Welcome to the 63rd issue of the GBAtemp Recommends Revival Project! This project is a weekly feature where we share our favourite games and applications with you. The titles we recommend may be "old school" games, a piece of Homebrew, a ROM hack, sleeper hits, an application, etc, but one thing's for certain, we think they are fantastic and deserve your attention! GBAtemp Recommends! Dark Chronicle / Dark Cloud 2Written by Sterling Dark Cloud 2 (otherwise known as Dark Chronicle in Japan & Europe) is the sequel to Dark Cloud. Developed by the popular Level-5 Studios and released on the PlayStation 2, the Dark Cloud series is a third person dungeon crawler RPG that focuses on real-time, hand-to-hand and ranged combat. The series was meant to be a “Zelda Killer” for Sony’s console. While the first fell massively short of that goal, the second broke out and managed to create its own following. It featured a light hearted story (with darker undertones) that was well done and engaging. The voice acting seemed to match the characters and feels genuine and not strained. One of my favourite parts of the game was the music. It was distinct and seemed to differentiate itself from the first’s attempt to copy Zelda. Even the setting was unique and engaging. The four main things that Dark Cloud 2 has that make it stand out among the crowd of RPG games on the Playstation 2 are also its best attributes. The colourful graphics were a stark contrast from the first one. Much like the cel-shaded graphics of The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker did, Dark Cloud 2’s graphics seemed to keep people away. Eventually this caused the game to disappear into obscurity. It’s an often overlooked game that in my opinion is the most underrated title of the last generation, perhaps even the last decade. The second thing that Dark Cloud 2 featured was a weapon driven combat system. Instead of traditional RPG elements that required you to build up your character and buy better equipment, it required you to “build” the weapon up itself using the Synthesis system. Almost every item could be broken down into stat items that could be used to directly increase the power of your weapon. Eventually it would evolve into a different, but altogether more dangerous weapon. Each character also had basic defence and HP increasing items, but for the most part they remain unchanged unless you bring out their speciality items. Monica has a monster transformation, and Max has a steam-punk assault robot named Steve (I refer to it as a Victorian era Gundam). While monster transformation was largely useless, Steve offered a plethora of options. From chain-guns to samurai swords, Steve could be customized to however the player wanted, making it easy to clear the speed goals in the dungeons. Next was the invention system. Utilizing a camera, one could take photos of their surroundings. With these photos, the player could invent items, weapons, and parts for Steve. You could also use these photos to recruit some characters, or get rare items by giving them to someone. It was a neat system that I hope will make a return in a sequel I hope will happen in the future. The last system was featured in Dark Cloud 1, but overhauled in Dark Cloud 2 (much like the weapons system). The Georama system is a mechanic to restore the future. By clearing goals, the player would restore the future to progress the story. What’s different from Dark Cloud to Dark Cloud 2 is the fact that the player is allowed a lot more freedom to design and place their town. You can get creative and create a wonderful masterpiece, or you can make a quick and dingy town that rivals that of even Chicago. Dark Cloud 2 improved upon everything that the first had to offer, and fixed almost all the problems the first presented. If you didn't like the execution of the first Dark Cloud, chances are you’ll like the second one. Even the nature of the game to get repetitive and boring was remedied. The various mini-games and distractions should keep you from hating the grind as they reward you with items that help level up your weapons faster. If you're strapped for games and you like RPGs, look no further. Dark Cloud 2 has a lot to offer and hours upon hours of enjoyment. It also looks pretty good in 1080p HD unlike most PlayStation 2 games. Genre: Dungeon Crawler RPG Release Year: 2003 Developer: Level-5 / SCE Japan Studio Published by:Sony Computer Entertainment Released For: PlayStation 2 Also known as: Dark Chronicle (Europe) If you enjoyed this weeks edition of GBAtemp Recommends! please leave a comment in the thread. This helps us monitor feedback and ensures we keep posting these articles in the future. If you would also like to write a GBAtemp Recommends! article, let me know... preferably not another dungeon crawler.