Cat Quest II explores a world full of cats and dogs that use magic and battle foes. Generally speaking, RPG games often contain mature content and characters. When I think of an RPG game, I typically picture a bunch of grown adults murdering each other with magic and medieval weaponry. However, in this case, things are a little different. Released for PS4 on October 25th, 2019, Cat Quest II is an open-world RPG game developed and published by The Gentlebros Pte. Ltd. Additional publishers include PQube and FlyHigh Works as well. This game explores combat and magic through the eyes of a cat and a dog, making it far more family-friendly. By exploring this land with two main characters, and completing side quests alongside the main story, you will seldom run out of things to do.
Typically I choose games for their story rather than their combat. That being said, my experience with Cat Quest II is quite the opposite. The gameplay is interactive, but I find myself a little lost in terms of story. Rather than only featuring felines like the original Cat Quest, this game includes dogs as well. The main gist of Cat Quest II is that the Cats of Felingard are combating the dogs of the Lupus Empire. Basically, it’s felines versus canines here. However, the two main questers, a cat king and a dog king, are forming a truce because they must work together to reclaim their thrones. Aside from that, there are many little side quest stories. Additionally, you do learn more about the past and the formation of the war throughout the game, but nothing is obviously clear-cut from the beginning. In most stories, cutscenes contain descriptive details and apparent themes. Here, however, things feel a little generic and vague. I do think that children would find the story entertaining enough, but adults may struggle to enjoy the plot alone.
There are your typical fantasy/RPG classes in this game, such as mages and so on, but they are all cats or dogs here. Further, the enemies are diverse as well, never getting bland or repetitive like they sometimes do in other games. There are loads of over the top puns, which may or may not be appealing to the player. I personally find them so silly that they are actually still funny at times, but others may find the puns annoying. The cats’ personalities resemble an array of “cattitudes” I see in my real-life experiences with my feline friends. This world is full of adventuring pets whose owners appear nowhere to be found. Maybe questing is what our cats and dogs are actually getting into when we’re not home?
The gameplay is definitely Cat Quest II’s strong point. The combat is engaging, the controls are as smooth as can be, and I honestly did not experience a single glitch. Truthfully, RPGs are not typically my style. As a result, I find myself strategically button-mashing while battling in this game. But that’s only because I am terrible at battling. As a result, I admittedly found this game a little drab when I first began playing it. At first, Cat Quest II’s most appealing aspect was its adorable cat and dog implementation. However, progressing further and upgrading my gear helps me enjoy it much more now. I try to review games without bias to my personal taste, so despite my preference for story over combat, I do find the battles more engaging. In fact, since I do not love RPGs, the fact that this game is growing on me really says a lot about the gameplay. I strongly prefer this battling style to a Pokemon-style of battling, for example.
The options allow you to control which buttons you want to use for your magic spells. You can set any spell to R1, L1, R2, and L2 for each character. When playing solo, you can hit triangle to switch between characters. However, when playing co-op, you can team up and wipe enemies out much quicker. I tried playing both solo and co-op with my partner and can honestly say there are benefits to both. Playing solo allows for more freedom within your arsenal, but as I said, co-op helps get things done quicker.
Something I did not originally expect from this game is its open-world implementation. For some reason, I was under the impression that the worlds were a little more 3-D. Instead, it feels like you are actually walking on the game map; the same map that you use to locate different areas of the world. In short, the world is essentially just a close-up version of the world map. This is not a bad thing, though, as I actually find it rather fitting. The only negative is that I do think this makes it more appropriate for mobile, Switch, and Steam rather than PS4 for Xbox One. I have a pretty large television and I still find myself feeling like everything is really far away. However, on a close-up screen, it all feels proportionate. Sitting closer definitely helps with the console version.
In terms of interactions, there are little statues strategically scattered throughout the lands that allow your characters to replenish their health. There are also multiple upgrade houses where Kit-Cat (this game is full of cheesy puns) helps you upgrade your gear in exchange for gold. Regardless of your quest assignment, cats and dogs get equal treatment in this game. So, you can upgrade each character according to your own preferences. Enemies are present in almost every location, and side quests are also frequently available. I recommend participating in these side quests so you can level up more quickly as many battles are difficult without proper preparation. Additionally, there are little books that allow you to restart missions and hop back in time if you regret taking something on. Not only that but after a game over, you will warp back to a recovery statue without any damage. While fighting gets difficult, the game is otherwise rather forgiving.
I personally find the graphical style endearing. I think the cartoonish look makes it as adorable as the title does. I’ve seen criticism about the graphics, but I strongly disagree with critics on this aspect. The colors compliment each other nicely, and the natural greens emphasize the game’s fantasy aesthetic. The character classes are all distinguishable by their clothing. These questing cats and dogs each have their own unique, cutesy appearances. Each outfit has its own aesthetic vibe that typically matches the character’s personality. The weapons and clothing upgrades look unique and are easy to tell apart due to their graphical designs. Everything looks smooth and clear, not lagging or getting choppy during cutscenes or gameplay.
There is definitely a change that occurs in aesthetic appeal between the kingdom and the dungeons. The kingdom is bright and cheery, but the dungeons are dark and dreary. I would ask you to please excuse that obvious rhyme, but if you are going to play this game, you may want to get grow more accustomed to the cheesy language. In the case of this quest, the dogs actually do have the right to be annoyed with the cats for this reason. Anyway, the color contrast between the outer world and the underground world is incredibly fitting. It keeps the game from getting boring or feeling like it is too much of the same. There are deep blues, greens, and grays covering the dungeons, really immersing you into this dark world.
The music is very peppy and fitting for a fantasy game. Recently, I’ve been reviewing games with mellow, calming soundtracks, but the music in Cat Quest II gets you pumped and ready to fight. I feel that the music generally fits the mood for whatever is going on at the time, as the game is pretty upbeat and busy. The sound effects in the game fit well with the tunes, not too loud or too quiet. Of course, you can change this if you prefer one being louder than the other. Personally, I like the music to be a little quieter than the sound effects are. Battle sound effects come off just as dramatic and less-than-subtle as you would expect them to. There are also cute noises from the characters, like purrs and meows. The main reason I chose Cat Quest II is because of my love for cats, so, I believe this is a positive aspect, but dog lovers are sure to find the purring wholesome as well.