Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Preliminary Review: Dark Cloud for the PS2

Take an early PS2 RPG, add a bit of Harvest Moon, a dash of the later to come Lego series, a little bit of Sim City as well as My Sims and what do you get? Well, you would probably get something fairly similar to Dark Cloud.

As my video game hunting days have come to a silent halt, it's time for me to check out the games that I've already acquired. Somewhere within a 5 inch deep stack of loose PS2 discs was that of Dark Cloud. Completely unsure of what it was, I popped it in one night, about a month ago, and gave it a test.

At first I didn't fully get it, all I knew was that I enjoyed collecting these little parts, killing all these creatures and exploring this dungeon. The problem being that this was just a quick test, I didn't read anything, nor did I even save my progress. Weeks went by and the fun I had with Dark Cloud followed me around, so I decided to make some room on my memory card and actually give it a serious go, as well as read all the dialog this time.

This time I found out why the initial field was so barren, what I was expected to do within the dungeon and that there is no leveling system as such. I was tasked with rescuing and rebuilding my town from little orbs within a nearby dungeon to it's former glory, all the while collecting weapons and leveling them in a Final Fantasy 2 sort of leveling scheme. All of these things seemed fine, until a few levels into the dungeon, when things became quite difficult.

Now I will admit that I was a bit rushed and didn't really consider grinding, I was just having so much fun collecting the little bits and pieces of my town, that I never really cared to go back and grind out to level my weapon. So as I went deeper and deeper monsters became tougher and took larger chunks of my weapon's durability, which became greatly frustrating by the fact that the sword I worked so hard to level up would break at the drop of a hat.

As frustrating as things have been, perhaps only perpetrated by my own haste, things have also been quite fun. Dark Cloud looks great, in my opinion, for a 2001 PS2 title. I'm quite glad I picked it up when I found it, of course I picked up almost any loose PS2 disc I found anyway. Overall I'm enjoying the time I'm spending with Dark Cloud. I wish I could find the case and manual to have it complete, but at least I've got it, and I'm enjoying it anyway.

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