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Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh (VG) More at IMDbPro »

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

One of the best horror games!

Author: frantici from Norway
24 November 2001

This game might have been way different than the first, but in a good way.

First of the game is much longer! (that is a plus in the book for me as games that only last me a few hours seems a waste of money)

Second it keeps the "chase" feeling later in the game, where curtis has to kill mutations of his friends, boss and enemy.

Third it has you entangled in the story and you feel actually sorry for Curtis in some parts.

Fourth it was more violent than the first.

And there is alot more that makes this game better than the first...

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Great story, some unfair puzzles.

8/10
Author: Lasse-21 (frostbox34@hotmail.com) from Denmark
10 June 2001

This game is still one of my favorites, even today. The great story, the nice graphics (comparing to other games from that period of time) and the perfect acting makes the winning combination that is Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh. See, even the title is cool!? The downside - if any at all - is the puzzles that are sometimes impossible to solve without a walkthrough. But I guess it's not unusual that a game like this has some hard puzzles. Having said that, I'll have to repeat my praise and add that you'll get some great scares. I almost had a heart attack... :) If you played the first Phantasmagoria - that in my opinion was much weaker - don't let it scare you away from this title, it's great!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Wild Monique Parent Tale of Flesh at the Office

Author: zaur-2 from Nelson, NC
17 November 2000

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Cool game **may contain spoilers** What horror fan couldn't resist being place in the role of our hero an average Joe(or is he???), a creepy office, a hot girlfriend, a talking Rat, kinky office worker who's into S&M, creepy murders, ghouls, horrific childhood images, secret labs, mysterious experiments, and creatures from dimension X. Also, Monique Parent of late night ShowTime T&A fame plays a hot role, this is no game for the kiddies. The scene where are hero discusses what's going on with his rat and the rat says, "that's because you're a psycho killer" gets me every time.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Great game, not so good as part 1

Author: martijn van wonderen (mvw@hotmail.com) from Castricum, Netherlands
21 December 1998

A very freaky game, with beautiful graphics, I can not understand that the actor who played curtis, haven't played in more movies or tv-series. I think this is one of the best computer game stories i have ever seen in my live. The only thing I disliked was that there are so much locations. I had hoped that there was one great house so as in part one. Sorry my english isn't very good.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Great game w/ good acting and cool graphics

Author: Mike (LoSt BoY) from NY
7 August 2000

really good game. i love how its actually scary and believe me sooner or later you will jump out of shock the graphics are awesome the blood looks real as hell,the game is just great the only thing is it did crash a few times,and the story line is hard to follow until near the end then you'll understand more.but you might have to think the whole game over to get it all in overall a great game 9/10!

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A showy but overall very good adventure game

8/10
Author: Marcelo E Mazzanti Castrillejo from Barcelona, Spain
16 August 1999

Much better than the original Phantasmagoria (though I see from other comments this may be highly debatable), for me it was like a coming of age of the -now defunct- series. It has some good acting, some puzzle-solving, some good graphics, etc., but, most important, it has a plot, a story that actually manages to interest by itself and not as something put there to glue the puzzles together. True, it becomes kind of messy in the end, and many things are there obviously only for shock effect, but, at least for me, it works. And very well.

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Frustrating to play, hard to understand

4/10
Author: jadavix from Australia
6 July 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For most of the experience, "Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of the Flesh" presents material that would have made a pretty entertaining so-bad-it's-good flick. Unfortunately, it's not a movie, it's a video game, and one that is very frustrating to play.

Sure, Sierra adventure games were ALWAYS frustrating. They were ridiculously hard, illogical, and thought nothing of killing the player off for as punishment for the most benign actions. Want to flush a toilet in a Leisure Suit Larry game? Now watch in horror as the toilet floods the bathroom and your character drowns. Can't stop getting killed by the wolfman in King's Quest? You should have used the breadcrumbs on him, idiot! Oh, but they were hidden, invisible, on the first screen of the game, and you can't go back there now...

Yes, you could generally miss something early on in these games that you would require at the end, and become completely stuck as a result. The thing is about those games is that at least you could actually play them, even if you couldn't progress without a "hint book" sold by the publisher.

The problem is that navigating what are basically photographs of real locations (or sets, I guess) is nigh on impossible when there are only so many shots of these locations included in the game. An office area in "A Puzzle of Flesh" is a nightmare to navigate. There are many little cubicles you have to visit, and only a few ways of approaching them, so you always get confused as to which one is which, and which direction you are looking at in relation to where you've just been.

Sound confusing? Well, it is.

The plot concerns a man who was abused by his mother in childhood. His father worked for the shadowy Wyntech corporation and died, abandoning him to his mother's abuse. He was institutionalised, and as the game begins, has been released for a while and now inexplicably works at the same corporation his dad did. He has weird hallucinations and soon his coworkers start dying off, one by one.

