Dark Cloud PlayStation 2


Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
Buy On
  1. Games Radar
    A stunning visual banquet, masterfully blending all the necessary ingredients for a cracking fantasy RPG. We're not likely to see many better PS2 titles this year.
  2. Crawling through hoards of dungeons in search for more, and more pieces to your missing world never got old for me. I was always driven to go on.
  3. One of the rare games that takes the best from lots of games, adds random dungeons, and a dash of its own originality, and ends up being a really great game.
  4. netjak
    While it can be tough at some points and a bit difficult to master everything in the first hour, it’s a great gaming experience and besides, that genie Ruby is kinda cute.
  5. Simply put, if you don’t like the genre previously known as an RPG then there is nothing here to shine you on, but what there is has been created with such a level of craft that there’s no denying its artfulness. It’s a beauty and as near (yet far) to a Zelda release as we’re going to see.
  6. What it does well, however is mixes them into a delicious stew of action, RPG and strategy elements that end up tasting better than if they were eaten by themselves.
  7. 84
    What Dark Cloud offers is a splendid mix of several existing genres and game ideas that when merged together brings forth a delightful and extremely addictive adventure role-playing game that's easily one of the best we've yet seen on PlayStation 2.
  8. With the PS2 RPG release list suffering, Dark Cloud could easily be named the best offering in this genre to date.
  9. Dark Cloud successfully blends adventure, RPG, simulation, and strategy elements into one incredibly addictive game.
  10. It’s a captivating run for about the first ten hours of play, then dungeon levels become too mechanical. Still, for all its shortcomings, the game also has its share of charms.
  11. The controls are simple, but the weapon system and town building program will take time to master, and this should appeal to RPG fanatics.
  12. Isn't for everyone. The game lacks speech and some of the Japanese-to-English translations don't read welI. What's more, the music repeats too often. But after a while depth of this RPG grows on you. That said, it's probably not for people with short attention spans.
  13. While the task of rebuilding the village is fantastically addictive, the repetitive gameplay is a bore.
  14. Total Video Games
    The idea of creating your own world is welcomed, and the graphics are good at times, but do falter at certain stages especially throughout the dungeon levels.
  15. 80
    We have no problem at all with awarding Dark Cloud a Console Domain highly recommended award.
  16. Those who want more than a clone will be disappointed, those just looking for a good game will be pleasantly rewarded.
  17. GMR Magazine
    Pays homage to RPGs past while establishing its own unique identity. [Feb 2003, p.92]
  18. 79
    There is about 30 hours of play contained within Dark Cloud, but the title does not contain the type of epic storyline needed to drive the player through those hours.
  19. Da Gameboyz
    The sound is fairly lackluster. But overall the game is rich and inviting, with a great storyline, lots of playable characters and an abundance of items for you to collect.
  20. GamePower
    It has buried within other commonplace RPG elements the most innovative approach to game storytelling I have seen in years.
  21. Despite its obviously derivative mechanics and gameplay, Dark Cloud offers a solid, fun experience and at least tries something interesting with its village building system.
  22. An adeptly designed adventure game that effectively combines elements of several other titles into a highly entertaining - if imperfect - package.
  23. Stepping in the right direction to make RPGs a bit more varying. However, it does tend to bog down at times and you'll feel like you’ve done the same thing more than twice, making it a little mundane at points.
  24. The game could not have survived as a dungeon crawler alone, and thankfully the many side diversions offer hours of fun by themselves.
  25. 70
    A spotty story and monotonous gameplay keep Dark Cloud from rising to new heights.
  26. 70
    Music is a mixed bag, ranging from tolerable to downright painful. Music should enhance the mood set by the game, or, at worst, should fade into the background.
  27. If you have the patience to endure all that dungeon crawling, and a bothersome camera, there's a very addicting game underneath. Don't expect a Final Fantasy caliber story-line, or Zelda-esque adventure gameplay.

