Nobody could tell by the ending of Lost Planet what the sequel would be about. It couldn't really be considered a cliffhanger, and Capcom could have easily left the series as it was. Some consider the story in LP2 shallow and/or non-inclusive when compared to the story in LP. Criticism was also leveled at the sequel's plot delivery, but LP's contrived story was by no means genius delivery; it was all so disoriented and disjointed that it took me several play-throughs to "get," and I'm betting I'm not the only one.

Then, there's that incredibly disappointing, pathetic dweeb/nerd/geek end-boss who should have been thrown straight into the trash from the drawing board. As a longtime Capcom fan, the end-boss in LP was one of many areas I thought Capcom had dropped the ball on. Why did he look like a Japanese businessman (affectionately referred to as "salarymen" there)? His face was irritating beyond belief, his glasses were dumb as hell, and his voice-over was just as bad. Sure, his VS might have been a mechanical design triumph compared to the other VS types in the game, but it's a wonder how its uninspired, stupid pilot passed inspection. Perhaps the story suffered because it was tied to such a lame character?

What You Say And How You Say It
The thing here is presentation and approach. LP2's epic story is actually a big step forward for the series, with reveals more important than Nevec's plans to sacrifice E.D.N. III for T-Energy
in the previous LP. How is that? You see, the events that came to a head in LP2 were the result of Nevec experimentation gone bad. Cloning, Akrid sentries, and other experimental Akrid hybrid weapons fully portray Nevec as an evil entity parallel with Umbrella from the Resident Evil series. Subtle presentation and approach, however, trivialized the intended scale of its biggest reveals. In-game happenings and environmental mood show the reveals, but lack of dramatization emphasis and voice-over enthusiasm just don't pull in you into them.

The cloning of Yuri is arguably the best example of this; a reveal so easily missed that even I only noticed it after a double-digit number of play-throughs I was seeing a whole new part of the game I had somehow missed before. How could the return of a pivotal character from the previous game be missed so easily, so many times? Is it the lack of facial expression in LP2 compared to the first game? Does the multi-player aspect of the game distract players from the plot? Whatever the case may be, though, it rings a bell with RE fans familiar with the cloning of bio-weapons in that series. From there, the series could easily go on a path based on Nevec's Akrid experiments. It's a possibility that isn't too entirely far from reality, and one that sounds as intriguing as the path RE took.

"Worship And Tribute"
LP2's nostalgic approach to story and design makes it appealing, though. So many parts of both remind me of timeless cartoon classic G.I. Joe. LP2 is a lot like G.I. Joe in design when you look specifically at character design options, how bad guys use monsters, and how there are armaments specific to each of the sides (factions). The list of G.I. Joe characters I've made with the options available range from the awesome Snake Eyes and Alley Viper to the nostalgic Bazooka and BBQ!

Tons of fan service, with character cameos from Resident Evil and even Dead Rising! It's great to see that Capcom is still doing the cross-promotion with their MT Framework-based characters like they did back with CPS-II-based titles. It's crazy seeing eclectic teams of elite soldiers with Frank West or Albert Wesker in the middle, and their lack of gear in water and/or space stages makes them look superhuman. And here we thought Frank West was just an ordinary man! Why they changed his appearance is beyond me, but at least now we get to play as a fully-clothed Frank! The completely-overrated, 70's porn-star-looking idiot Wesker looks the same, and it's hard to tell if he has been altered from his original form like Frank west was. I've always thought Wesker was an overrated villain with no particularly distinguishing features, but it's still cool that you can use him in LP2 and then go right back into using him in RE5.

The only thing missing here is some form of either Dante or Nero from Devil May Cry 4; after all, they are from an MT Framework-based title, so the transition would be quick and painless. There are also a ton of different titles that bring you back to forgotten classics from the golden age of Capcom franchises like Armored Warriors and surprisingly the ultra-rare Battle Circuit. Speaking of which, VS design in LP2 seems to have taken more inspiration from Cyberbots and Armored Warriors. There are tons of different homage designs possible, but here are some of mine...

