one. Despite the number of good things in this game, the necessary grinding and bad audio doesn't make it the next "must-have" RPG for the platform. Zenonia 2 is solid, but it's too similar to its predecessor to be breathtaking or amazing in any way.