Line Rider 2: Unbound (PC/DS)

By Steven Marsh

Published on Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Graphics: 6.50
Sound: 8.00
Gameplay: 10.00
Replays: 10.00
Gamelength: 8.00

Genius Products has pushed out the sequel to the popular flash-based game, “Line Rider 2: Unbound” and it’s far superior to the original cult hit.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This game is 100% IDENTICAL on the PC and Nintendo DS, so this review covers both games.

The original “Line Rider” is a popular flash-based game that requires absolutely no sort of purchase. This can be compared to “Alien Hominid” in that respect, which was also a flash-based game that eventually launched for various consoles. So, is there any real reason to pay money for a beefed up version of a game that’s freely available on the internet simply by clicking a few buttons? Yes and no. It’s more of the same, but there’s also plenty of additional content to round the package out. For a closer look, grab your skiiing gear and put on the warmest clothing you can find because we’re going for one hell of a skiing trip in “Line Rider 2: Unbound”.

The visual presentation is fairly basic, with 2D backgrounds and the basic track designs, just like the first game. This game is not known for it’s visual presentation, though. Rightfully so, in fact. There’s a lot to this crazy piece of work, but graphics fanatics can move along and safetly forget about this game for good. However, I’d like to point out that this game doesn’t need an intense soundtrack or awesome graphics because it’s just not built for that sorta’ thing.

Despite the fact that “Line Rider 2: Unbound” doesn’t require an awesome soundtrack to be a great game, several of the songs have been stuck in my head since I put the game down. There’s a nice blend of electronic music throughout the game and thankfully, it seems to fit. As awesome as the music is, it’s worth nothing that the sound effects are almost non-existent, but that’s not a big deal at all in this case.

Before I move onto the new stuff, here’s a primer for all of you newcomers. The basic concept of this game is to keep Bosh, the main character alive by drawing lines where applicable. In essence, this is both a dumbed down and majorly enhanced skiing game with a lot of unique flavor. In the original “Line Rider”, much like the new “Freestyle” mode of the sequel, there is no actual goal, puzzle or pre-set level design. You simply create stuff-on-the fly and have fun watching Bosh tackle the course as you create it. There are 3 basic types of lines that can be used during gameplay, which include standard lines, speed lines and slow lines. Those lines are selected manually and drawn by moving your mouse or stylus from right to left. The ability to draw blue lines, which cause Bosh to essentially fall through the track are also available by drawing from left to right at any given time. Players may also pause the game at basically any time to edit things without the fear of messing up, which is almost a necessity due to how crazy this game gets at times. Aside from those things, there’s also an erase tool for removing lines you’ve drawn, as well as traps that Bosh must avoid on the tracks in the Story mode. Story mode is the core component, which features plenty of pre-designed levels for players to tackle. Some of the levels are absolutely mind-numbing, but never impossible. The only thing I can say to aspiring champions of “Line Rider 2: Unbound” is to take your time. Patience is the key here, as there’s a ton of trial and error. The final mode is the second and in my opinion, most amazing feature of “Line Rider 2: Unbound”: Puzzle mode. In Puzzle mode, players can create their own levels, much like those in the Story mode and those levels can be shared via the DS WiFi or the website. This adds an immense amount of replay value to an already highly replayable game. Oh, and did I mention that there’s tons of additional stuff that can be used in the toolset when creating stuff in Puzzle mode? Players can create crazy unique traps, just like the Story mode, only with even more endless possibilities. In summary, “Line Rider 2: Unbound” is pretty much a perfect sequel and is worth every penny, regardless of where it’s being played. The DS and the PC versions are identical, although the visuals on the PC version are obviously much cleaner.

Overall, Genius Products has done a great service by publishing this wonderful sequel. More people now have the chance to explore what makes “Line Rider” so much fun, but with a ton of additional content.

Pros:
-Extremely high replay value.
-Good bang for the buck.
-Very extensive toolset in Puzzle mode.
-Addictive.
-Soundtrack is immensely catchy.
-Sharing created levels gives this game an endless lifespan.

Cons:
-Very barebones graphics.
-Learning curve is insane.
-No in-depth tutorials for Puzzle mode.

Bottom Line:
“Line Rider” is an awesome game, but “Line Rider 2: Unbound” expands on that concept to the point that the original feels like a cheap knockoff. This game will certainly appeal to many more people, including fans of the original game. In short, buy this game if you’re even so much as considering it.

Overall Rating: 8.50

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