Viper (G.I. Joe)
Nevec C B (Head), Mercenary B B (Torso), Nevec A B (Legs), Jungle Pirate A B (Back), Machine Gun 2 (Standard), Hand Cannon SP (Short Range), Rifle II (Long Range), Rocket Launcher SP (Heavy Weapons), Shield 1 (Support), Hand Grenade II (Normal), Gum Grenade II (Gum), Disc Grenade II (Disc), Dummy Grenade II (Release), Regen Grenade (Plasma).
Alley Viper (G.I. Joe)
Nevec C B (Head), Nevec C B (Torso), Nevec C B (Legs), Waysider Femme Fatale (Back), Gun Sword (Standard), Shotgun SP (Short Range), Rifle II (Long Range), Rocket Launcher SP (Heavy Weapons), Shield SP II (Support), Hand Grenade (Normal), Gum Grenade (Gum), Disc Grenade (Disc), Dummy Grenade (Release), Regen Grenade (Plasma).
Night Viper (G.I. Joe)
Mercenary B A (Head), Mercenary B A (Torso), Waysider A B (Legs), Nevec B A (Back), Energy Gun (Standard), Shotgun II (Short Range), Rifle (Long Range), Plasma Cannon SP (Heavy Weapons), V Device (Support), Hand Grenade (Normal), Gum Grenade (Gum), Disc Grenade (Disc), Dummy Grenade (Release), Regen Grenade (Plasma).
Deep Six (G.I. Joe)
Sea Dog B (Head), Sea Dog B (Torso), Sea Dog B (Legs), Sea Dog B (Back), Machine Gun (Standard), Shotgun II (Short Range), Plasma Gun (Long Range), Plasma Cannon SP (Heavy Weapons), V Device SP (Support), Hand Grenade III (Normal), Gum Grenade III (Gum), Disc Grenade III (Disc), Dummy Grenade III (Release), Regen Grenade (Plasma).
Blowtorch/Fire Viper (G.I. Joe)
Nevec D B (Head), Nevec A B (Torso), Nevec C B (Legs), Nevec D B (Back), Gun Sword SP (Standard), Flame-thrower (Short Range), Rifle SP (Long Range), Rocket Launcher SP (Heavy Weapons), Injection Gun (Support), Incendiary Grenade (Normal), Spark Grenade (Gum), Disc Grenade (Disc), Dummy Grenade (Release), Regen Grenade (Plasma).
Desert Scorpion (G.I. Joe)
Mercenary C B (Head), Mercenary A B (Torso), Nevec A B (Legs), Nevec B B (Back), Machine Gun II (Standard), Akrid Launcher (Short Range), Rifle II (Long Range), Rocket Launcher SP (Heavy Weapons), V Device (Support), Hand Grenade (Normal), Gum Grenade (Gum), Disc Grenade (Disc), Dummy Grenade (Release), Regen Grenade (Plasma).
Blizzard (G.I. Joe)
Mercenary C C (Head), Carpetbagger A C (Torso), Nevec A C (Legs), Bagabundo A D (Back), Machine Gun II (Standard), Shotgun (Short Range), Rifle II (Long Range), Hand Cannon SP (Heavy Weapons), Injection Gun (Support), Hand Grenade III (Normal), Gum Grenade III (Gum), Disc Grenade III (Disc), Dummy Grenade III (Release), Regen Grenade (Plasma).
Dante (Devil May Cry 4)
Bug Rancher D (Head), Mountain Pirate D (Torso), Bug Rancher D (Legs), Carpetbagger Femme Fatale D (Back), Gun Sword SP (Standard), Shotgun SP (Short Range), Plasma Gun II (Long Range), Hand Cannon SP (Heavy Weapons), Shield SP II (Support), Incendiary Grenade (Normal), Chameleon Grenade (Gum), Shuriken (Disc), Firecracker (Release), Warp Grenade (Plasma).
Wayne (Lost Planet Colonies)
Waysider B C (Head), Ex-NEVEC C (Torso), Waysider A (Legs), Waysider B (Back), Machine Gun (Standard), Shotgun (Short Range), Rifle (Long Range), Rocket Launcher (Heavy Weapons), V Device (Support), Hand Grenade (Normal), Gum Grenade (Gum), Disc Grenade (Disc), Dummy Grenade (Release), Plasma Grenade (Plasma).

