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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This 1998 release is about as good as gaming gets. In 2005, I bought a used copy in order to re-experience DK2 which I had bought and sold many years earlier.

Today, the product is finicky, and won't work with every computer system. If you have a fancy sound card, you might experience program crashes. I still rate DK2 five stars, because I remember it was fully compatible in '98. How can the producer plan for future sound cards, which should by rights be backwards-compatible?

I had trouble getting it to work with my laptop, but it worked ok with my PC. Both systems run Windows 2000. The main thing is to be using a sound card that DK2 likes. There is a lot of advice out there on the net of marginal usefulness, and some gurus recommend modifying your Windows Registry, but that seemed a bunch of hogwash to me, and I just took the game to a different PC which had an older sound card, and had no more problems. That is, until I upgrade Direct X. Now the game crashes after 30 minutes.

In summary, expect the program to crash if you buy it. If you can get it to work--likely if you have an older PC--then it is very fun. And a bargain for the price--like Quake II.

I loved DK2 because it was naughty, fun, diverse, witty and easy to use. One of the great tragedies of video gaming is that the much-anticipated DK3 never was, or will be, released, due to the myopia of Electronic Arts, which bought Bullfrog, the original producers. They could have earned many millions from a DK3; but they chose not to. For whatever reason.

***RECOMMENDATIONS for Users/Consumers of DK2: ***

I am including this section for those diehard DK loyalists who really want to play this game on their Win 2000/XP system. There are a few things you have to do.

One is, download the upgrade to version 1.7. This is available for free on many places on the web. Get it from a legit source. Avoid pirate Russian/east European web sites which typically attempt to install spyware on your PC. DK2 will ***NOT WORK*** on Windows 2000 without this upgrade! You have been warned! I have never found any difficulty obtaining the upgrade as it is available on many gamer sites.

Two is, you may need to run dxdiag from your Windows Run menu. This *may* fix problems such as choppy/erratic sound or video. Or, it may not, and you may spend many hours trying to get it to work, without success.

Your best prognosis is if you are running Windows 98. This game is the most prone to crashing of any that I have played in my life, on my Win2K system.

