My Lord 2 is a strategy/puzzle game released on the PSN network on April 29, 2010 and is a sequel to the equally creatively titled Holy Invasion of Privacy Badman! It would seem that title similarities caused this game to be changed upon release in America. It is amusing that all this attention was called to this rather unusual niche game featuring tower defense like gameplay, humorous dialogue based on fantasy clichés, and some other random quirks that help as well as hurt the game.
In the beginning, the Demon Overlord Badman calls the God of Destruction (you) back from his eternal sleep. The villain proceeds to complain about the humans that seek to invade his home and capture him, just because he is trying to conquer the world! Some people are so unfair; I bet his name has something to do with their hostility.
After some helpful tutorials, you take up your Godly pickaxe to defend Badman by spawning monsters designed to protect his underground lair from the invading humans. There really isn’t much in the way of actual story, but you do get amusing insight into the human interlopers and the demon lord himself from the funny descriptions and dialogue present throughout the game.
The visuals in this game are highly reminiscent of similar retro throwback games like Half Minute Hero and specifically recall the look of Sega Master system games. The sprites are lacking in detail and always appear pixilated, and that’s why I love them! Zooming out on the entire underground doesn’t do details of the monsters any favor, but it does play into strategies against the humans.
Badman looks like a cross between a vampire and a demon-like thing, cliché city but very functional given his personality. The various monsters that you can spawn, from the basic slimemoss to the Lilith to the Wookieman all possess clever details that work to differentiate them from each other. While you have no control over how they move or attack, their shapes do help you to plan out the way your tunnels look, so as to ensure that invaders will run into the various types of defenders, meeting a swift end.
The similarly old school attack animations are amusing as well, from the magic fire of the Lilith to the many over-the-top attacks of the invading heroes. You might not have the time to appreciate those, given that you are trying your best to exterminate the foes who use them.
Music is fine but there isn’t enough of it when you consider the length of each mission, the occasional tedium of your tasks, and waiting for the heroes to arrive. At least there is some new tunes for such invasions. I am fond of the urgency to the theme when Badman is captured. It just irks you knowing that the humans found their way to him, and you probably can’t do much to stop their escape, given that they no doubt destroyed all your defenders on the way down. You’ll sure be trying to raise a quick offense though, and the music will be right there with you, taunting you.
In this game, the player manages an ecosystem as a means of raising monsters to defend the evil lord in battle. This is accomplished by using the aforementioned pickaxe in strategic ways through your Dig Power. At the beginning of each stage, you have a set amount of this power, with each use taking 1 away from the meter. If you just tunnel haphazardly, you’ll soon find yourself out of dig power with no ability to replenish it until the next stage. This is where strategy comes in.
The first time you play the game, the best techniques for monster growth will likely elude you. As explained in the tutorials, the key is to use specific paths for each slimemoss to traverse. This is because their ability to spawn new and stronger monsters is affected by how far they travel before they automatically turn around, spreading their nutrients. Nutrient deposits and growth through monster presence goes part in parcel with keeping overall short passages with certain designs as an essential strategy. This is key to getting stronger monsters before the heroes arrive. I was surprised at the “depth” of this, and the system is pretty innovative once you get a grasp of it.
As you learn more about the concepts of basic monsters playing a key role in the development of larger monsters, the player starts to get a feel for the whole ecosystem concept that the entire game is based around. Eventually humans will arrive seeking to capture the demon lord. Upon their arrival, you place Badman’s throne away in the dungeon (deeper the better usually) and continue raising monsters to kill these heroes before they are able to capture their quarry. They have a lot of special attacks, but there are various techniques which certain monsters and traps can do to address each area. If they make it to the throne, they seize the lord and head back to the surface, during which they can no longer use special attacks. Better hope your minions close in before they reach the surface, otherwise it’s game over. While the situation with the humans sounds fairly easy to deal with (trial and error no doubt, right?) the game has an unfortunate flaw that will really test your patience, nearly breaking the game.
The biggest problem is in the monster A.I. Similar to other games, you have no control over any of the monsters you raise, while unfortunately will come to annoy you when the enemy attacks. Even if you have very strong monsters, you cannot give them commands to defend Badman. You have to pretty much hope that they happen to wander into the path of the heroes or near the area Badman is placed.
The reason this flaw isn’t game breaking is due to the randomness of the enemy A.I. Sometimes they just seem to wander in all manner of directions, allowing your minions to close in... eventually. One should be glad that capriciousness enters into the equation with the enemy as well; you’ll just be wishing it happened more often.
An additional mode called Badman’s Chamber allows you to play this game without worry of invading heroes, as you control whether or not they invade. You can also set the total dig power (I go for 9999 - infinite!) and types of monsters that will spawn from the soil. What is basically a free type of scenario is actually more fun than the main game, if only because of the huge armies you can spawn and laugh with as they easily take down the heroes that so annoyed you in the story mode.
Challenge is wholly inconsistent. Some of the early levels are quite easy as long as you mount any kind of offense. By the 4th world, the multitude of heroes in each stage will practically ensure your defeat unless luck is on your side, in the form of random A.I behavior of both the heroes and your minions. It’s really annoying as this game had great potential until this truth reared its ugly head.
My Lord 2 has a lot of good ideas, both for strategy game fans and retro gaming fans alike. Throw in some 8-bit styling and similar humor and I expected to be playing a great game. And I was until the above problems made themselves known. Devs, I know you have a good idea here: a clever take on the strategy genre with plenty of personality of its own. Fix the A.I problems in the next game and we could really have something unique.
- Ugly Bob