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Dark Cloud 2
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Console: Sony PlayStation 2
Year: 2003
RFG ID #: U-072-S-03320-A
Part #: SCUS-97213
UPC: 711719721321
Developer: Level 5
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA)
T (ESRB): Violence

Genre: RPG
Players: 1
Controller: Standard Controller
Media Format: DVD x1
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Collection Stats:

  • 365 of 7621 collectors (4.7%) have this game in their collection
  • 26 of 7621 collectors (0.3%) have this game in their wishlist.
  • 3 of 7621 collectors (0%) have this game for sale or trade.

Shimra's review:

It's either going to be one of the most amazing games ever or a tedious dungeon crawler; it's the player's call in this expansive RPG. To say the game is an offline MMORPG is not correct by any stretch but it is not far from the truth. Dark Cloud 2 is one of the most original RPGs players can find. With a vast world full of adventures to be found and more varied gameplay than damn near all games, Dark Cloud 2 is one of the most interesting and fun games fans of any genre could hope to find.

Dark Cloud 2 is a role playing game, that much is fact. Yet it is unlike other RPGs in so many ways that simply lumping the game into that category does not work. Players control Max, a boy from the present, and Monica who is a girl from the future. The story revolves around time travel; trying to stop the reforming of history as well as uncovering Max's mysterious past. Cliche? Yes, yes it is. Unlike most Japanese RPGs the emphasis is not on the story, but rather the gameplay. While this may not seem all that unique, what is interesting and sets apart this game from other RPGs is the gameplay itself.

The emphasis of Dark Cloud 2 is not on characters, story, battles, the environment, or anything that simple. Dark Cloud 2 is about placing players into the feet of Max and Monica and making them become one with the world. Players are given the ability to play through the game however they want. In actuality often times running about completely disregarding the story is more fun than actually making any progress.

As stated before, players control Max and Monica in their quest to stop the destruction of history (which thus alters the present and future). The game plays out in chapters, with each chapter being finished once players successfully complete a dungeon. The dungeons are randomly generated and contain multiple floors which are essentially just breaks. Players navigate from one floor to another by means of finding a key and unlocking a door to the next floor. It is a rather simple concept but it works due to the randomly designed floors as well as items and enemy positions. Besides the dungeons players are given the opportunity to explore towns and even create towns which, depending on the actions taken regarding creating their own town, alter the future. Yes, the future really is altered depending on how your construct your town; it is not a simple gimmick like certain other games.

The dungeons are long, and often tedious. However if you are a fan of dungeon crawlers this will not be a problem whatsoever, hence why this will be topping many people's favorite games list. However, for other players the dungeons will come off as overly long and boring. With dungeons consisting of roughly twenty floors that are essentially the same thing it is easy to see how the game can be tedious. The dungeons, while long, do have a lot which can be done in them. Each dungeon floor consists of three tasks which can be performed for various rewards which results in added replay value to an already massive game, and each dungeon floor also has spheda which is golf. Yes, golf. Furthermore there are plenty of areas in the dungeons to go fishing. Of course there are also tons of enemies, items, and bosses to be found.

The battle system of Dark Cloud 2 is rather simplistic. Players can lock on and perform slashes, hacks, jumping attacks, dodges, powered up attacks, etc. Nothing regarding the battle system really stands out too much. There are transformations such as Max riding a robot and Monica transforming into various animals which mix up things; but really the battle system is nothing special. It works, but don't expect anything groundbreaking or overly engaging.

Building towns in Dark Cloud 2 is some of the most fun players will have in any videogame. Players can choose which buildings to build, which accessories to build, where to place them etc. There also the ability to paint what is built as well as move people into your town. What sets apart the construction aspect of this game from other games is that players are able to alter the future regarding their actions. If their town thrives, the future version of their town thrives and becomes more advanced. Players can make the future version of their town better by means of obtaining culture points in the past. Culture points are obtained by following certain requirements such as leveling out all four plateaus with the same weight. For the most part the requirements are not even necessary. Though there are certain requirements to create a future town which is successful this does not hinder players' creativity.

On the subject of creativity players are giving the unique ability to invent items and create weapons. In order to invent items players take pictures of various objects such as barrels, windows, flowers, etc. and they take three of the objects and combine them to form a new invention. This requires some creative thinking and adds a unique, optional element to the game. In order to create and upgrade weapons players synthesize various items into elements then combine them with already existing weapons to create more powerful weapons as well as new weapons. The synthesis of weapons and items result in unique and varied weapons. With tons of different weapons and items to create players will find themselves spending much time snapping pictures, thinking of combinations, and experimenting with elements.