Awards & Rankings

#17 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2001
#6 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2001
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 100 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 38
  2. Negative: 4 out of 38
  1. Nov 2, 2012
    Dark Cloud is an astonishing and breathtaking game, it was when it released in 2001, and it still holds up today in 2012. It would be anDark Cloud is an astonishing and breathtaking game, it was when it released in 2001, and it still holds up today in 2012. It would be an unorganized mess if written in just one paragraph, so this will be broken into separate points.
    Dark Cloud has a surprisingly fascinating story, even though it may seem simple and childish at face value. Along the way, you are introduced to some colorful characters that you must interact with and learn some of their story to satisfy their needs. The game, however, can take a dark turn at some points later in the game.
    While Dark Cloud may have been a visually great game at the time, it never had the best graphics. This is not to say that the game looks bad by any means, I would not want it any other way. The game is just dated and it shows in some areas such as with draw distance, lighting water and fire effects. Every texture is well represented and looks nice in total.
    The game has an iffy soundtrack at times. The main theme and the Dran boss music are among the best music I have heard in video games, but some of the later bosses and some of the music for areas are a bit bland and sometimes repetitive. The sound is very well done, the sounds the characters make and the weapons or enemies make are all great, well timed and a great addition to the game.
    Dark Cloud doesn't necessarily have the most complex fighting system, but it fits for this game. You press X, you attack. You hold X, you do a special attack. That's mostly it. Some enemies, like most RPGs, are a certain element and certain attributes to your weapons hurt some enemies more than others. The system is very simple and repetitive, but fun.
    -Dungeon Crawling
    This game has a unique element to exploring it's dungeons. Every time you enter a floor of the dungeon you are in, the floor is randomly generated, a gameplay mechanic that Pokemon Mystery Dungeon utilized. Some floors do, however have a set condition, whether it be forcing you to play as a certain character or having your weapon lose experience as you use it. In dungeons, there is also an area in some floors called a back floor, which is an area you can only access with a specific item that you obtain randomly in chests. These areas have stronger enemies that give you more exp. for your weapons and also have more valuable loot.
    In the game, you don't exactly level up your character, you do upgrade your defense through items, but all of your attack is based off of the strength of your weapon. Along the game you will naturally come across more weapons. As you use these weapons, they gain experience and can level up, increasing stats, you can increase them further by adding attachments and gems, which speed the process up significantly. Once you get it's stats to a certain point, you can build up your weapon, making it stronger and capable of surpassing the limitations your old weapon could never break. Once you level up a weapon five times, you can break it down into a synthsphere and attach it to a different weapon, giving 60% of all of that weapon's stats to the weapon you put it to. One sidepoint is that your weapons can break, and you will need to repair them before that with repair powders. If your weapon happens to break, you will revert to the weakest weapon in your inventory that can't 'break', but once it reaches the breaking point, it might as well have broken.
    Throughout the game, you will encounter certain characters that will join your party and are essential to get past obstacles your character cannot. These range from three other ranged characters and two melee characters, they all come with their own set of weapons and stats, but overall are just a tool to the game as they seldom provide any additional plot or intricacy to the situation at hand, they never appear in cutscenes out of the place where you find them, either.
    -Georama & Atlamillia
    Now for the most unique part of the game, Atlamillia. As you progress through dungeons, you will find floating orbs called Atlamillia. As you collect Atla, you will come back to the town you are in and notice the Georama system. This system literally lets you rebuild the town you are in from scratch. The Atla that you collect is actually the parts that you use to create the village. You find the townsfolk and they will give you their requests on what they want in their house and how they want their village to be rebuilt. Once you satisfy them, you will obtain a great reward in return.
    Overall, this game is a gem from my childhood that still stands up today, it is one of my favorite games that I will always cherish and come back to from time to time. I love this game more than it's sequel and hope there is a third sequel in the Dark Cloud franchise because this game warrants it. 10/10.
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  2. Aug 10, 2016
    The best dungeon crawler that you can find for PS2. However repetitive the combat might end up being, there is a certain feel about notThe best dungeon crawler that you can find for PS2. However repetitive the combat might end up being, there is a certain feel about not wanting to loose your favorite weapon to a GOD DAMNED BAT!

    (*clears throat*) I recommend you take a crack at this.
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  3. Jul 17, 2016
    Dark Cloud is an RPG with Sandbox- and Dungeon Crawler-Elements. You can build villages and cities, find, combine and upgrade weapons, exploreDark Cloud is an RPG with Sandbox- and Dungeon Crawler-Elements. You can build villages and cities, find, combine and upgrade weapons, explore Dungeons and fight the Evil Genie. On the one hand it's a really good game and it's lovable but on the other hand it has many flaws. Let's start with the flaws:
    The story is mediocre. Nothing good nothing bad, just how you'd expect it from a Level 5 Game. It could've been made more interesting.
    The controls and the camera are a complete disaster. It's like they made both things differently, because they don't fit. When the character moves to the left or right, the camera moves too fast. Combine that with the manual camera, with which you can't fight against the automated camera and the thousand camerabugs, that's just really bad.
    Other than that there are some unconvenient Designchoices. For example building cities can be a pain in the 'youknowwhat' because you probably need to rebuild them and moving and destroying buildings as well as trees and roads etc. doesn't just work in one motion. Everytime you wanna remove something you have to open the menu, select remove, select the item and start all over again.

    But for every flaw there are at least 3 good things. One thing that I like is the weapon system. If you forget to repair a weapon, it breaks and you lose it forever. You can equip Gems on your Weapon, to give your Weapon better Stats and when your Weapons EXP-Bar (Abs.) is full you can upgrade your weapon and make the gemchanges permanent in exchange for the gems of course. There are Legendary Weapons and they are unbreakable until you completed their task. And there's even a talking Slingshot named "Steve".
    The musical arrangements are all very good and you could listen to them for a looong time. Every song underlines the atmosphere of what's going on on screen. The citybuilding-part is really fun, too. Even though I would've wished for a little more freedom (there's a basic layout for every village that you can get a bonus for if you build it like it) it is quite fun to design your own village and walk through it.

    The Dungeons are what you would expect from a Dungeon Crawler. Different Dungeontypes with randomly generated Floors, filled with treasurechests, monsters, secret Rooms and Duels (which are basically QTE-Battles). Overall I have to say it's a pretty decent game. Most of the Flaws are either minimal or easy to get used to and the positive things just overweigh the negative things.
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