Dark Cloud PlayStation 2

Metascore
80

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. 70
    A spotty story and monotonous gameplay keep Dark Cloud from rising to new heights.
  2. 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.
  3. The game could not have survived as a dungeon crawler alone, and thankfully the many side diversions offer hours of fun by themselves.
  4. 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.

Awards & Rankings

#16 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2001
#7 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2001
User Score
8.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 101 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 37
  2. Negative: 5 out of 37
  1. Jul 17, 2016
    7
    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.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 2, 2012
    10
    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.
    -Plot
    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.
    -Graphics
    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.
    -Sound
    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.
    -Gameplay
    -Fighting
    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.
    -Weapons
    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.
    -Characters
    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.
    -Verdict
    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.
    Full Review »
  3. May 4, 2017
    3
    Although the georama feature is incredibly fun and interesting, the vast majority of the game is dull-as-dishwater dungeon-crawling. The worstAlthough the georama feature is incredibly fun and interesting, the vast majority of the game is dull-as-dishwater dungeon-crawling. The worst part, possibly, is the weapon degradation system. They are not the first nor the last game that utilizies this feature, however, it is so extreme in this game that you will frequently break two or three weapons within the space of ONE dungeon (which take about ~6-10 minutes each). It becomes incredibly frustrating. If you're looking for the best 'menu simulator', this is for you. Otherwise save your bucks for basically any other RPG. Full Review »