Michael’s Mothballs – Dark Cloud

Welcome to PlayStation 2 Heritage Night! Now that may not be a thing (I hope it is somewhere), but today’s mothball features a PS2 game available on PS4. Its sequel is also available on the PlayStation store!

Today’s mothball is:

Dark Cloud (PS2)

Box Art for the PlayStation 2 disc.

Dark Cloud is a third person, action role-playing game released on May 29th, 2001. Developed by Level-5 (Creators of Professor Layton and Yo-kai Watch) and published by Sony Entertainment, the game was scheduled to be available at PS2 launch title, but was not completed in time. However, an early version of the game was used to show off the power of the PlayStation 2 prior to the release of the console.

The best way I can describe it would be to say that the game looks very similar to Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness, with elements of Zelda and Final Fantasy. I understand that for some people, that statement means nothing.

The gameplay features third-person characters fighting through procedurally-generated dungeons. This means that the dungeons and the monsters and items inside are created by algorithms rather than manually. This adds a level of mystery and adventure as you never know what lies behind the doors. Although, the bosses are still the same in every game, making walkthroughs and guides usable, despite the shame one should feel by using them. Just kidding, everyone plays games differently and video games should be a judge-free environment. The gameplay draws similarities to other games, but still feels like its own game.

The combat however has been criticized for being repetitive, with a lot of hack-and-slash and button mashing. Occasionally the player will engage in a “duel” with an enemy, featuring an early form of quick time event style play, where the player must press the right button in time in order to defeat the enemy. While combat may seem similar throughout, the boss battles and dungeon rewards make it all worthwhile.

Rather than leveling up, the character’s weapons gain points and ranks. By defeating enemies and completing challenges the player can obtain attachments for their weapons that enhance them. With dozens of weapons and power ups, the player can deal some massive damage after careful planning and usage.The inventory screen may seem complicated, but with most aspects of the game, you get used to it.

Dark Cloud’s plot follows six characters: Toan, Goro, Ungaga, the three melee fighters, as well as three ranged fighters, Xiao, Ruby, and Osmond. Each character features special abilities that make them all useful for traversing dungeons, such as Goro’s door opening, and Xiao’s chasm jumping. All six characters work together to fight against the evil Dark Genie, who wishes to take over the world.

Perhaps the main reason to take a look at this game would be the combination of multiple genres and gameplay styles. The combat can satisfy those seeking some action and leveling-up. Story and plot enthusiasts will be pleased by the original and creative storytelling based in this fairy tale world. Completionists will search the crevice of every dungeon to gather every item and weapon. If you aren’t impressed by any of those, the game also features an early type of city building. After defeating dungeons player are given pieces to build villages, such as trees and houses. You can speak to villagers about their needs and desires and can build houses and rearrange the village in order to make everyone happy.The game gives player the power to rearrange and rebuild cities.

You do not have any control over building the sky, otherwise I probably would have included some more light clouds, HA. Sorry…

You can pick up Dark Cloud on PS4 for $14.99 or lost among a pre-owned bin somewhere. The sequel, Dark Cloud 2, is also available for download.

Written by Michael Lanoie

Michael is a handheld gamer kid who evolved into a console player, the best of both worlds. He attends Chapman University and hopes to achieve his Masters in Creative Writing.

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