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Dark Cloud 2
  opened by paleface at 00:32:36 08/18/03  
  paleface [sys=PS2; cat=Role_Playing; loc=NA]
This game seems to have a lot going for it but it hasn't quite captivated me yet in the early going. The calliope, turn-of-the-century vaguely European carnival atmosphere is a bit on the light side, but contradicted by evil killer clowns. The main character is a hayseed boy with overdone voice acting. The setting is sort of all over the map, with glowing giant robot spiders, pistols, vacuum machines, wrenches, swords, magic, etc, and feels more like a smorgasbord of "what sounds cool?" rather than a self-contained world. There are weird little puns (the name of the starting town is "Palm Brinks" (?)) and shots at Square: an elephant performs what can only be a Jecht shot at the beginning, and the main thrust of combat plays remarkably like the real-time Kingdom Hearts--heck, the sound coins make when you pick them up sounds exactly like picking up experience balls in Kingdom Hearts. Things like this just kind of grab me and pull me out of whatever kind of immersion the game should have.
And the presentation, at least at the start, is rather plodding and lacks drama--gimme some darkness and some dramatic camera angles in these slow, pastel-colored cinematics, for goodness' sake! However, that stuff isn't really the game itself, and in the semi-random (or so I hear) dungeons, real-time monster bashing and the weapon upgrading, there's fun to be had. I wish you didn't have to push face buttons and shoulder buttons together to perform basic combat functions.
Anyway, I could nitpick the thing all day but there's enough potential that it seems with sticking with for now--the opening credit sequence showed some really cool looking stuff (and had a very nice song to go with it) that I want to see up close, and thanks to the free camera system plus optional first-person view ala Skies of Arcadia, you can! Come to think of it the design style feels a lot like SoA, with monsters that are a bit more normal thank goodness.
Trusty wrench and old pistol in hand, I trudge onward through the... *drumroll* random sewer level!

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