For a new-school game, though, Lost Planet 2 does a remarkable job recreating the multi-player drop-in that made timeless classics of Alien VS Predator and Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom. True, with 2-D/3-D comparisons aside, they are better-made games overall, but LP2's 4-player drop-in system still delivers chaotic fun much in the same vein; it's a lot of fun just dropping into a game alongside three other players you've never met. There are even branching paths like in those aforementioned Capcom Golden Age titles, an they're simultaneously accessible by each player. What this means is that two and two can take a path each, or three can take a path while one goes another on his own. Some argue this particular aspect of the game and act as if it doesn't exist, but Good Job Awards prove it does. Iced-over landscapes and thick forests are sandwiched between the cold industrial-themed stages, and it really brings back memories from the areas in Alien VS Predator. Especially the sewer area and train ride stages! It really adds a lot to the game when you put it together with everything else they've packed into each stage. The possibilities are endless. Tons of weapons scattered about, screen-filling team-based multi-weapon attacks, multi-seat armaments for co-op heavy-artillery assaults, and friends to make in the process! Unless, of course, you have no friend because you're a dick.

The game is praised for its multi-player, but its nods to Capcom's past I've never seen mention of. Every time I play this game, I think of how it's not even in the side-scrolling fighter genre, yet it has brought back so much of the genre during its golden age. It could probably even be argued that its visceral creature-crushing, blazing slaughter, and monstrous bosses bring it closer to Alien VS Predator than Dead Rising. Maybe that's why, despite big media's unfavorable views on it, the game has still managed to sustain one of the largest, most loyal fanbases (both on and off-line). There are not only still co-op and versus games open regularly, but those who play the game even after max stats. Thankfully, multi-player doesn't require a connection, so the game will be enjoyed by rowdy crowds long after the HD generation hardware has passed.

Reaching For The Stars And Falling Short
Even with improvements over the previous two games, though, LP2 falls short of attaining the status of the golden age classics it emulates; control still leaves you in a contorted mess, aiming could be improved, and the arena battle matching is still busted. All the fan service they put in compensates to some degree, but its flaws remain. The classics it emulates had perfectly responsive control designed around logic, but LP2 lacks this and punishes you with unresponsive control designed with no attention paid to logic. At first, it LP2's surprisingly bad control is uncharacteristic of Capcom, and makes the game not as fun as it should be.

Like its predecessors, LP2's arena battles take inspiration from DreamCast/Naomi third-person arena fighters Spawn: In The Demon's Hand and Heavy Metal GeoMatrix, but with its own host of enraging flaws. It's these enraging flaws that make it difficult to enjoy your custom-made characters in the online arena. Half the fun is creating a character, and the other half is taking it online and battling with other players and the characters they've made. That other half is lost when you can't even enjoy playing with your custom character online because the matching is so bad. What is it with titles on the MT Framework having such bad matching and latency issues? Unbelievable shit happens online, and it all comes from matching issues, latency issues, or both. At least you can enjoy your custom character(s) with the classic 4-Player Capcom co-op.

"Silence Is Betrayal"
The craziest thing about LP2 is how it manages such a steady, devoted following. Like the first game, LP2 is far from perfect (and will be until the control is redone), yet somehow still manages to keep a following. All the signs of growing pains are there, showing what a masterpiece the game could have been. Despite this, Lost Planet 2 still somehow manages to be fun through emulation of timeless Capcom golden age classics like Alien VS Predator. There are so many things to say about LP2 (both good and bad). It's essentially a work of worship and tribute to golden age Capcom titles often forgotten, but fails to achieve the same status as those titles because it complicates simplicity. Capcom built a reputation from games that looked, played, and sounded well. LP2 only carries on two of those three traditions. If you don't know which two, just remember what an unnecessary hassle parts of LP2 can be.