There are surprising and even admirable details in the game's story. For one, Curtis, the protagonist, has a best friend who happens to be gay, and not the walking stereotype that was popping up in movies everywhere in the nineties. It is also implied in a scene that Curtis himself may be bisexual. How many bisexual video game protagonists are there even now, 20 years later? Further, the game has a couple of sex scenes, showing bare breasts in one, and has a strange bondage motif in its storyline. Why is it strange, you ask? Because the game features our hero being enticed by a sexy workmate to a BDSM club called "Borderline". When he arrives, it doesn't surprise us to hear him ask his temptress, "what kind of club is this?" "It's an S&M club," she replies. It has to be the least intimidating bondage club I've ever seen; move one or two of the leather jacket wearing types out, and you could believe it's a suburban coffee shop.

Anyway, there's an area of the club called "The Pit" where your character is repeatedly turned away from if he attempts to enter. Ooh! Maybe there's some real sado-masochism going on in there? Apparently not. When you finally gain access, following your alluring lover, you are treated to a cutscene of you lying on your back while having perhaps the dullest sex imaginable with the lady. She is wearing an outfit made of leather straps - sort of fetishistic, I admit - but come on. He didn't even have to go out to do that. What a letdown.

There is another scene with the same lady where she surprises you in your home, and the action cuts immediately to the bedroom where Curtis is now suspended from the ceiling with chains.

This is closer to real bondage, I guess - though in neither of the situations I have just described is anyone actually in pain, so there's no S nor M - but in this second example, you are too busy wondering how she set up this elaborate system of chains suspended from the ceiling so quickly... or at all.

Did the developers deliberately hold back on "true" bondage for fear of reprisal? The game was still banned in Australia. Perhaps it wasn't as widely banned as the original was, though.

It's funny how quickly things change. "Phantasmagoria 2" is actually much more violent than the first one was, and much more graphically sexual.

Anyway, the game actually features a fairly interesting plot twist at the end, but unfortunately, has to go full science fiction on us to get there. You've heard of the saying, "too little, too late"? Well, this was a case of "too much, too late". It's funny that a game with very, very few locations compared to the average adventure game then throws you into a different "dimension" at the end. It makes you realise that the sense of claustrophobia the game has had leading up to this probably wasn't deliberate. The plot is just paced in such a way that you adjust to only having four or five environments to visit - you don't really explore them - and, in fact, only a few concepts to get your head around. Then the game goes into hyperdrive at the end, so much so that I had to look it up on Wikipedia to find out exactly what happened.

Overall, "Phantasmagoria 2" is too frustrating to recommend. If you want to see how violent and sexy it gets, watch it on Youtube and save yourself the aggravation.

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Hilarious Bad and Kind of Amazing to Watch

6/10
Author: datemaru from Maryland, United States
8 March 2016

I haven't actually played the game, but I have watched a complete let's play done by Noah Antwiler which I strongly recommend.

Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh is everything that was awful about the FMV era of gaming, but also something you have to see to believe. It's plagued by the issue of old adventure games that it does not give you good (and in some cases any) direction as to what you should be doing or where you're suppose to go in many parts of the game, especially the beginning.

You play as Curtis Craig who works some office job at a pharmaceutical company. He has a girlfriend name Jocelyn, a gay friend named Trevor (who is the best character in the game), office enemy Bob, office whore Therese, hilariously generic evil boss PA Warner (this guy could be a Saturday morning cartoon villain), and Tom your supervisor who is kind of dull but okay.

You are just a normal boring guy with a pet rat and I will give the game credit for starting slow before going off the rails. I won't spoil it for you, but this is a game you would be better off watching Spoony's let play on YouTube than actually play the game since as a game its not well programmed. They did put a lot of work into the FMVs and it has charm as a B movie horror film. If you are interested I think gog.com (Good Old Games) has it for sale for like $5-6.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Best murder scene. *spoiler*

10/10
Author: Thomas Hutchison from Ottawa, Canada
24 June 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Brutal. I still get chills thinking of the murder scene. Scalpels through the palms into the wall, then lips stapled shut to stop the screaming, as you..

God.

Play this game with a buddy.

You play as the main character going about his day-to-day life, saying hi to his pet rat, going to the office and out for drinks, sanity slowly slipping away..

A good creepy game which kinda messes with your head. I also Recommend Shivers 2.

I wish they would turn these great adventure games into films.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Excellent!

10/10
Author: Andy Bellatti from Argentina
20 March 1999

I enjoyed the first part of the series, and this one was no different. The acting was superb, the direction was great, and the plot was extremely interesting. If this were a movie, it would certainly beat some of the other 'horror' movies out on the market. Apart from the horror aspect, there is also an interesting psychological thriller feel to it. Kudos to the cast and crew for making such a great game!

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