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Review: LOVE 2: Kuso

At a Glance

This game is recommended!
While there are many great games out there, this is one manages to be good fun and stay fairly true to Christian moral values.

If you're looking to add a new game to your collection, consider this one!

ESRB Rating: NR - Not Rated
My Rating: Everyone
Genre: Platformer
License: Commercial
Release Year: 2017
Review Published On: September 16th, 2020
Played on: Thaddeus

Available from:

Itch.IO, Steam

Save System:

Your progress is saved* at the end of the current level. However, only one game can be saved* at a time, so you need to finish your current game before starting another.

You can pause at any time by pressing ESC*.

Summary of
Major Issues:

As with the previous game, touching anything white or falling off the screen instantly kills your character. This is shown as a quick animation, and then you resume from the last checkpoint as if nothing happened.

Screenshots

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Running in slow motion

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Cut down to size

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Exploring a dark cavern



Game Overview

LOVE was very aptly named, as it was a fun little love letter to the simple and fun platforming games of yore. Originally, followed this trend in a tongue in cheek way: it was known as Kuso, which is a Japanese interjection indicating that you're frustrated with something (sort of like how we might say "darn it!" when something goes wrong). This is fitting, because while LOVE 2 is still a very fun game, you're going to lose many more lives* in these new levels than you ever did in the original.

Like its predecessor, LOVE 2 has you control a little person who's just little six pixels* tall. Your only goal is to get this character to the other side of each room, but you can only touch objects that are colored: coming into contact with anything white is usually instant death. I say usually because there are a few exceptions, such as platforms that make your character bounce around or the new extra life* tokens you can collect. Don't worry too much though: the levels are structured in such a way that it's very clear which white surfaces are dangerous, so there aren't any unfair surprises lurking around.

Now, if you're familiar with LOVE, this might sound like LOVE 2 is nothing more than a glorified expansion pack, but that's not really the case. A number of new features have been added, including new obstacle types, new game modes, local multiplayer, and an optional DLC* that lets your character wear a spiffy blue hat. You've also been give the ability to slow down time on demand -- a feature that makes it a lot easier to navigate some of the more difficult obstacles.

If you enjoyed LOVE or just like old school* platformers in general, this is definitely a game to add to your collection.

Points of Interest

Six game modes
In this game, the various game modes almost translate into different levels of difficulty. Unlimited, Arcade, and Hard modes, for example, are identical to one another in every way but one: the number of lives* you start with. Arcade mode gives you 125 lives*, Hard mode leaves you with only 10, and Unlimited Mode gives you as many as you need.

By contrast, Speedrun Mode focuses on how quickly you can clear a set of levels, Level Select Mode allows you to play any one level, and Endless Mode simply continues until you run out of lives.

By the by, if you liked LOVE's YOLO* mode, it's still around -- it was just moved into the Level Select Mode. You can enable it when selecting a level.
41 levels in total
When you start a new game, you can choose between three level sets. The 16 levels from the first game have been retooled to work with the upgraded engine*, and are the first option. You can also choose to only play the 25 new levels, or you can also choose to play all 41 levels in a single marathon game. There's an achievement* for completing each set of levels, so you'll want to replay this game a few times to earn them all.
Fancy hats
The Hat DLC* isn't required to play LOVE 2, nor does it really add very much to the game. It's primarily there as a way to tip the game's developer, and in return you'll get to wear a blue hat. Unlike your character, these hats don't despawn* when you die. Instead, they just fall to the ground, showing how far you managed to progress in the level before you made a fatal mistake. If you're struggling with a level, this can get pretty ridiculous.
Steam community features
Like most Steam games these days, there's a series of Steam trading cards* available for you to collect. There are also 26 achievements*, most of which require you to perform some clever or unusual feats during play. You might need to jump between rotating propeller blades, use the paths less traveled, or just earn a high score at the end of your run. Regardless, collecting every achievement* will be a tricky ordeal in and of itself.
This makes LOVE obsolete
Probably the biggest downside to this title is that it incorporated the entire first game into itself. This means that there's little reason to purchase or play through LOVE, as LOVE 2 has the same content* with better features.

Concerns and Issues

Very mild violence
As with most games made in a simplistic pixel* art style, there are various animations that play when your character dies. Most of them are unremarkable, and just give you a few seconds to breathe before resuming play.

On a slightly different note, once you've finished your current level set, you'll be shown a screen that ranks your performance. This screen also shows every single life* you lost falling out of a chute and dying again. If you've made a lot of mistakes, this can depict a disturbingly large number of characters getting killed en masse.