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 Diner Dash 2
It’s not news to anyone out there that I am a “Diner Dash” fanatic, so you would think that news of a sequel would have me jumping for joy. On the contrary, I was apprehensive. You see, I am not a big fan of sequels, in my opinion they all fail at recapturing their original charm and magic.
That having been said, I was full of mixed emotions and a ton of questions popped into my head.

1.Could it be as great as the first one that had me hooked?
2. Could it be as challenging, and perfectly frustrating?
3. By god, could it be as thoroughly addictive?
First, here’s some background for those of you who might have missed my first “Diner Dash” review. I lived and breathed the game, it had me hooked for months trying to beat it, and when I did beat it, I did the happy dance!

In “Diner Dash 2: Restaurant Rescue”, Flo returns to help a few friends with their restaurants. A greedy tycoon (think Donald Trump) named Mr. Big is going to demolish four restaurants in order to build a shopping mall, unless of course they raise enough money to stop him. Flo comes to the rescue of her friends, it’s up to her to run these restaurants and defeat the evil nemesis Mr. Big. All four restaurants have a theme to make things new and exciting- an outside café, a pizza parlor, a Tex-Mex joint, and a Japanese place. The gameplay remains the same as in “Diner Dash” so if you were comfortable then, you will be comfortable now with the point, click and drag controls.

This time around there is four new customer types:

THE FAMILY- Mom, Dad , child and baby. They will need some extra attention. The baby will need a high chair and he will occasionally spill his drink and you will have to mop up the mess. If they don’t receive the right amount of care, the baby will consistently cry and annoy the other customers. Unhappiness is demonstrated by losing heart points, smoke coming from their heads, or of them storming out without paying.

THE CELL PHONE ADDICTS: These are business men who are always talking on their cell phones even when they are eating. Their constant jibber jabbering annoys people around them, especially the bookworms which leads me into….

THE BOOKWORMS: The bookworms remind me of the seniors we all remember so well from “DD1”. They are slow to order, they linger over their food, and are bad tippers. The only difference is they aren’t as patient and sweet as the seniors. They get annoyed very quickly at the slightest noise and they storm out in a huff. (Tip, wait to seat them last at the podium so nobody will disturb them.)

THE JOGGERS: These are really cute old ladies which I refer to as mall walkers. They come into the restaurants still jogging, wearing workout clothes with headphones on.(Tip, seat them with the cell phone addicts, they can’t hear them with the headphones on.)

Gone are the food critic, the hotshots and the young boys. But the business women , the young girls and the seniors are all back, which makes for a very eclectic bunch of patrons.

Upgrading each restaurant is a little different this time, for each level you beat you will be given 2 decorating options. If you reach the expert goal for that level you will be given 3 options. Tables, chairs, walls, counters, windows, lights and accessories are all things that you can customize. There are numerous possibilities so you can play the game many times and have your restaurants looking different each time.
While playing “DD1” I sometimes wished Flo had an extra employee to help out with all the different demands thrown at me, - well “Diner Dash 2” delivered (or should I say served) me my wish. In some more challenging levels, you will be given a phone. You can use it to call for a lil help, it is a choice between a busboy, a bartender, a hostess at the podium, and a performer; piano player or singer. They only stay for about 2 minutes though, so use them wisely. These helpers are great and really helped me through some tough shifts at times!

You can tell a lot of thought went into making “Diner Dash 2 “ feel different than it’s predecessor. The animations look better and I really enjoyed the expressions of the characters and how they changed according to your gameplay. The music is new and what I found hilarious was the fact that even though each restaurant has their own unique background music if you listen real closely you can hear some notes from the old tune of DD1.
So, after all that has been said and done, did my opinion of sequels change? A resounding NO. Even with all the add-ons and bells and whistles, “Diner Dash 2” fell flat for me. It felt shallow and it was way, way too easy to beat. The ending was anti-climatic (don’t worry, no spoilers here) the “surprise” ending stage was pretty predictable, even the casual diner dasher would have guessed it after about 10 minutes. The first game took me months of blood , sweat and tears to finish and even then I beat it by the skin of my teeth. I finished “DD2” in under 3 days achieving expert scores in every level. I say this without bragging here, the new game was made too easy. Some would speculate this change was made due to the absence of the collaboration of the company “Gamelab” on this project. Hmm?
After finishing this time around, I was curious to see if maybe just maybe the new game wasn’t easier , maybe it was because I had become a better diner dasher. No chance, I still can’t get expert scores. Humbly, I report the original game is just as challenging as ever.
So I am saddened to report that “Diner Dash 2 “ has failed to recapture it’s original charm and magic for me. It won’t leave you hungry for more and isn’t that what a good game is supposed to do.

Ladies and Gentlemen the kitchen is now closed .

Get Diner Dash 2 Here

Graphics C
Sound C-
Pickup & Play A+
Overall Fun C-

Posted by oxyjen on Sep 22, 2006


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