After a long time reviewing the RPG side of Square Enix’s efforts, it seems only fair that we here at NeuFutur are looking into their sim games. Pony Friends 2 is a game designed for the younger set, but it contains more than enough game play elements to keep older individuals interested. The customization side of things is present on the onset, with players allowed to change up their own pony in a number of way (different colors and breeds, mane clips, how clean it is). In fact, the 12 different breeds of Pony that can be chosen represents a much larger number than many sim titles, where the trail riding side of things provides a nice break from the racing tip.
The training element to Pony Friends 2 is the closest that the title gets to an RPG, as there is a steady skill curve from merely placing in a race to having the best time. While there are more than enough distinct game play elements to be had in the single-player mode, Square Enix has included a multiplayer element that will further ratchet up the difficulty.
The graphics are solid for a Nintendo DS title, representing quality that approaches that of current casual games, while there is enough variety in sounds, music, and other vocal cues that will keep players interested in the title. The title represents enough of an expansion from the original effort that individuals that already have the title and have liked it should ensure that they snag a copy of the title. Pony Friends 2 is a perfect example – a blueprint, if you will – of what an animal sim should look like. While there is now a glut in the genre crowding shelves across the United States, Pony Friends 2 is a title that stands up to more extended and rigorous game play. Check it out.
Pony Friends 2 (Nintendo DS) / 2009 Eidos | Square Enix / http://www.eidos.com / http://www.square-enix.com / http://www.ponyfriends.com