I wanna kill the Needle Games 2(共同開発)
Creators: Sandsky0, Lemonxreaper, Vormanax
Maybe it's good commentary on the state of needle games when a game that collects screens from other ones within the genre almost exclusively features screens that are a collection of the usual jumps (let me refer to them as "named jumps" for the rest of this review).
There is nothing inherently wrong with named jumps. I think most people would agree with me that many of the best needle games out there are ones where gates, diagonals, diamonds etc. are utilized in interesting ways. I would go as far as to say some jumps such as 2 block planes or v-align corners are fun in themselves, in moderation.
Now saves that are just collections of named jumps without adding anything is something I have less respect for. One example from early on in KtNG2 is the screen from "A147" and there are unfortunately many more screen like that in the game where you wonder what made them stick out enough to derserve a representation. Overall I guess there are more screens that fit into the former category and a few that actually feature non-named jumps.
Like most long needle games KtNG2 is an excellent game to keep as a long-term project to measure your skill development if you're an inexperienced player or to boost your ego and delude yourself over how well you can do named jumps if you're experienced. The game also features very little claustrophobic and awkward design and bar a few pointless squished segments I think it generally moves on the right side of the precision-line.
Sandsky did a very good job with the visuals in this game. In some cases he kept the original sprites and for other screens he altered the tiles or backgrounds to make it clearer. Being able to see your character properly is crucial for a good needle experience and there are only a few questionable background choices (most notably a couple completely black ones) but the game looks nice and clean overall and it certainly helps to incentivise progress.
The game has a fairly smooth difficulty curve. Because most of the medley stages mainly feature the same style of needle I reckon most players will have the same trouble spots for the most part. A few screens early on seem unnecessarily hard and killed the game's speed for me but a lot of the time it's completely coincidental what you get stuck on in fangames and I don't think you should assume getting stuck collerates to the difficulty balance being bad if it's only one instance.
There are four stages of screens from other games, after getting past them you reach three custom stages made by HectorPaddy, LemonxReaper and Sandsky. Hector and Lemon's stages are definitely a welcome break from the medley stages. Overall these three stages are much lighter on the named jumps and I especially like Lemon's stage which has a couple saves with really smooth, fluid gameplay.
In summary my biggest gripe with the game is the medley choices. I can't say if the overrepresentation of named jumps is because it's the design Sandsky likes the most or if it reflects on how few needle games actually aspire to be original. Thanks to the good visuals, game concept and general lack of awkward design this is still a must-play fangame if you're into needle games.
Solid needle medley game, there's not really much to say. The segments picked are probably my biggest issue with this game. Some are really basic and short and they don't seem to bring anything interesting to the game. There's also some issues with difficulty balance, Danger 10 Makers is the only one worth a mention imo.
I'm probably one of the few who didn't hate the True Stage. In fact, I actually found it to be easier than Stage 5 except for screens 1, 6 and 7(which isn't hard if you do the last jump properly). Still, it's easily the most inconsistent stage in terms of difficulty so probably not worth doing it aside from challenge purposes.