If Dukes of Hazzard: Racing For Home left you wanting more, South Peak's second game in the series, Dukes of Hazzard II: Daisy Dukes It Out, isn't exactly going to satisfy that need. In fact, despite a few gameplay touch-ups and a plot change, the game is a carbon copy of the first. Missy Law has come to town impersonating a geologist. Disguised as Melanie Shaw, she intends to rob the Hazzard Bank and frame Daisy for the heist. Once again, it's up to you as Bo, Luke, Uncle Jesse, and Daisy to prevent the crime, bring the criminals to justice, and win the Fourth of July race.
Following the first game's lead, the story behind Daisy Dukes It Out is told through an array of frightening prerendered video clips. The characters are smoothly rendered and nicely animated, but they better resemble lifeless marionettes than actual human beings. On more than one occasion, you may find yourself wondering if Jesse Duke is actually some demon. The audio behind each clip is quite good, due mostly in part to the use of the original Dukes of Hazzard voice actors, namely John "Bo" Schneider, Tom "Luke" Wopat, Catherine "Daisy" Bach, and Ben "Crazy Cooter" Jones. The in-game visuals are decent enough, with a frame rate and clarity on par with that of the Destruction Derby series. There are rarely more than a few vehicles onscreen at a time, so slowdown and texture warping aren't as much of an issue in this game as they were in the previous installment. On the audio front, country-style rock music accompanies each mission, while a number of CB radio interruptions break up the silent monotony of driving. Even the balladeer, Waylon Jennings, gets into the act, imparting his hokum wisdom whenever a mission ends with a death-defying leap or otherwise dangerous situation.
As is the tradition in Hazzard County, crime solving isn't done with wits, but with cars. As such, Dukes of Hazzard II: Daisy Dukes It Out features 18 missions' worth of high-speed chases, insane jumps, and killer car wrecks. Most of the time you'll be driving the General Lee, since, as odd as it may seem, the game's namesake, Daisy, only participates in six of the game's missions. In a notable improvement from the first game, the courses in Daisy Dukes It Out are laid out in a free-roam circuit fashion, similar to what you'd find in Crave's Tokyo Extreme Racer series. Because of this, not only do you have greater leeway in the shortcuts and routes you're able to take, but the entire game also gives the impression that you're driving around a realistic remake of Hazzard County. As an added bonus, the game's joyride mode lets you explore all of Hazzard County's landmarks, including downtown Hazzard and the Boar's Nest, without bother from crooks, cops, or pedestrians.
Unfortunately, roadway improvements are the game's only major gameplay enhancement. All 18 of the game's missions are just as nonsensical, bug-laden, and straightforward as those found in the first Dukes game. One mission in particular, where you're to run Missy off the road in Daisy's Roadrunner, sums the game up nicely. Ignoring for a moment the fact that Rosco and Enos should be after a bank robber instead of Daisy, the chase itself can be completed in less than 30 seconds by taking advantage of the game engine's buggy collision detection. Ram Missy's car before the first jump, and she'll become permanently stuck between two construction vehicles. Should you accidentally make the jump and continue driving, Missy will miraculously warp ahead of you after a short time. If this happens, your job gets a bit more difficult, as collision with any in-game object will send your car into an uncontrollable spin, a nasty side effect that Missy and other CPU vehicles aren't subject to. To make matters worse, each guardrail and building seems to have a force field around it, pushing your vehicle away long before it's in close proximity.
Despite all its bugs, Dukes of Hazzard II: Daisy Dukes It Out is still fairly easy. Even on the hardest difficulty setting, most mission goals can be achieved by simply sticking to the road, following directions, and making modest use of in-game power-ups. Since the first Dukes of Hazzard game placed a greater emphasis on racing, the use of turbo, repair, and dynamite items was an integral part of your success. The second game has no such emphasis, so you really don't need those items anymore. The AI driving is also pathetically poor. Rosco and Enos will do their fair share of ramming into the General Lee, but the majority of the time they'll be content to bounce off guardrails or retaining walls. Commuter traffic is just as hilarious. If bystander vehicles notice you racing down the road, they will--without fail--attempt to ram you. When you're not interacting with other vehicles or objects, the game plays well enough. The handling is slippery, but forgiving, and the experience of speed is greatly enhanced by a number of jump ramps and cornfield shortcuts. It may be buggy and simplistic, but Daisy Dukes It Out is at least more faithful to the Dukes' universe than the first game. The game's two-player mode also redeems the game slightly, offering friendly competition in time trials, races, tag battles, and demolition derbies.
Although Dukes of Hazzard II: Daisy Dukes It Out is the second Dukes of Hazzard game to reach the PlayStation, it's still not quite the thrill-fest you would expect from such a respected license. It improves upon the first in terms of personality and feel, but it isn't really that much different where it matters most--gameplay. The game is just far too buggy, easy, and uninspiring to hold your attention for more than a few hours, let alone a standard rental period. Rabid Dukes of Hazzard fans may enjoy the game, but game players with more discerning tastes probably won't.