Dark Cloud

January 16, 2006

You can call this one a case of having a game on the shelves for years. Unfortunately for me, during those years I missed out on a very incredible gaming experience. [i]Dark Cloud[/i] is undoubtedly the most fun game I have played recently. It follows the tale of a young Toan whose village was destroyed by an evil being known as the Dark Genie. The Fairy King comes to him and tells him that before the village was destroyed completely, everything was sealed away in mysterious orbs called Atla, and he gives Toan the power of the Atlamillia, a gem that can unlock the items in those Atla. Toan’s task then is to go around the world and unlock the Atla, which contain items, homes and people, and rebuild the world. Once that is accomplished, he must defeat the Dark Genie and restore the world to peace once and for all.

The game sounds tough, and at first I was a mite intimidated. But really, it’s the most fun game ever. It’s a mix of dungeon crawler, action RPG, and something like [i]Civilization[/i]. You grab Atla from the dungeons as you defeat enemies, and in the villages or towns you use those Atla to recreate the world the way you want. You’ll learn that some of the citizens have requests as to where or how their place is built, and if you satisfy all of the requests, you get hugely rewarded, so experimentation and talking to every person in the town is key to finishing the reconstruction. While in the dungeons, you run around hacking away at the monsters, going from floor to floor and unlocking Atla. Along the way, there are chests to open and loot to collect from slain monsters. You can also fish in the ponds around town to collect Fishing Points, which can be exchanged for precious items such as gems and status-healing objects. At the end of the road, on the final floor of the dungeon, you must fight a boss to then progress to the next town. In each town, you acquire a new party memberA

Score: 5/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.