Feeding Frenzy 2 (XBLA)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Sunday, September 21, 2008

Graphics: 6.50
Sound: 6.50
Gameplay: 9.50
Replays: 8.00
Gamelength: 8.00

Yet another late release of a PopCap Games title on Xbox Live Arcade, “Feeding Frenzy 2” is every bit as amazing and addictive on the Xbox 360 as it is on the PC.

PopGame Games has become one of the most well-known publishers amongst casual gamers all over the world. PopCap is becoming more of a household name and people know to expect addictive and fun gameplay every time they publish a new title. In the case of “Feeding Frenzy 2” for the Xbox 360, it’s no surprise at all that this fact holds true, especially considering it’s a perfect port of an older PopCap title for the PC that’s already highly regarded as one of their most addictive games thus far. Still, everyone knows PopCap games are designed to be casual, yet addictive enough to stink even the most inexperienced and computer illiterate people in enough to turn them into masterful players. So, what makes “Feeding Frenzy 2” so addictive, especially when compared to most other PopCap releases? Let’s go down below for a swim with the fishes and find out as I explore the world of “Feeding Frenzy 2” for the Xbox Live Arcade.

As usual, the visual presentation is standard casual fare. There’s plenty of shiny, eye-catching 2D stuff all over the place. This game is extremely bright and quite vivid throughout, which can actually strain sensitive eyes at times. Aside from that, a few of the fish look somewhat lifeless, but for the most part, it’s not a problem and doesn’t take away from the fun at all.

Expected or not, the soundtrack is completely in theme, even if a bit boring. I’m not really a fan of the music and the sound effects are average at best, but I can’t really complain about those things because they fit so well. Most of the time, the music is very relaxing, which is odd for such a fast-paced and sometimes frustrating game, but spot-on for the whole theme of the game. The sound effects are lacking, but really, who cares? No one plays PopCap Games to pick out how awesome a fish sounds.

What matters most about PopCap games is the addictive, fast-paced and lengthy gameplay that’s presented in every single title they publish and on that front, regardless of the standard graphical and sound qualities, “Feeding Frenzy 2” excels in every way. On the main menu, there are 2 main modes of play. The 2 primary modes are Single Player and (local) Multiplayer. The Single Player modes are as follows: Story, Story ‘Lite’ and Time Attack! Story and Story ‘Lite’ are identical, but the ‘Lite’ version is extremely easy by comparison because the player never has to worry about losing lives, as is the intention. The Story mode puts players through 60 levels of action, each of which gets progressively more difficult. Time Attack! is just Story mode with a timer for each level, which sort of acts as a “hard mode” for this game’s Story mode. The object of the game is extremely simple. Players are tasked with eating smaller fish to grow in size until everything aside from special fish becomes edible. After you reach that size, the goal is to simply max the food bar. Once that’s done, the current level is complete and the next is unlocked. Controlling the fish is just as simple as it sounds. The only thing that absolutely has to be done is moving around and eating fish, which is all handled with the left joystick and the d-pad, but there are other things that become unlocked later in the game. At the beginning, only the dash ability is unlocked, but things such as the ability to stink in fish become available as you progress through the game. Each ability is managed by a specific face button, all of which are hassle-free and simple to use. The simplicity of this game is astounding. There are also a handful of temporary power-ups, such as the ability to shrink enemies or stop time, all of which show up randomly throughout the game after they’ve been unlocked. This game sounds far too easy and had I based my opinion on the game based on a written review, I don’t know if I’d ever have any interest, but actually playing this, much like most PopCap games, opens new doors and things like this become some of the most addictive experiences ever to be had. What’s more still is that there are a handful of multiplayer games, although no online play has been included. Story and ‘Lite’ are playable in a co-op format, but there’s also a selection of “Party Games” and “Frenzyfest”, which are highly addictive games for up to 4 players. Those multiplayer modes aren’t a necessary component at all, but they definitely round out this tidy little $10 package. “Feeding Frenzy 2” is a great game at a low price.

Overall, “Feeding Frenzy 2” is a perfect port of an already awesome game. PopCap Games continues to launch amazing games each and every year across almost every major gaming platform and I don’t think they’re falling out of the market any time soon.

Pros:
-Highly addictive.
-Very easy to pick up and play.
-Lengthy.
-Plenty of ways to enjoy the game.
-Multiplayer is extremely fun.
-Low price.

Cons:
-Multiplayer is local only.
-Feels like an upgrade more so than a true sequel.

Bottom Line:
It doesn’t matter what kind of gamer you are or even if you’re a gamer at all. PopCap Games exists for the purpose of fun for everyone of all ages and types. “Feeding Frenzy 2” is the kind of game that anyone can pick up and play and as such, it’s worth a buy for just about everyone.

Overall Rating: 8.00

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