Developer: ACE Team

Publisher: ATLUS

Release Date: 8/28/17

Hey gamers! Guess what’s finally back from across the ages!

If you guessed a giant boulder, congratulations, you win a prize! But…not really. I have no prizes to be handing out. I do, however, have a review for you for the sequel to ACE Team’s Rock of Ages: Rock of Ages II: Bigger & Boulder (you see that wordplay there, right? It’s *gold*).

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For those new to the scene, the primary objective of the game is to race your gigantic boulder down a hill and destroy the other players castle. It sounds easy, but various environmental traps, effects, and recharge times, in addition to the almost labyrinthian level layouts make for quite a challenge.

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This time around, the game is much bigger than before, and with a full host of multiple game modes, great for playing either by yourself, with friends, or with random internet strangers, Game modes play from a quirky campaign mode, open to one to two human players, that puts you against “bosses” throughout history, each with their own special boulders that have different stats. In addition to the basic, and I use the term loosely, campaign mode, there’s also and obstacle course mode, time challenge, and 1v1 mode. All the same applies to the online play as well.

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Overall, the mechanics are simple but take getting used to, each boulder has its own weight, and so controlling the speed of movement, as well as the ability to slow down for turns or avoiding traps, or jumping over pits, varies based on your selection. The trickiest part of the game though is in figuring out your way around each map; there’s no general overview before the matches start, and the AI always seems to know exactly what turns to take and what shortcuts exist, which can be a bit frustrating. Additionally, while the player starts with *some* tools at their disposal to use against enemy boulders, the AI starts with *all* of them, giving it a rather large advantage in most scenarios. No proper tutorial is given for tool use either, so everything is very much a “learn-by-doing” process. And in a game like this, where there’s so much to do, that feels somewhat cheap.

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All in all, the game is a fun distraction, and if you’re into bizarre and quirky, this will definitely float your boat. Just be prepared for levels of frustration, or keep your playing between human opponents. Final score: 7/10.

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