I mentioned when I wrote about the first Trine how much of a stellar experience that was. In the second installment it's pretty easy to point fingers and at least take wild guesses at how and where improvements should be focused. Note must have been taken because this pretty much covers what wasn't great in the first, although not much on that subject could actually be said.
Graphically this shines as much as, it pushes the boundaries even further though still remaining somewhat outshone merely by the absurd fact that it came after the first one. There's no surprise to be had, but what you see is probably the best graphics a video-game ever showcased, surpassing the all-time kind Donkey Kong Country. That might sound like a joke, and that might really is a joke, but can you affirm that there's not at least a grain of truth hiding amongst it?
You can choose to play with the Xbox controller or the keyboard, no problems will be faced at all. The debut had that pretty much covered so we're safe. The loosy manner in which the characters move around hasn't changed, for the better or the worse, it hasn't. Personally I'm not exactly fond of platformers that don't precisely limit the platforms for the sake of graphical polish, but after a while you get used to how gimmicky it sometimes feels. The physics controlling objects works well though.
In terms of gameplay little has changed. There are three different characters with different attributes and focusing on distinct abilities. The player can scroll through them at will in-game thanks to the legendary floating object called Trine, which binds the three individuals together in order to send them out on a quest. The quest is pretty standard, it has to do with saving the kingdom from an evil princess who happens to have a sister under her spell who is fair and noble.
Changing through characters stands mandatory since you'll need their special abilities to go through the game. The Wizard, for example, can summon magical objects to help you out. Two types can be created, a cube and a plank. As the player levels up from getting potions from maps points can be used to buy upgrades, like summoning more planks or cubes or use magic to imprison enemies, facilitating any task.
Every character can get upgrades, the Thief uses a ranged bow to attack enemies and a grappling hook for easier navigation. Upon getting upgrades she can fire more arrows at once or shoot fire/ice arrows. The thief is the one with the best mobility from the three. The most bulky of them is the Warrior, mainly melee fighting will be done by him, though he can use his strength to also break walls.
In the first Trine most puzzles could be solved with ingenious magical objects placement. There used to be three types the Wizard could summon, along with the two still present here, there was the floating triangle. The developers wisely realized that the triangle broke the game. it featured not only an easy way up but also a safe spot for grappling. Players aiming real challenge could avoid using it but then again you could also avoid attacking at all, the brave will be brave.
The triangle is out and because of that they could insert more challenging puzzles that aren't as easily beaten without it. Pits are much more dangerous to players since a nifty triangle followed by the useful planks won't do the job. Yes, this game is much more challenging than the first one because of this fact alone, but still not something to be scared of. The developers were extra aware of this and they implemented a hint system where tips would be given out if the player stays stuck for too long, which can be turned off for those who see gaming as exactly that, challenge needing overcome.
The locales seems more varied. A bad symptom of the second installment fever is that it might be more clear when you're recycling the same cavern over and over. The traps are far greater in number too, both quantity and diversity. Another welcome change are the boss fights, some require specific actions to be beat, an even though it doesn't always come off as expects or even intended, it's a nice breeze of fresh air upon the hordes of orcs on the way.
The platforming isn't particularly inventive, precise or overwhelming without the physics and special abilities, but as a whole Trine 2 improves well upon its predecessor. The Goblins DLC that by now should come with the complete story version adds many new chapters for those aching for more. After all is said and done in the main story the Wizard returns home only to find his wise was kidnapped by goblins, and then a new adventure begins. The DLC has even crazier levels than the original and should keep the player busy. All in all this is another nice title and a worthy successor to the already great Trine.