IGN Review of Petz: Catz 2
If you buy Petz Catz 2 expecting a kitten sim along the lines of Nintendogs, you will be sorely disappointed. Catz 2 is actually a very light-hearted RPG full of little side quests and collection missions that is geared directly at younger players. With the right set of expectations, though, a gamer -- or a family of gamers -- could have a decent time with this fuzzy romp.
Catz 2 is set in a small seaside village of Pawville, populated by furry little kittens. The cats have finally captured a wolf, Ivlet, that has been harassing them for a long time. The source of the cats' power is a magic top hat, but due to the easy duping of two young kittens, Ivlet gains control of the mystic relic. To reverse the tragic mistake, one of the kittens sets out to defeat Ivlet and recover the hat.
You, of course, are that stalwart kitten.
At the onset of the adventure, you pick your kitten for over 40 different breeds. No matter which kitty you choose, though, the game remains the same. It's strictly window dressing, but it does let cat fanciers customize the game to fit their breed of choice. After the plot is set into motion, you can also collect money to buy clothes and accessories for your kitten and the other cats in the game. Everybody loves putting people clothes on animals, but in order to raise the scratch, you better like all the different minigames, missions, and sidequests in the Pawville universe.
The side quests take cues from Animal Crossing. Your kitten can fish and collect bugs, grow flowers and fruits. The zoo was damaged when Ivlet took control of the magic hat, so you can also hunt down those rogue beasties and get them back in their cages. There are also races you can goof with, treasure hunts that require you to use you whiskers as detectors, ring tosses, and fruit catching. Catz 2 is not without variety, but none of these events are exceptionally well implemented. They just seem there to round out the main adventure.
The RPG adventure is not terribly deep. Your kitten explores a series of themed zones, such as an ice world and the desert, to get closer to Ivlet and help further repairs on the busted village. As you roam, your encounter warp stones that let your kitty zip around the map faster. The adventure is largely a go-here-do-that story (head into a cave and find a crystal), complicated by animals under Ivlet's influence. Your kitty must watch the thought bubbles over the animals' heads while wandering because they offers hints about disposition. An angry animal will attack no matter what while a merely irritated animal will only lunge if you get too close. Your kitty can defend itself with rocks, but that's about it. There is no deep weapons system at all. Again, this is largely geared for younger players, so nobody should be expecting swords or other weapons.
Catz 2 is not the most attractive game, but it's entirely passable. The kittens look like kittens. They are indeed cute. The landscapes are a tad bland with big shapes painted by decent but hardly spectacular textures. The sound is only decent, though. The kitten mewls and meows are accurate but not numerous -- thusly, they get annoying after a few hours.
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