Other than a couple of standout titles like Wipeout Pure and Lumines, the launch titles for the PSP were rather lackluster. One of those titles was Rengoku. The action game with a few RPG elements featured randomly generated levels, but the lack of an engaging story and repetitive combat caused the game to be panned by reviewers. Apparently Konami felt that there was enough promise to produce a sequel. Can Rengoku II: The Stairway to H.E.A.V.E.N. (R2) make up for the sins of the past?

In R2 you play as an A.D.A.M. unit, or Autonomous Dueling Armed Machine. A.D.A.M. was programmed to be a weapon. A.D.A.M. features Elixir Skin, a regenerating coating that allows it to mount new weapons to its body. Eventually the A.D.A.M. quickly finished any wars in the world and became obsolete because of that. The A.D.A.M. units were placed into Rengoku Towers to fight against each other.

Your character has several options to change his look. You have several color choices to use for your character. You can also see the lines like veins running through the body of your character and the other A.D.A.M. units. It

The music in R2 is hard driving techno tracks. The beat never lets up and almost become hypnotic. If you don

Control is typical of third-person action games. Moving is handled with the D-pad and the analog nub. Strafing is done by adding the R button to your movement. Hitting L locks on to an enemy. Attacks are mapped to the face buttons using different body parts. Circle uses the right arm weapon, Square the left arm weapon, Triangle the head weapon, and X the chest weapon.

The controls suffer from the lack of a right analog nub. It

The gameplay consists of entering a room, fighting a couple of enemies, and then moving on to the next room. You can mount different weapons to your head, arms, and chest. Your legs are able to mount special weapons and defensive mechanisms. While this all sounds interesting, there are several flaws with the system.

You get weapons by fighting against enemies in the rooms that you explore in the tower and by destroying environmental objects. You can perform

While R2 should have a large amount of replay value because of the amount of weapons available. The game boasts over 300 unique items to mount on your character. However, because of the battle system and the unbalanced combat, you won