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Platform: Playstation 2

Genre: RPG

Publisher: SCEA

Developer: SCEA

ESRB: Winter 2002/2003





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Dark Cloud 2

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The original Dark Cloud had a real love-hate relationship with gamers when it came out for the Playstation 2.  Some people couldnít get enough of the weapon upgrading, randomized dungeon crawling, and setting up the different villages just right, but others just felt it was done at far too slow of a pace.  As a member of the formerís way of thinking, I have to say Iím more than a little interested in what this sequel may have in store for us.

This time out, instead of a big mean genie going around destroying the world, there is a madman traveling through time, trying to eliminate threats to his plans by traveling to the past and destroying them before they become a challenge.  As a result entire cities are being wiped off the map in the present and now there is only one left, the one where the gameís hero lives.  Luckily for him a friendly time traveler just happens to be in the neighborhood and shows him how to pass through time and fix the damage that has been done, and so the adventure begins.  

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Dark Cloud 2 looks to be taking what worked in the first game and adding new features, as opposed to taking a completely different approach to game design.  The Georama System where players had to rebuild entire cities, is promising to be more detailed and involving than what was found in the first game.  Also, weapon and item enhancement is said to be receiving some improvements with the inclusion of the Invention System that suggests players will be able to create new weapons and items from base materials instead of just finding them and making them stronger through experience points during battle.  Exploration will still play a large 



role in Dark Cloud 2 as well, and it looks like the developers are planning to squeeze even more of it into this game than there was in the last one as they are expecting people to be able to put in about 100 hours on the sequel.  However, it looks like there will only be two playable characters this time out as opposed to the somewhat larger cast found in the original Dark Cloud.  

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The one area getting a change that will be immediately noticeable is that the graphics are going to be cel shaded this time around, as the game embraces the increasingly popular cartoon-like style this graphical approach provides.

Now all that remains to be seen is if the tweaks being made to the Georama System and the inclusion of the Invention System will be enough draw in nay Sayers of the first game, or will it still not satisfy them.

- Mr. Nash

(September 4, 2002)




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