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Gu Jian Qi Tan 2 is naturally the sequel to the well-received Gu Jian Qi Tan, a Chinese RPG by the then-new Shanghai Aurogon team meant to rival Softstar’s titanic Xian Jian Qi Xia Zhuan series. The game was released on the 18th of August 2013, both on the mainland as well as in Taiwan/Hong Kong. Three physical versions of the game were available to mainlanders – a standard edition containing the game, manual, and a commemorative coin housed within a steelbook case (69RMB), the deluxe edition shown below (298RMB) and finally the “Collector’s Custom Controller Edition”, as described in this link.
While Gu Jian Qi Tan 2’s story takes place in the same world as the original game the cast are all-new (reduced from six down to four main playable characters) and there is little direct connection between the two. However this reduction in total cast size has allowed for expansions in another area – the battle system now allows for all four party members to participate in battle simultaneously, whereas the original forced you to choose three from a choice of six.
As before battles are initiated by running in to enemies (or having them run in to you) that are visibly wandering around as the player explores certain areas, and then being whisked away to a separate battleground to fight. This is where the similarities between the games end though, as Gu Jian Qi Tan 2 ditches the turn-based system used in the previous entry and instead adopts a more action-orientated approach with a superficially MMO-like hotbar (complete with cooldown timers) across the bottom of the screen. To keep these real-time fights manageable you can switch between characters at will, with the computer controlling the rest. The AI used to determine how party members behave when not under your command can be individually adjusted from several preset patterns.
The battle system may have had a significant overhaul, but some other things have remained largely the same; the skill tree-ish system used to determine which abilities and stat bonuses are unlocked is much as it was before, and the map still has annotations that automatically mark the location of the next main plot trigger and other points of interest.
Outside of battle the QTE sequences make a return, and there are a few platforming/flying/submarine segments woven into the main quest that require real-time reflexes to complete. The flying and submarine segments are pretty straightforward, but the platforming portion of the game is much more difficult (if ultimately rather brief).
Beyond the game itself there are a couple of new additions to make playing more comfortable, with the main one being the new account-based authentication system that allows you to sign into your game (complete with saves) from any PC with Gu Jian Qi Tan 2 installed on it, as opposed to the more typical serial key system that binds itself to a particular computer. For any potential players reading this – I can confirm from first-hand experience that you can log in and play from another PC without any issues or extra work, such as needing to de-authorise the original installation first. Unfortunately I can also confirm that as mentioned in my review-ish thing on the game Gu Jian Qi Tan 2 really is terribly optimised, as the significantly more powerful laptop I recently purchased still runs the game noticeably worse than other modern titles with broadly similar visuals.
Since the games initial release several optional side stories have been added to the game, as well as unlockable costumes and special items.