There are some bum notes both tonally and strategically, Tropico old hands will find the bones of the things over-familiar, and despite having tons of things to fiddle with ultimately it's hard not call it a lightweight game. I really think it has to be, though.
If it's playing I can close my eyes and feel what HLM made me feel. Because my associations for HLM2 are confusion and frustration more than exhilaration and escapism, the second doesn't seem to have power. But there are some lovely pieces in there for sure.