Adding to the varied gameplay players can fish, play a form of golf called spheda. Anywhere there is a body of water players can whip out their fishing rod and begin fishing. The fishing in the game is actually rather deep and engaging for not being the main aspect of the game. Players can upgrade various fishing pole stats, create new fishing poles, use a wide array of bait, catch a plethora of different fish, and fish in literally hundreds of different bodies of water. It may not be too much to say that the game could simply have been a fishing game if the developers really wanted. Along with fishing there is spheda, or golf. The object is to hit the ball into a wormhole of sorts and can be played on any floor of any dungeon. It plays like golf except that every time the ball bounces it changes from red to blue or vice versa, and the ball needs to be the same color as the hole to go through. Essentially players control their character much like in Tiger Woods or any other golf game and try to strategically get their ball in the hole by means of clever bounces and ricochets. As with fishing players can customize their golf clubs stats and even invent clubs.

As players traverse across the world they will come across various unique regions and a wide cast of unique characters. There is one main city which contains the vast majority of characters in the game which players will often find themselves traversing to for whatever reason (often times not even plot related, just to mess around). In this main town there are fishing contests, things to be invented, characters to interact with, and characters to recruit to your cause. By means of fulfilling certain requirements, which are often laid out for you, characters will join your cause and become supports in battle, sell you stuff, or whatever. You can move these characters into the towns you are building if you like. Essentially, you can do whatever you want for the most part.

Dark Cloud 2 is a unique game. It isn't really a dungeon crawler even though the dungeons are massive and very tedious, but it isn't really a free roaming RPG. The game is just exceptionally diverse. Here's where the main problem with the game arises; though the game is so diverse, the amount of dungeon crawling is too much. For the most part it becomes boring and a chore. The game could be more balanced, but in actuality the game could be considered perfect at the same time. It is really unique, it's one of those games with what could be considered a major flaw, yet at the same time it could be considered flawless. It all depends on the type of person playing the game and what their preference is. My final score of this game will drastically differ from the final score of many other reviewers, but it will also be the same as quite a few reviewers. The game really is a weird scenario, it's brilliant, amazing spectacular, yet tedious, and a hassle; at least to some. So for those who are planning on playing this game, you will either find it near perfect or you will find it just a very fun game. Try for yourself.

*I originally gave this game an 82%, but it's one of those games that has a lasting impression on you. It's a game that you will constantly remember as being fantastic even if you find certain aspects tedious. Only a few games have ever left me with this feeling. It has so much more charm than the average game, and every time I go back to playing it I am consistently amazed by the game. I honestly believe this game is more enjoyable than any other game if you proceed through the game at your own pace doing what you enjoy.*

Shimra's Review Score


Sirgin's review:

The game has some nice RPG elements in it, but the dungeon crawling is so boring. Right now I'm at this dark mountainous environment (Chapter 5) and the dungeon levels look so dull and uninspiring, I thought I was going to fall asleep. To make matters worse these are randomly generated dungeons, so there's nothing particular to look at; it's the same hallways/rooms the whole damn time. At least the dungeons with the condor (Balance Valley) or those in the jungle (Sindain) were a bit more diverse. Even the sea caves (Vennicio) were more fun to look at than this.

Also, now that I'm talking about this game anyway, it really didn't live up to the expectations it itself created at the beginning. It started out with an interesting (enough) story but once you're past that initial part it's just dungeon crawling all the time. To make things worse, the dungeons only get bigger as you progress, so while it didn't bother me at first when there were like 5 "levels" in a dungeon, it really annoys me now, with about 20 levels in this one.

Once you get to the end of a dungeon in each chapter the story unfolds a little further, but because the dungeons take so much time it misses its effect completely. It's like I would say to a person: "Hey, here's a movie I'll let you watch. But after the first 20min I'll pause the DVD and let you dig a hole outside for 8 hours straight. After that I'll let you watch another 20min of the movie but then you'll have to go dig outside again."

In other words the story feels like an afterthought the developers put in the game to disguise the fact it is a boring dungeon crawler from beginning to end. Sure there are upsides to the game like the graphics, the music, the georama and some of the side quests (like the fishing) that make it a less annoying. But with such a boring combat aspect of the game (that take up at least 85% of the time you'll spend on the game) I've really lost all motivation to continue this grindfest.


Extra Media:

Prima Official Strategy Guide
Registration card, front
Registration card, back

Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Sony PlayStation 2 FR, DE, IT, NL S Dark Chronicle Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) 2003 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 United Kingdom S Dark Chronicle Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) 2003 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 J S Dark Chronicle Sony 2002 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 U S Dark Cloud 2 [Demo] Sony 2003 RPG
Sony PlayStation 2 Canada S Dark Cloud 2 Sony Computer Entertainment America 2003 RPG
Related Games:

Console Reg. Type Title Publisher Year Genre
Sony PlayStation 2 U S Dark Cloud Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) 2001 RPG
Page Credits:

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Eddie Herrmann: Perl script.
Mike Swindell: miscellaneous data, scans.
Anthony Terzi: Related Games, Misc
Keith Brown: UPC, Dev, Media, Rating
Shimra: Rating, Review, Review update
Sirgin: Review
raffa1985: Variation Tie-In
Zagnorch: Photos
Nick Procopio: UPC Updated & Media Quantity was added
Eulogy: Changed publisher Sony to SCEA

Last Updated: 2023-02-28 08:46:44
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