Gravity Rush 2 Review — The Power of the Queen Commands You

…to drool at her beauty.

  • Sorry it took me so long to get the Gravity Rush 2 review up. I actually got it on release date, but 2017 is apparently the year where Japan wanted to shove their games into our gaijin country before Trump outlaws them, so it ended up getting lost in the shuffle. It was only recently that I managed to finish it, although in my defense, the quality of the actual game was a bit of a factor in that regard. It is better than the first one, but there were a few new annoyances thrown into the mix that caused me to lose enthusiasm, most of them revolving around how Gravity Rush 2 is just Gravity Rush 1 again with the scope expanded, but the freshness getting whittled down like a cliff wall standing against a bajillion tidal waves.
  • Gravity Rush 2 continues the adventures of anime girl superhero, Kat, along with her lifelong partner, Raven, as they end up getting sucked into an off-screen gravity storm that you’d have to watch that badly produced OVA to get the context of and thrown into a new world where people have to mine for a living and the rich look down on the poor. Quite literally too, as the rich live in floating islands high in the sky whilst the poor live in floating islands that aren’t so high up.
  • Separated from her partner, her cat, and consequently her powers, Kat makes a living as a miner for a few minutes of gameplay before the cat shows up in a hilariously telegraphed manner, gives her the ability to shift gravity again, and she basically becomes the Gravity Queen again, loved by everyone and seen as the savior to this poor community. From there, the game goes through the same comic book-y style of plot as the first game in that it’s just a bunch of things happening, loosely connected by how Kat is the only one who can resolve them and the characters from one arc tend to show up in a Deus Ex machina manner in the next arc as if to say “kept you waiting, huh?”.

This new girl’s costume looks sort of like a cross between Tuxedo Mask and Sailor Moon from someone who’s never watched the show

  • The game has you caught in a class warfare between the rich and the poor where Kat must overthrow the corrupt government. Then it takes you back to the setting from the first game in order to overthrow a completely different government that has a magical girl superhero on their side. Then the credits roll, only for a true ending path to appear where we finally discover the origins of Kat and learn that there’s a mysterious darkness threatening to destroy the world that only Kat can stop. It’s pretty much the same “if I wasn’t actually playing the game, I’d call bullshit on this” as last time, and without wishing to spoil anything, let’s just say that superhero name she’s given is more appropriate than you think.
  • Being developed for the PS4 now, Gravity Rush 2 is allowed to be more cinematic, even including those “movie-like” moments in Naughty Dog’s recent line-up where you control the character through scripted scenes and if you fuck it up, you have to start the scene all over again. It also decides to make use of the touchpad and thank god the “finishing move” is now mapped to that so I don’t have to get frustrated when I accidentally perform a special move that takes a long time to finish, giving the health-less boss plenty of time to get up for another round.

By our powers combined, we will kick your ass and look good whilst doing so!

  • Aside from all the gravity mechanics from the first game returning – although the slide is a lot harder to control for some reason – you can now have Kat shift gravity styles in order to use slightly different versions of her existing powers. And boy does the game let you know that, because as soon as you gain a new power, they tutorialize the fuck out of it by either having you defeat enemies in a certain way or make you do some racing that your normal powers aren’t suited for. It’s nice to get accustomed to my new skills and all, but the chapters in this game are a lot longer, and when you add tutorializing to that, it can get tedious pretty quickly.
  • Speaking of tedium, fuck the sidequests in this game. Nothing but fetch quests, destroying Nevis, and making use of the new camera mechanic for a reward that is generally not worth it. This time your health and gravity gauge levels up as you complete story missions, so all the gems unlock this time are move upgrades or talismans that I never use. And since gems aren’t exactly in short supply to get all the basics you need to beat the game, I ended up just collecting those in a manner that I can actually have fun with and stuck to story missions the entire way through.
  • The stealth mechanics that the game throws at you can also fuck off as well, because Kat’s gravity powers are hard enough to get a handle of during chaotic boss fights, and trying to use them in a manner completely opposite of that with no map indicator to tell me where enemies are is just unreasonable. And very silly when you consider what Kat wears on a daily basis.

I wonder what the board meeting was like to justify this scene?

  • But back to the good stuff. I really like how in addition to Nevi, you have to fight armed humans who suddenly decided that they don’t like Miss Spandex flying into their business and figure that they might as well cut her costume up if she happens to be in the neighborhood. Fighting supernatural threats is good and all, but throwing flesh-and-blood people into the vast sky has a certain hilarious charm to it.
  • Raven joins Kat in several fights after you rediscover her, and I like how her AI isn’t bonafide retarded like a lot of partner AI in these sort of games tend to be. There was one mission that I couldn’t get done because the targeting windows for a certain boss character was fucked, and Raven ended up beating it for me whilst making me feel bad that I didn’t pull my own weight in the process.
  • Granted, you’ll still have to do a lot of the work yourself, because whenever Raven fights off against the more human boss characters, they seem to be on equal standing and have a slightly unhealthy obsession with targeting you first on account of Raven not having a health bar to deteriorate. Makes me wonder how Kat ever beats her in every fight they have, because whenever I try to do the same thing, I just get pile driven into the ground.

You switch to Raven right at the game’s final climax, which you can either see as a welcome gameplay change or too last-minute

  • Gravity Rush 2 definitely delivers on its promise to answer questions (eventually) whilst providing a bigger open environment to explore than the first game’s (although the new location is a bit too big for my taste), but the freshness has worn off, and despite trying its hardest to impress me with the new styles, interface, and whatnot, trying to beat the thing felt like an obligation at times rather than because I was having real fun with it.
  • If they ever make another game – which would be hard to do given the way this one ends along with the upcoming Raven DLC – I propose they give us the ability to actually fly in it without the constant pausing in order to shift gravity a different direction. Sorta like the panther transformation, only with more control.

Minor Quips

  • At least the throwing mechanics weren’t nearly as godawful to control this time around.
  • I also had to take a laugh at that scene when Kat is forced to cosplay as a fancy singer in order to avoid getting caught, only for the jig to be up after her song ends.

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