Dark Cloud is one of those underrated gems of the RPG world. It’s fun, unique, and above all good. Sure, it’s not perfect, but it’s a refreshing boost for the RPG lovers that are tired of the same old game recycled over and over again.
There’s not much of a storyline past there’s an evil Genie destroying stoof (including you home town) and you gotta track it down and destroy it. As you play, you’ll meet new characters that will join your party as team mates. Each team mate has their own weapon, and thus their own unique differences.
One thing that really makes this game unique is the leveling system. Instead of your character leveling, your weapon does! The higher-leveled your weapon, the stronger you character. This trait really adds and interesting aspect to the gameplay, since certain characters are needed for certain tasks and certain levels are needed for those tasks. Also, each character has a specific strength, such as being able to jump long distances, flying, or having a weapon heavy enough to activate large switches. So, you have to keep an eye on all of your characters to make sure they all stay alive and well. Since you have 6 characters by the end of the game, you basically have 6 lives. If one of your characters is incapacitated, the next automatically is pulled out.
There’s also the Georama that adds even more uniqueness. Since things are getting destroyed, you need to put everything back together. How? Why, you make houses, windmills, rivers, and even trees to restore everything back to the way it was, of course! Basically, you get to rebuild towns however you want! There are specific requirements from most houses, so the variety helps keep it fresh and fun.
In order to get the things you need for the Georama, you need to travel through the dungeons to obtain all the parts scattered about. Dungeons are simple, run around looking for the Georama stuff you need and fighting monsters to get what you need to advance to the next floor. What monster has the item you need always changes, though, so you almost always end up killing every monster in the stage in order to progress.
The music is good, and the variety given between playing each character is good for some extra spice. The Georama elements almost make the game, since they’re so much fun to do! Overall, the game is very enjoyable. There are problems, however. The graphics really aren’t that good, and there’s not a whole lot of a storyline. Not to mention that the dungeons are incredibly repetitive and even beyond frustrating at times. The stages get progressively harder as you play, and the later ones can end up being infuriating.
However, as stated above, the game is thoroughly enjoyable. I could be more lenient with the scoring, but since the dungeons make up about half the game and they get so frustrating and repetitive, I have to lower the score a little. However, it’s still something worth picking up and trying out, especially if you’re a RPG fan looking for something different.