#329 Vectorman 2

Posted: 1st October 2019 by Jeroen in Games
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818th played so far

Genre: Action/Platform
Platform: Mega Drive
Year of Release: 1996
Developer: BlueSky Software
Publisher: SEGA

There really was a trend in the mid-nineties, before the advent of 3D-capable consoles, where using pre-rendered 3D graphics was the best way to make your game seem modern. We’ve seen it on the SNES with Donkey Kong Country 3, for example, and on the Mega Drive we’re seeing the same with the Vectorman series. After all, while there’s probably a separate explanation in the game for the name, it’s hard to disassociate vectors from 3D graphics when you’re looking at games.

What we get here is a run and gun game on an older console, probably not too dissimilar from Cybernator, and I already feel like I’m going to struggle to keep the two apart in my memory of both.

Our Thoughts

There is something in these 3D pre-rendered graphics that lets game makers add a lot of personality. Since you can pose them as you want and render out the animations, you can do quite a lot more than when you’re animating each frame, but since you don’t have to render it on all machines, it feels like you can go further than you normally should. The protagonist Vectorman especially gives that impression from the intro on, showing some nice idle animations and really charmed me from early on.

This turns into a run and gun game – again, predating twin stick controllers, so walking and shooting use the same direction and you have limited control to stop that. My brain can’t quite rewire itself to do that properly, and the schemes to do so vary between games, so it stays obnoxious and a clear sign of age.

The game focuses more on platforming though, with a heavy focus on our protagonist’s rocket boost – a double jump that’s required to pass the stages in several places and get to all the secrets, but that feels just as forgettable to use as it’s not that useful except, it feels, in those specific spots.

Final Thoughts

Vectorman 2 features the stereotypes that I’d have expected going on, but it didn’t feel like it actually added anything more to the formula. It looks very good, but the difficulty is off putting – and even called out in the book, meaning that I did well making it past the first level – and the levels feel too long to stay entertaining.