I picked up Siren 2 on an excursion to Japan last month. I really should finish Ghost Hunter first (which is actually a much better game than I was expecting, though it’s not perfect), but got hooked on Siren 2 almost immediately and haven’t put it down yet.
If you followed my Siren odyssey, you might remember that my chief complaint with the game was that it really failed to communicate its crazy ideas to the player, which made the game far more difficult than it needed to be. Still, for those few players willing to endure the initially punishing experience, Siren really paid off.
For Siren 2, it’s clear that the developers have taken this sort of feedback to heart. They are trying really hard to fix their game without compromising the original aspects of its design. Each level now starts with a series of hints explaining the unique features of that level. The game also opens with a set of tutorial levels that are far more extensive than its predecessor. Further steps have been taken to keep the player from getting frustrated, including a new alarm system that warns you when enemies are close.
But all of these changes haven’t decreased the difficulty level significantly. The game is still tough and pretty unforgiving, and each level is still home to a lot of interesting design ideas. Fortunately, the difficulty comes from the game design rather a lack of information. The game is much better about guiding the player through each level, but it doesn’t let that interfere with its core challenge format. I think it’s another great example of challenging the player to perform a task rather than challenging them to decipher the correct task to perform.