Mainly, I recommend using on a Win 98 system.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
We waited quite a while for Dungeon Keeper 2 to come out, and bought it immediately when it did. On one hand, it's great for a sequel. People who played DK1 will easily be able to pick up on moving units, building rooms, lining corridors with traps.
The graphics are better in the sense that they're more geared towards future development. Instead of pixel-based graphics, the creatures and rooms are now drawn with polygons. While that makes some of the monsters look clumsy, it does mean that future graphics will be much smoother and cleaner.
Going down into your dungeon by possessing a creature does not cause the creatures to turn into a cloud of dots - the rooms you roam through are still crisp and easy to see. Roaming through your own dungeons is one of the true pleasures of this game, too!
There are only a few extra rooms - you'd have hoped for much more from a sequel that took this long to make. The casino is neat, if only because a jackpot-winning minion starts dancing and singing when he wins. (Disco Inferno!)
Rooms have better graphics, though. The hen-houses in the hatchery, the on-wall bookshelves and torture racks, everything shows a subtle touch.
If choosing between DK1 and DK2, I'd definitely recommend people get this game. The challenges and gameplay in DK2 are better than DK1, and DK1 has many new extra features like Pet Dungeons.
New players will appreciate having a well crafted game that is a fun challenge, while experienced players will appreciate the subtle differences between the old and new version.
Don't expect a masterpiece of Sequelhood, but do expect a fun strategy gaming experience that will last quite a while!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2000
I'll be perfectly honest. This title wouldn't be in my home if it hadn't been given to be as a birthday gift. In fact, I had the game for a month before even trying to play it. Was totally unimpressed the first night...but...something happened...addiction slowly began to set in...let's just say that this person stayed up playing Dungeon Keeper 2 until 4:30 this morning, fighting creatures, the urge to sleep, and the wisecracking game narrator who at 3 am informed me that "your nocturnal prowess has earned you a special gaming tip---GO TO BED!"
As others have mentioned, humor is a standout feature in Dungeon Keeper 2. If the game had taken itself seriously I wouldn't be staying up so late playing it. Not that humor is all there is though. Carving out a dungeon is challenging and requires strategy, lest you find your treasury drained of gold or end up facing an unexpected enemy attack that kills your minions off one by one.
Like any good game, Dungeon Keeper 2 is easy to learn, but difficult to master. The first level is literally a tutorial in which most of your moves are prompted by the helpful though occasionally sarcastic narrator ("The very rock yawns in anticipation of your next fascinating move," he'll intone if you pause the game for several minutes).
Each succeeding level builds upon the previous, with new challenges being added. Already-completed levels can be replayed as many times as desired, which can be a great way to take a small breather after a lengthy battle with a new enemy.
Each of your dungeon creatures has its own distinct personality. Like children, they'll whine loudly if unable to find a place to sleep, eat, etc. Refuse to cater to a creature's demands and it will eventually leave your dungeon in a huff. On the flip side, if you find the bellyaching to be intolerable in one of the later levels, pick the griper up and drop him in a prison. Eventually he'll die and will come back to life as a more agreeable skeleton! The dead even rise again as vampires in later levels of the game.
Beautiful graphics and sound, first-rate gameplay, and a wonderfully off-beat sense of humor. Dungeon Keeper 2 is first-rate!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2000
The one thing that irritated me about the original DK was the hundreds of superfluous creatures, like tentacles, which never did anything, couldn't fight and just got squished. Happily, there are no such weedy specimens in the splendidly animated and fun DK2. Not only is there more surreal humour ("Your dungeon is on a slope, angry creatures cannot play marbles") but there are better spells, more interesting traps and limitations which stretch you. The enemies are more fun to kill, and the only drawback is that you can't continue a dungeon after you've won. Still, you can't have everything. Now, if you don't mind I'm off to see how my mana score is doing.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 1999
Looking for a way to spend the long, dreary winter nights? DK2 is guaranteed to keep you up until the wee hours of the morning. Wonderful graphics, a fairly easy user interface and a sick sense of humour make this offering a sure winner. Be prepared to devote the next 40 hours of your life to mastering this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2003
I have to preface this review by saying that I am very, very picky when it comes to computer games. I usually find even the most highly-acclaimed titles dull and uninspiring. That being said, what a breath of fresh (er, dank and moldy?) air Dungeon Keeper II is.

I bought this game on a whim. Like most games more than a couple years old, it was dirt cheap, so I decided to take a chance. And how happy I am that I did! Dungeon Keeper 2 is absolutely one of the most fun and addiciting games I've played in 20+ years of gaming. The gameplay is so simple, yet so compelling that I was hooked within 10 minutes. The music and sound effects are great (love those moaning evil mistresses and the groans of the prisoners being tortured). The voiceover work is absolutely the BEST that I have ever heard in a computer game. Whoever the narrator is, he's a voiceover god. Also, the humor in this game is actually funny -- very funny. Unlike most games that fail pitifully in the humor department whenever they attempt it, Bullfrog really pulled it off. And in terms of the graphics, even though they're considered very old at this point, they still look good to me.

Anyhow, I look forward to my next session of Dungeon Keeper 2. My last one went until 2AM (I just couldn't stop). I'd advise anyone who's going to play this game not to start too late, unless you're a night owl. But do yourself a favor and GET THIS GAME. You won't regret it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2003
This game is a perfect blend of real-time-strategy, simulation, fanstasy role-playing and action. The graphics are mind-boggling, given the low system requirements. The audio is equally outstanding. The gameplay puts such classics as the Warcraft series to shame. It is, beyond any doubt in my mind, the best PC game ever made. Only the Grand Theft Auto series is this complete, this immersive, this original, this good. The terrible shame is that the developers, Bullfrog, shelved the third installment in the series. Write your congressman -- this must not stand! And if you don't already have DK2, get it immediately and prepare to lose weeks of your life to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 26, 2006
The graphics are decent, the objectives are challenging, and you get to play the villain...what could go wrong? True, it doesn't always work on all computers and crashes a lot but if you keep up with saves its not really that big of a deal. I do warn you that this game is pretty addictive once you get it running smoothly though.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2000
I never played the first Dungeon Keeper, but I love playing this one. It's like a SimCity, but in my opinion more fun. <wow, I finally get to play something where the good guys are SUPPOSED to loose> It's fun, especially if you role-play, getting to play the nasties that you're usually trying to kill.
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on June 19, 2009
I waited over ten years to play this game! I bought it over ten years ago, around 2000. Even by that point it was in the "bargain bin" shelf of jewel cases. Unfortunately, I was too busy in my life to play it and waited nearly a decade before I had enough free time. Getting it running on Vista definitely took some moxie: I would have saved hours if I had simply played through it ten years ago.

