Extreme Depths 2

Creator: LAWatson

Average Rating
8.2 / 10
Average Difficulty
67.1 / 100
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Adventure (2) Needle (5) Avoidance (2) Gimmick (2) Boss (4) Special (1) domu_game (1)


  • by AntiColour

17 Reviews:

(Ratings based on 100%, otherwise it'd be around a 7 and 65 difficulty.)

It's always fun to think of the original that came before a sequel when talking about said sequel. Extreme Depths 1 is a nothing special needle game with just a hint of the charm and ingenuity that Watson's future productions would have in spades, even having the ever-present Gamemaker Lite logo in the top left, hanging over like Damocles' sword - yet, the disaster of a shitty game doesn't come is as it's rather decent, all things considered. With that game in mind, how does Extreme Depths 2 fare in comparison?

Well, it's bigger, infinitely more visually impressive, featuring more interesting and enjoyable needle as well as a few fantastic bosses to boot, not to mention a killer soundtrack that keeps the energy up at all times. In short, it is a massively superior game; in long-form, it is a game that somehow manages to expand upon its original iteration in a way that makes you wonder what in God's name could have led to the growth of the Giant Sequoia of Extreme Depths 2. Should you track the lines, the conclusion is clear: take the bricks of the original, and make them a rainbow!

The game is broken up into 8 main stages, 7 of which hold a secret each, a boss that opens the way to an extra stage (which is fully unlocked with those 7 secrets), which upon completion leads you to the TRUE final boss of the game, an outrageously good conclusion to what is already a damn good game. This description, then, acts as a mere façade of the tower that is Extreme Depths 2, and should you take a look beyond these colorful bricks, you'll find yourself a game that both revels in its simplicity and teems with creativity. On the one hand, should you pull back the layers and layers of visual flair in the main stages, you'd have a lot of super simple platforming that, while satisfying to play, does not exactly excite me, having seen more creative and enjoyable platforming elsewhere. All the same, the charm and excitement of the game elevates this simplistic platforming to a degree that allows the game to differentiate itself from more simplistic and basic needle games. All you need to take your platforming to the next level is some style, so says the adage I made up on the spot.

Even so, this "problem" of simplicity can be safely defenestrated upon entering the eight stage, though perhaps do the deed at a lower stage so that it may survive upon impact with the ground below, eight floors would be a mighty fall! In any case, the eight stage introduces more unique and interesting gimmicks, a pattern which persists well into the extra stages beyond, these making up the best bulk of the platforming in the game. I enjoyed each stage greatly, but I think my personal favorite may have to be the cherry cycles stage, as basic as it may be to say. Nonetheless, you're not starved for high quality content once you break into this part of the game.

With that said, the highlight of the game lies with it's bosses, and seeing as this comes from someone that is primarily a needle player, that should stand as VERY high praise! In particular, the final boss is beyond spectacular, being made up of three super interesting phases with (relatively) high difficulty to boot, leading to a rather tense finale that had me wiping sweat off my brow. I won't speak too much on this boss as I just don't feel like using the spoiler function (though I've already stated some spoilers here in the first place, so perhaps it's a bit of a moot point), but suffice it to say, it is definitely one of my favorite fights ever.

I have espoused the virtues of Watson as a maker time and time again, and with the release of Extreme Depths 2, I find myself leaning towards taking it further, going on to say that Watson could very well be the most consistently brilliant maker out there. No one has his consistency in quality and very few could ever hope to match the ingenious nature of his design. While he has produced none of my absolute favorite games, I would not be surprised to find him releasing something sooner rather than later which matches the quality of my absolute favorite games. Here's to you, Watson, the man of the hour and the man that, for me, defines this brilliant modern era of fangames. Congratulations on getting this game out here. The love and care you put into it is clear to me and it was well worth all the effort.

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Tagged as: Adventure Needle
[2] Likes
Rating: 9.0 90       Difficulty: 70 70
Mar 10, 2022
Extreme Depths 2 is an interesting game with a bit of an identity crisis.

The production is, as you'd expect from Watson, very polished. The trademark dropshadows and smooth, sharp geometric patterns are all over and comprise almost the entirety of the visual palette for the game, though later on a few exceptions do sprout up to add some more variety. Sound design, a concept often overlooked in fangames, is probably the better part of it, with clear, clean sound effects for basically everything.

The platforming, which is what the game opens up with and initially gives the impression of very much kind of exists. The initial impression of the game is simply a needle game, and not a very interesting one - featuring very ordinary needle for the first 7 stages, thankfully hinting at something more later as otherwise nothing in the initial gameplay is really gripping at all.

It follows this up with a really well executed final boss, and is where the game starts picking up. Visually stunning, well balanced and a lot of fun. Big fan of the combination style of the boss - which can be dangerous if not executed carefully - but this one turned out great.

Following this is the extra, and while it is called extra I'd say its most of the reason to play the game. The secret hunt part of it is very straightforward and not particularly noteworthy. The stages get more interesting mechanics, though I didn't particularly like the first two of them. Still, the changeups were appreciated, both in the aesthetics and gameplay.

Finally, the final boss(es) is the huge deal. These are very extensive boss fights, traversing back through the colors. The first of which is a straightforward, sequential affair - each segment having a distinct identity introduced in the first boss and was well done. The final final boss is a behemoth, taking something like 6-10 minutes per attempt. It is, overall, a real spectacle but also serves as somewhat of a microcosm for the game itself. The earlier phases are decent on their own, but due to the length of the boss and the mechanics, end up serving like the early stages of the game as 'something you just have to do' to progress, which definitely hinders the experience.

