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I beat Serious Sam: the Second Encounter today.
It was tiring, to say the least.
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I found The Second Encounter to be more interesting (initially) than The First Encounter's setting, and that it was going to be harder, but I thought the rest of it was easier than The First Encounter. On Normal difficulty anyway. I aspire to go back through these on Serious difficulty though, because I'm a masochist and I want to get the 'full Serious Sam experience'.
I beat FE on a less-than-normal skill rather easily. I chose it because I remembered playing SS badly, especially SE. Since it was so easy this time, I chose normal for SE and it kicked my ass a lot. I doubt FE would be as hard.
In regards to setting, I feel like SE was a bit of a cop-out. You're made to think it's gonna be about forests and hills and 3D grass, which was novel compared to FE, but after just two levels it's back to generic temples again, except more colorful and with a flat grass texture instead of sand.
Also lots of traps.
But it was pretty and somewhat varied regardless.
The sniper rifle and flamethrower and the new power ups added in TSE like serious damage for instance are really helpful. TSE is also more about gimmicky stuff like strange rooms and puzzle elements than huge battles like TFE.
I also really liked the Aztec chapter the most, and thought that was gonna be TSE's theme. Didn't care for Persia or medieval Poland as much.