I had heard how original and fun the game was, but frankly it was a lot better before I actually sat down to play it, if you know what I mean. Once you learn how to play, the campaign stages get quite repetitive and the game's "sense of humor" gets trying. Additionally, I feel the gamemaker's attempt to shoehorn 3D into this game didn't add much and could have been completely dispensed with: at least it should have been optional. Finally, it ultimately gets to be unsatisfying to make your dungeons since the "fog of war" prevents you from planning intelligently, and the space you are given to dig in seems inadequate, even in the later campaign missions.

Anyhow, here are two big issues:

1. The thing is full of bugs, and the company that made it is now defunct, so there won't be any more patches issued. The latest official patch was 1.7.

2. This was meant to run on "Windows 95 / 98 / Me," according to the packaging. I've also never had a problem running it on XP. It is possible to get it fully running on Vista or 7 and I am here to tell you it can be done. Try some combination of these, starting with f, then d.

a. Right click and run program as administrator.
b. On the compatibility tab, set it to run in Windows 2000; disable visual themes, disable desktop composition, and
disable display scaling on high DPI settings.
c. Although DKII puts a shortcut on your desktop, I found have it not to work with Vista or 7: you must go into the original Bullfrog folder and launch the game directly from the executable, keeping in mind a and b above.
d. Right click on your desktop. Under display settings, disable hardware acceleration. If you can't do this sweepingly (e.g., because you have an NVIDIA, go to the NVIDIA control panel for DKII and disable virtually everything, especially texture filtering.
e. Bear in mind that DKII not only runs its own executable, but it runs another program simultaneously which is actually the game engine. The process shows as ip.exe. So anything you do to the DKII.exe should also be done to that.
f. Run DKII. Go into the graphics options, uncheck all those boxes: visual translucency, environment mapping, and especially the last: hardware acceleration. Set shadow detail to 0. What you do with gamma is irrelevant.
g. You can get quite discouraged if you're going through all this and you keep getting those black squares on the menu screens. But if you go into the graphics options and keep finding that, upon being restarted, the game has rechecked "hardware acceleration" without your permission, do not be angry. Simply accept. Go back into the main menu and load an actual pet dungeon or a campaign dungeon. When DKII reloads one of those, that check should go away and stay away even after you close the game. In other words, when you uncheck "hardware acceleration," the game must actually load a dungeon for this to take effect. If you simply uncheck it and exit the game, it won't take.
In addition, I have posted a link to a Youtube video in the comments that I found helpful in this struggle.
h. It is not my experience that setting graphics options to low or running the game in 640x480 is going to help you at all when trying to get it to run under Windows Vista and Windows 7.
i. It shouldn't matter whether you applied the patch or not: I have gotten it to run both ways on Windows Vista and Windows 7, although only with the final 1.7 patch: I don't know about the three or four patches that came before that, all of which are still available on the internet as of this writing.
j. If all else fails, be aware that it might be your sound card that's causing a problem, not your video card. This game seems to like simple sound cards and has a reputation for not working on account of the newer, snazzier ones. If all else fails, try disabling your spiffy sound card in the Device Manager to see if the onboard sound on your mother board will give this a pass.

By the way, I want the world to know that it took me longer to figure out how to play this under Windows Vista and Windows 7 than I actually spent playing the game!

Hope this helps someone.
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