Game Review - Dark Cloud 2 on Playstation 2

Written by CerealVapist on September 03, 2018 @ 6:34 am

I have a fucking story with this game. Settle down if ya have the time to read, kindly fuck off if ya don't. It's the internet, I ain't holding you here. Go watch Despatico or whatever the hell it is kids do these days.

Anyways, for those of you hangin' around, hop up on my metaphorical old man knee and let's stare into the mystical campfire of time and space. 'cause I've owned this game for well over 15 years now, in no less 3 different incarnations (once broken like a DIY jigsaw puzzle - we'll get to that - and the other time fuckin' MICROWAVED - we'll get to that, too). I have attempted to play it on no less than 7 different occasions in the past decade and a half, each time getting - at minimum - to the third area. At furthest, I got to an air balloon fight which was about 65 hours in for me (I fart around, take photos, stock up on things, level and explore a lot, so the time I took is a poor basis to set on general longevity). Then, without fail, something will happen to delete, corrupt or otherwise put my save file or my game out of my reach.

The first 3 times, my younger brother did it. He deleted my saves on three, THREE separate occasions, totalling up ON ITS OWN to over 100 hours of playtime from my PS2 card in order to replace it each time with, in this order; The Sims: Bustin' Out (huge save file, takes up most of the card. A crap game but understandable, kinda. Still wanted to kill him), Die Hard: Trilogy (yeah, a PS1 game. Card was full, so he picked something at random to delete, and happened to pick a 40+ hour save file. REALLY wanted to kill him) and - worst of all - a FIFA '06 save file. The fucking gall, even PUTTING a football game on my memory card, never mind deleting this game for the third time. Still don't know how I ain't killed him. Or perhaps I have, and everything to this moment has been one long rage-fuelled hallucination.

But I digress. Fourth time was again my little brother (I mean fucking WOW, right?), this time trashing the PS2, the memory card and the game itself when he ran in front of me while I was in the middle of playing it. His legs caught on the controller cable, dragging the console off its perch and smashing it on the wooden floor, obliterating it. Not hyperbole; I mean properly destroying it. Looked like someone dropped a bowling ball on a porcelain plate. From - at most - like a 4ft drop. I mean... what do you even say at that point? It's like he's some mad architect of fate, doing all he damn well could to stop me from playing this game, finally deciding to take drastic measures to ensure I never reached that bloody hot air balloon ever again.

Fifth time, after I'd moved out to escape him/restrain myself, my new save file got corrupted. Memory card was loose when saving, disconnected half-way through. Unfortunate. Distasteful. Drug-overdose-inducingly frustrating. But hey, life goes on. Better try again when I've had enough vodka to pretend I ain't cursed. On the sixth time, pretty sure my old flatmate took my memory card when he left, then the asshat immediately 'lost' it when I asked about it the next God damned day. I don't even know why I'm using quotation marks like I don't believe him. Hell, it was 5 years ago, and shit happens. But hey, man. I'm still salty. What're ya gonna do?

Last time was the microwave. Uhh. Yeah.

Ex-girlfriend. She'd hit more than a few X's that night, too, which is how she tried to wave it off (she was drunk, guys. I'm saying she was drunk. Y'know, X's like XXX? Like in the old Tom and Je- y'knowwhatfuckit). She was mad at me because I'd gone home for a week around Christmas to be with my family and - because her family was all kinds of crazy, temperamental and fucked up - I was being a monster and abandoning her on the most special-est time of the year that happens every year (yes of course I invited her, she said no 'cause planes are scary and boats are icky. No, I don't know what her deal was, and don't wanna. She's an ex for a reason).

So, to get back at me because ???, she throws my games into an old microwave we had in the flat one at a time like she's burning fuckin' love letters. She managed 5 games before the microwave started making 'scary noises', so she tossed the rest of the games into an empty sink (they were in a zip-up CD case so they survived), turned off all of the electricity in the flat and passed out on the floor, where my flatmate found her when he got back from work (Jesus, my NEW flatmate, 'cause I know one of you lot is gonna say 'but your flatmate moved out and blah blah blah'. Things can happen between the lines in a paragraph, people. God forbid someone on the internet take initiative with a narrative and follow the flow of a story).

So uhh... yeah. That's my story with Dark Chronicle. Hope you enjoyed or cried or... I dunno, are busy revelling in schadenfreude? Reminding myself of all that crap's made me sad.

Ugh... anyway. Go play Dark Chronicle. It's good. The cel-shaded art-style holds up easily, as you'd expect. Main characters are a bit thin from where I've seen so far; look like they could turn to wet paper if you leave 'em out in the rain, but there's plenty of inventive imagery, neat gimmicks and dungeon crawling to keep you invested if that's what you're into. The score follows the second verse set by the first game, which isn't a bad thing, and introduces a few new songs which I still listen to today, a decade after I'd originally heard them.

Both the story and the pacing are quite different from the first game, which is something I appreciated. Rather than just dropping people and buildings down where they should be, you take the time to get to know each of the individual inhabitants you meet in the starting town instead and go on to repopulate the world with them based on their unique skills and characteristics. Plot seemed to be building up to something pretty cool, too, based on what I can remember around that hot air balloon.

But hey, what do I know? Could turn to abject garbage after that damn hot air balloon fight and I wouldn't fuckin' know. Maybe I'll find out by the time I'm 40. Assuming my younger brother doesn't decide to complete the circle and microwave ME or some shit.

Gameplay Rating: 8
Story Rating: 7
Graphics & Visuals Rating: 9
Sound Rating: 7
Overall Rating: 8

Comments


gaiden_ninja
November 28, 2018 @ 12:19 am
I've never heard of this game and have no plan to play it. But holy shit I enjoyed the story.

Game Information

Alternative Titles
Dark Chronicle
Platform
Playstation 2
Developer(s)
Level-5
Publisher(s)
Sony Computer Entertainment
Genre(s)
Action, RPG
NA Release Date
February 17, 2003
JP Release Date
November 28, 2002
EUR Release Date
September 12, 2003
ESRB Rating
T
PEGI Rating
12+
CERO Rating
A
MVGL User Score
8.3
Composer
Tomohito Nishiura
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