I've put off doing this for a long time, especially because I've already started a thread about the game.
As stated, I play S2 about once a year. Sometimes all the way through, sometimes the right ending, sometimes the Clive Elza story, sometimes til Jowy leaves. On this playthrough I gathered all 108 and finished the silly chef story.
That said, something very strange happened on this play-through. I... didn't enjoy it as much. I'm not sure why, just that I found myself far less emotionally invested in it.
Let's examine the highs and lows:
Good intro, smart way to introduce heroes and villains at the same time.
Cleaning the Mercenary Fort felt kind of silly and out of place, as always.
I'm annoyed at how quickly Luca is able to tear through East Muse without being noticed. I'm annoyed that I can travel all over the world map without a single trace of the massive army he must have mustered.
Found the Cyndar Ruins surprisingly unchallenging on this playthrough, despite having @%^ing Millie in my party.
Hilltop conference is nicely done. I always find it jarring how short the political scenes in this game are, but they are very effective at being true to politics without being boring.
Solder: "Highland slaughtered our border guards and is headed for the city!"
Gustav: "I'm sure they won't attack don't worry. I'm an idiot."
Bye Annabelle. Your scene with Victor continues to be among the most touching in the entire series.Act 2
Confused why Jowy isn't dead.
Confused why Luca would replace Solon with a known traitor. I know its explained in Suikogaiden, but it should have been here, as well.
Neclord runs away and magic giant monster appears in his stead without even seeing him before. Always bothers me.
Yay, my fav castle of the series, yay!
I hate you Bob.
I hate you Chaco.
I strongly dislike you Fitcher.
So despite a treaty, Kiba and Klaus still moved in to sack Two-River. And later on we should consider them good guys? Strange.
Why doesn't Luca sack Muse the way he did East Muse? What happened to Luca's army during this portion of the game? Why is it not being used?
Why doesn't Luca sack Radat the way he did East Muse? I'm sure his motivation is genocidal? It's a goof by the writers, I think.Act 3
Ha! Take that Luca! You je-.... wait a second. No, I'm not supposed to feel sorry for you! Stop looking pitiful! Stop it!
Good glad that's over, no the end pretty much.
Jowy sure is being beaten badly. Shoulda let Luca kill the State army and then assassinated him, after all, you're much better at that than warfare.
Culgan and Seed sure seem like swell guys. Too bad they backed the wrong horse.
Final scene with Jowy and Jillia only works to re-enforce my belief that he loved loved loved her.
The end felt weak to me, as it always does. Is the Rune of Beginning one now? Has the Black Sword rune split from Jowy and joined its twin? Or does Jowy still have it? Or is the two of them living in peace supposed to signify that it is one because it is in them who are best friends?
It made me really sad talking to the villagers in Saja and hearing about how everyone hated Jowy.