By Mickey Smith
Around early 2003 my family picked up a PS2 and a few games including “Kingdom Hearts,” “Madden 2003” and “Dark Cloud 2.” I remember as a kid I spent hours playing all three of the games, but “Dark Cloud 2,” a dungeon-crawling action RPG, was what really grabbed my attention and kept it.
Sony has rereleased classic PS2 games for the PS4, and you can download “Dark Cloud 2” now for $14.99 on the Playstation Marketplace. This version is a complete remaster, with better graphics, trophy support and the same great gameplay and storytelling I knew as a child.
“Dark Cloud 2” is about Maximillian, a repair-boy from the only city left in a world laid to waste by a mysterious force. He ventures from the city walls to repair his broken world alongside Monica, a woman from 100 years in the future whom he meets shortly after starting his journey.
Monica informs Max that in the future, there is nothing left but a monster-infested wasteland created by the monster-king Griffin. Turns out, Griffin is the reason for the shape the world has been in for the past 100 years. Max escapes from Griffin’s minions after being attacked and goes forth with Monica to restore the elders that had once protected the world and kept peace.
Using stones that allow the two to time travel, they begin to rebuild towns long destroyed by Griffin, defeat the monsters plaguing the two eras and slowly restore the future to what it once was while working to defeat Griffin once and for all.
This was the first game that ever truly immersed me into its story and world. It is a testament to the storytelling of older games and how developers had to rely on a great, single-player story rather than repetitive multiplayer elements.
While “Dark Cloud 2” has no mode where you can play with your friends, it is bound to hold your attention for many hours.
The town-building mechanics are advanced for their time, the combat is reminiscent of many other great third-person dungeon crawlers and it has an excellent weapon upgrade system and vast amounts of loot to be found.
The story, which I find to be the best part, is wonderfully written and great for all ages.
If you’re looking for a great game to play in your down time with an immersive story and amazing mechanics for its time, look no further than “Dark Cloud 2.” Not only can you build towns to your liking, you can befriend characters, explore the world, destroy monsters, invent new weapons and gear and upgrade your characters until they’re at their most powerful.
It’s such a great game that I sometimes I wish I could go back to when I was 7, sitting at home playing for hours on