| The Good
´ Lots of mini games to enjoy
No more disappearing weapons
| The Bad
Unorganized inventory system
Cel shaded look might turn heads away from this game
The first Dark Cloud was surely
a blast to play. A lot of ingenuity must have been put into
that game because of its ability to draw people like me into
it. It was almost two years ago that the original game came
out and now, the developers have brought us Dark Cloud
2. Is it safe to say that Dark Cloud 2 is a "true
sequel"? Damn straight it is. Dark Cloud 2 dwarfs the
first game in every single aspect including those tiny little
details only microscopes can see.
What made the first game so famous was its "geo-rama" feature.
This basically gives you the ability to rebuild the world,
which was destroyed. This is where the ingenuity kicks in.
The rebuilding part was incredibly addicting (I felt like
I was playing The Sims). Amazingly, the developers
made it better. Now we have more freedom in arranging the
buildings, rivers, fences, trees, etc. Not only can we format
the town in our own way, but we can also change the colors.
One part though that was changed was the ability to bring
people back and place them into their respected homes. Now,
in Dark Cloud 2, we must bring people from a town into
their new town and house by completing mini side quests just
for them (like delivering bread, etc.).
Like the first title, your characters don't gain any experiences
from battle. What does gain experiences and levels are your
different array of weapons. Other than the geo-rama feature,
this is what sets Dark Cloud 2 apart from your normal
role playing game. Your weapons also have hit points. The
more you use your weapon, the more damage it gets, but it
can also evolve to different and stronger weapons. Originally,
in the first game, if your weapon broke, it disappeared. This
was very frustrating. Now, in the sequel, your weapons still
break but it won't disappear. It will just be unuseable until
you fix it.
The story in this game is very enchanting. It is way better
than the first game and yes, you still have your usual "an
evil, powerful enemy has destroyed the world and it's your
job to fix it" story but it is very enriching. The two main
character's plots eventually meet in this game and have their
certain predicaments bunched together. Beautiful cut scenes
give it a Final Fantasy touch, but tells the story
of a young boy and a young girl very well.
One thing that gave the first game some flaws were its monotonous
dungeons. This didn't make the first game unenjoyable, but
simply was a cause for making the game not "perfect". The
dungeons were very plain looking and sort of a chore when
you were exploring it. The sequel, fortunately, doesn't have
this problem. In the sequel, the dungeons are very vibrant
and detailed through every single aspect. Yes, you are still
given that task where you must find a key in order to get
out but now it doesn't feel like a chore but more of a blessing.
The sound department, in the sequel, was also changed. In
the first game, cut scenes only featured text words to tell
the story and while you're exploring. But in the sequel, great
voice acting was added. We can all thank Sony and the developer
for this, not to mention the actors who did the voices. One
let down for the voices is that the sound coming from the
characters are not in sync with the mouth movements. This
sort of gave it a Final Fantasy X feeling,
if you know what I mean. The music in the game is very whimsical,
which makes it perfect for the game. Right from the dungeons
to the towns, you will enjoy the pleasant tune playing in
The visuals were also changed from the first game. The developers
decided to give it a "cartoony" look by making the characters
cel-shaded rather than in 3-D models. This I can deal with
but many will not, unfortunately. But the towns, enemies,
and even the geo-rama feature all look incredibly perfect
for the game. You'll feel like you're watching a cartoon with
a great story.
The mini games have also been revamped for our enjoyment.
The fishing game was changed slightly and, in my opinion,
is better than the first. New games were also added such as
Golf and Fish Racing. These games didn't make this title bad
but made it more lovable. Another new feature added is the
ability to take photos. This is one of the most addicting
parts in this game. You take pictures of particular items
and try to think of combinations to put your pictures together
to invent new items for your character or your trusty robot
named Steve. This robot is one of the playable characters
in this game. These little things add a lot of replay value
to your gaming desire.
Final Word: This title truly does live up to the title
of "a true sequel". The developers deserve a pat on the back
and more for Dark Cloud 2. Not only did they succeed
in making an addictive game, but they succeeded in the new
features they added. This game will make you proud to own
a Playstation 2. Dark Cloud 2 is definitely one of
the "must-own" titles of 2003.
- Earl Ferrer