Jumping to the PlayStation 2 era in this week’s Retro Recap with a look back to the 2002 sequel, Summoner 2.
One of the PlayStation launch titles in the first Summoner game, Summoner 2 gave a fresh sequel to a niche franchise that was very much overlooked by the masses. The game follows Maia, a goddess who have been reborn with a unique and powerful gift of transforming into guardians or summons. Combat is played out in real time, with a traditional approach of button combos and guarding mechanics. Summoner 2 also includes the customary RPG spell casting system.
The plot follows a classic RPG-like story element, set 20 years after the previous instalment, our protagonist, Maia, has been tasked with the restoring the recently destroyed Tree of Eleh, a once fabled deity which gave life to the world. Along her perilous journey, Maia encounters a number of weird and wonderful character who join her on adventure to restore the Tree to its former glory. For those of you who played the first Summoner instalment, a few familiar faces also appear along the route. Aside from the main attraction of the storyline, Summoner 2 also includes a side mission. Maia can directly influence the development of the kingdom she overlooks. By donating money and issuing political judgements, the world is shaped to fit this role, similar to the ever popular Fable franchise.
Are you aware of the fun facts this game provides? Well you will be shortly:
- At a specific point during the game, you enter a secret area known as the “Hall of Blasphemers” which looks like an office building. This is actually the office of Volatile, the developers.
- You can actually interact with the developer character models within this building as well as seeing a tornado with flying cows move past the windows. This is also the location where you can receive a large amount of money for helping to restock the fridge.
- The game was ported to the GameCube a year after release, with updated graphics and improved title of Summoner 2: A Goddess Reborn
I first picked up this title without actually playing its predecessor. An unusual move on my part, as I usually make it a rule to play games in release order, however, being the poor child that I was, I could not pass up the chance of pulling this out of the bargain bin at my local game shop for a mere 50p! (That’s less than a dollar to the folks over the pond). By far the best 50p I ever spent on a game, as Summoner 2 gave me many hours of entertainment, even through the gruelling latter stages where I was severely under levelled. Not only are the characters relatable, but with the surprising immersive story and addictive combat system, this would be a game I would very much like to revisit in the future. Fancy ploughing a fair number of hours into a much underrated PS2 RPG? Summoner 2 should definitely top that list!
Did you ever play Summoner 2? Did you even play the first Summoner game? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!