Inside Pulse 12

Demo Impressions: Holy Invasion of Privacy, Badman! 2 (Sony PSP)

Holy Invasion Of Privacy, Badman! 2: Time to Tighten Up Security!
Developer: SCEI/Acquire
Publisher: NIS America, Inc.
Genre: Strategy
Release Date: March 2010

This past July, NIS released Holy Invasion Of Privacy, Badman! What Did I Do To Deserve This?, which charged you with raising an army of monsters to squash any heroes who tried to invade Badman’s lair and drag him to the surface. It implemented aspects of different genres to form an unusual strategy and God game hybrid, all wrapped up in retro graphics and irreverent humor laden with pop culture and gaming references. Since then, I’ve been awaiting news on the sequel. Recently, a demo for said sequel was released on the PSN.

Like in the last game, you take on the role of God of Destruction who for whatever reason serves our old pal the simpering craven Badman and manages the ecosystem in his dungeon. The story mode is longer and broken up into eight chapters, though only the first area is accessible in the demo. This time around, the ultimate goal is to raise Badman’s palace above the ocean’s surface. There’s also a whole new mode, Badman’s Chamber, which is a free-for-all sandbox for you to tinker with an ecosystem at your leisure without worrying about heroes coming in to stomp all over it. Unfortunately, this mode is locked in the demo, so I couldn’t test it out. Hiding the porn stash, Badman?

Some new features have been added. The monster evolution chain has some new links on it, as they can now mutate depending on their living conditions. Contrary to popular belief (or, you know, what tends to happen in real life – good thing this is a video game!), scarcity of food does not in fact cause monsters to go extinct. Rather, they take on another form to adapt to their environment, which each monster type having three mutant variations: basic, abnormal, and giant. How do they detect these changes? Why, by the deaths of their friends. Mother Nature – or really, in this case, you the God of Destruction – can be quite cruel. Forms can change depending on whether there are many predators around to prey on them or if food is hard to come by. But if they die at the hands of any dastardly heroes or your unholy pickax, they revert to their basic form. In addition, if the monster cannot acclimate to their environment, they’ll change into a pure breed, which cannot reproduce. As you might guess, this is not a good thing.

Two new hero classes have been added: the hunter and the alchemist. Hunters set traps: baited traps, which can poison or kill a monster (or heal them if the meat is rotten – silly heroes), and barrel bombs, which explode and deal damage in a wide area. The alchemists summon creatures and attack with stalagmites. Oh, and they’re a giant pain in the…well, insert body part of choice here (though that can also apply to any hero). Heroes can also set save flags, which let them revive at the spot the flag is set should they bite the dust. That lovely cycle continues until the flag is destroyed.

That’s not to say the almighty God of Destruction gets left in the cold in terms of arsenal. In addition to your little friend the pickax, you now also have the Dungeonquake at your disposal. Dungeonquake stops mutations, temporarily stuns heroes, and destroys traps they set. As you can see, it’s a great equalizer if your legion is getting overwhelmed. However, it consumes Dig Power each time, which limits potential for abuse of this feature – purely hypothetically speaking, of course.

According to the official website, if you have clear data from the first game, you can unlock new challenges the second game. Of course, in the demo you can’t save or access data, so what these challenges entail – and what’s in Badman’s Chambers – remains to be seen until the game’s release in March. The game will be released both on the PSN and in UMD form, with the latter containing the first game as well for those who missed it the first time around. Overall, the sequel feels more polished than the original, and I, for one, look forward to another bout as God of Destruction and being able to tinker more with the new features.