GBAtemp Recommends #63: Dark Chronicle / Dark Cloud 2

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Hadrian, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Hadrian
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    Hadrian Better than Craigslist

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    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 2
    Written by Sterling
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    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. :tpi:
     
    machomuu likes this.
  2. Fear Zoa

    Fear Zoa Still Alive

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    Aww hell yes Dark Cloud 2 is in my top 5 favorite games ever, part of that is nostalgia but it is actually a really good game too.

    Also it has a badass soundtrack
     
    Zetta_x likes this.
  3. Lilith Valentine

    Lilith Valentine GBATemp's Wolfdog™ ☠️Grunt☠️

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    I fucking love Dark Cloud and Dark Cloud 2! I played the hell out of both of them!
     
    Zetta_x likes this.
  4. Shubshub

    Shubshub The Shubinator

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    I Fucking Love this game

    Its called Dark Chronicle where I Live

    I Beat the game and got to the Final Final Boss in Chapter 8 and now my PS2 doesn't work anymore
     
  5. Sterling

    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    I knew I had poor screen shots. :/ Damn I need a better computer. Anyway, Dark Cloud 2 has to be one of the most underrated games of the last decade. I love it with more than just my heart. :tpi:
     
  6. Hadrian
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    Hadrian Better than Craigslist

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    To play it safe, I only use screens that the publisher releases or from what I capture myself.
     
  7. Bladexdsl

    Bladexdsl ZOMG my posts...it's over 9000!!!

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    dark cloud 2 is one of the best games I played for the ps2; it took a dungeon crawler and made it interesting by making you invent and craft new items to re-build the town.
     
  8. pubert09

    pubert09 GBAtemp Regular

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    I never expected to see this game mentioned. I would also personally recommend this game.
     
  9. Zetta_x

    Zetta_x The Insane Statistician

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    I don't remember there being a rape scene, that's what the middle photo is about right?

    F the golf minigame in this game; it's insane to try and beat it in the cliff levels (haven't played this game in years).
     
  10. Sterling

    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    No rape scene. Max was just trying to get his circus ticket back. Oh and the Spheda minigame is the best minigame. The Cliffs are the third easiest level to beat it. Try the channels or MT. Gundorada, those are insane.
     
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  11. Bladexdsl

    Bladexdsl ZOMG my posts...it's over 9000!!!

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    no way i fucking loved that and i was getting pretty slick at it too
     
    Sterling likes this.
  12. Mirby

    Mirby BDFF Hype~ :3

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    This game is glorious. Everything about it is great, and I feel so proud when I build up a weapon. :D

    so glad y'all featured this.
     
  13. DaggerV

    DaggerV Archmagi of the Emerald Moon

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    Hehe and friend of mine and I bring this up all the time, I finally found a copy to rip onto laptop to run off emulator, it aged well if you asked me.
     
  14. Qtis

    Qtis Grey Knight Inquisitor

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    One of the most expensive PS2 games that I've tried to find during the last few years.

    Played Dark Chronicle on the PS2, but still waiting to finish it.. Maybe some time in the future, but at the moment I just don't have time :I
     
  15. shakirmoledina

    shakirmoledina Legend

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    I heard a lot about this game but never got to play it. Now I don't have a ps2 and it is not worth playing on pcsx2.
     
  16. Satangel

    Satangel BEAST

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    Why is it not worthy to play on PCSX2, if you don't have a PS2? By that stand it means no PS2 game is every worthy of playing if you don't have a PS2....

    OT: This one's been on my list ever since I started dabbling in PCSX2. I've got the ISO now but haven't got around to playing it, will do it in the next 5 years or so :)
     
  17. tisdadd

    tisdadd Newbie

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    I remember when I first saw this game for sale... thought to myself, "I loved the original Darkcloud, but was unable to find it and want to buy and play through it first." Of course, after buying and playing the original Dark Cloud, was unable to find this on my used game route for over 5 years. :(

    Finally bought it, and now see it every time I go on a route... oh well. It is an excellent game, if you don't find enjoyment in purchasing games in person, I recommend purchasing it from an online retailer.
     
  18. shakirmoledina

    shakirmoledina Legend

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    I did play ff12 on the emu and it was brilliant. mgs snake eater was slightly more than average but again, the fun factor is lower on a pc. Well maybe I'm just too lazy to "get" the game.
     
  19. machomuu

    machomuu Drops by occasionally

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    Just get a gamepad, it makes the experience as good as (if not better than) a PS2 (especially if you use higher resolutions). Heck, since I got my gaming computer, I use my PC for PS2 games almost exclusively. I mean, if you use your keyboard, I can see what you're saying, but PS2 games (including Dark Cloud 1 and Dark Cloud 2) play great on gamepads. This isn't to say I think that emulators are better than consoles; heck, I only really prefer them in the cases of PCSX2 and Dolphin, but a gamepad will make things a lot better for you.

    Regarding these games, God I love them, especially 2. This was one of those games I never beat as a child, what with the expansive features that it had, but man does it bring back memories.
     
    Satangel and Sterling like this.
  20. buyme107
    This message by buyme107 has been removed from public view by GeekyGuy, Jan 10, 2013.
    Jan 10, 2013
  21. shakirmoledina

    shakirmoledina Legend

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    trust me you can't play ff12 without one. I use one of the ps3 joysticks with ps3motionjoy and it works well with all the analogs. sadly AC3 doesn't understand it very well.