Strikeforce Kitty 2
The next time someone accuses you of being a crazy cat person, you can just give a patronizing little chuckle, secure in the knowledge that you're ready for the upcoming fox invasion with your well-trained (and adorable) attack force while your detractors will be crushed beneath the mecha-fox feet. Strikeforce Kitty 2 follows in the pawsteps of the original, serving up fast-paced arcade action as you lead and upgrade a fearsome foursome of felines through a series of levels to thwart the evil fox empire. It's a simple premise, and yet the formula is considerably different this time around. Your cats still run and attack automatically, and you can click to jump, and every level is literally overflowing with all sorts of armor and weapons that you can nab from fallen enemies to equip your kitties. Each enemy offers a unique set of equipment, often based on characters from pop culture, and every piece they drop can be equipped on any cat, in any configuration, offering bonuses and even new abilities that will allow you to access places in levels that were previously out of reach. When you have the required ability to bypass an obstacle (you'll need all pieces of the appropriate costume equipped on one cat), it'll activate automatically when needed. In the sequel, the game has moved to a level-based format, with each area being small and contained, gotten rid of the stamina bar, and instead of attacking continuously, both friends and foes will have a bar above their head that will slowly fill before they can act automatically. But wait! That's not all! Throw in locked doors and keys, switches and moving platforms, special powers, lottery tickets, training room, boss stages, and more, and Strikeforce Kitty 2 is remarkably more fleshed out than its predecessor... but does it all work?
Make no mistake, despite the new elements, Strikeforce Kitty 2 is still mostly the same beast. You'll still be grinding levels, a lot of them to bash through superpowered bosses, though this time stages pay out in fish you can spend at the gym to upgrade cats, and the masses of unique enemies and equipment will ensure you'll spend a long, long time at it if you're going for 100% completion. While some may miss the original structure, the way the levels are broken up allows you to bounce around to different areas, each with their own specific set of enemies and obstacles, which takes some of the sting out of grinding. On the other hand, the game isn't very well explained, failing to offer anything in the way of how powers work, what's a "suitable" set for artifacts, and so forth. The dressing room has a lot more sorting options, allowing you to click icons to order equipment by attribute bonus or by genre, and the oodles of new costumes means you're going to have a lot of choice. Fans of the original will likely be glad to have more of it, along with new costumes and unlockables, though whether it's too different from its more simplistic beginning is probably going to come down to personal choice and whether change makes you emit anxious, high-pitched noises. Strikeforce Kitty 2 is relentlessly adorable and shows an admirable effort from a developer try to innovate and evolve a proven-successful concept rather than just rest on their catnip-laden laurels, and is either a completionist's dream... or a nightmare.