All that said, after giving off the impression of being a needle game to begin with, the game is really about the bosses and if you like crazy boss fights, I'd say its a must play, despite the parts that are somewhat just there. The main boss experiences are very fair and the individual phases are very well designed and were generally a lot of fun to figure out and scamper through, and all the visual and aural flair definitely goes a long way.

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Tagged as: Needle Boss
[1] Like
Rating: 8.3 83       Difficulty: 65 65
Mar 14, 2022
Rating based on 100% which I highly recommend to do if you play the game.

Needle game divised into short stages with a abrupt change in style after stage 7. I'm gonna talk about what's after first : it's honestly some of the best shit I have played. Stage 8 and extra are very creative even if I think path 2 is stupidly hard compared to the rest and bosses are really good, true final one being the best boss of all times without any exageration. The game also has an insane production and fighting true final boss is a bliss, both in gameplay and visuals.

However what prevent me to give it higher is stages 1-7. While they aren't particulary bad, the feel kinda repetitive and not that interesting, the apple gimmick being useless at best and annoying at worst. They kinda feel like the prequel with better visuals, which isn't a bad thing but I would have loved if some of them were more like the other half of the game because that's what make it worth playing.

Looking at some other reviews, I can see that some people stopped at the main game which is the biggest mistake you can do. If you choose to play this game, help yourself and play it until the very end, you won't regret it.

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[1] Like
Rating: 9.0 90       Difficulty: 70 70
Mar 11, 2022
Stage 8 is really good. The rest, however, not so much.

Here's the problem with gimmicks: If they don't add anything to the platforming, then why are they there? So, when I ask myself what the apples are actually adding to the game, the answer, aside from stage 8, is nothing. That's right. Take the apples out of the other stages and the game gets better because the screens actually flow. Currently, all they do is make the player spend extra time shooting them, often in a way that disrupts the flow of the platforming.

Again, stage 8 is great. The first screen not so much (a slowly moving apple that you actually have to pause to let pass at one point), but the rest actually change the way the platforming plays. My favourite one (though a touch frustrating at first!) was the homing apple that the player has to shoot to pause while running around to shoot other apples, opening the path to the exit. It fundamentally changes the way people play the screen; instead of focusing on finding the "easiest" path through the spikes, you're instead focused on putting the apple in a good position to shoot without blocking your path. It is, in other words, a perfect implementation of a gimmick.

You'll notice that stage 8 feels very different from the rest of the game, and it's precisely for that reason. It's actually a gimmick stage in a needle game, creating that coveted "gimmick needle" that's all the rage nowadays. Every other stage is not built around the gimmick, creating this dissonance.

The boss has WAY too many hitpoints. It makes it awful to grind and learn, because all I'm doing is developing arthritis and fatiguing myself. I think it would be significantly better if there were more i-frames between hits, with it taking less hits to kill. Frankly, the way it's currently designed ruins any motivation I might have had to grind it. It also doesn't help that it's way harder than the rest of the game.

I couldn't care less about secrets, so I didn't look for any and I won't comment on any secret content.

TL;DR: Seven stages could have been good for a nice, if a touch unambitious, needle game; one stage is very good gimmick needle; the boss after the tower is just a bullet sponge that makes grinding it a pain.

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[1] Like
Rating: 5.5 55       Difficulty: 70 70
Mar 10, 2022
This is, perhaps, the game I found to be most true to its name. On the surface level, it is a decent needle game with some production value kicking it up a notch, which feels like a homage to nang but not quite as good. Certainly a respectable needle game, even if it feels like it's right out of 2014 (which it sort of is) but not a spectacular release by any means. However, the deeper you dive from there, the better the game gets.

And therein lies my problem with it. It is hard to divorce the game from the maker, and when I think Watson, I think of games like Cute Jump, Vibe with the Gods, or Lockpick. Cute jump, building spectacularly on an existing game and exploring new concepts at a comfortable yet rapid pace; Vibe with the Gods, zapping between multiple different screens sampling all kinds of ideas before landing on the final boss, a fantastic closure taking most the previous screens into account; Lockpick, hailed as the game keypick should have been, due to not only exploring the concepts better, but more importantly dropping all the filler content. Filler is precisely the issue here; No recent Watson game feels as full of filler as this game does, including the game in which "forced waiting" is an integral core mechanic!

While I did want to get this bit of frustration out of the way, once you do get to the good parts, boy are you in for a ride. Insanely fun input soup Dustforce gimmick with a screen of non stop aerial movement; Cycle needle concepts that outdo even the current masters of the craft; And a true final boss to rival NANC2, built upon the concepts that the any% boss introduced. The game also gets a massive boost to visuals here, and it's absolutely gorgeous to look at. In every aspect, this part of the game is absolutely worth playing, and had the rest of it been up to the standard being set here, it'd easily be a 10 and would likely have earned a spot in my top 10 fangames.

But it's not.

In any capacity, I would still completely and absolutely recommend this to everyone so long as they have the patience to sit through the start to get to the end. It is still on all accounts a brilliant game, just one I have my own minor frustrations with.

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[1] Like
Rating: 9.0 90       Difficulty: 70 70
Mar 10, 2022