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Role-playing/Third-Person 3D Action RPG
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Taking place 100 years after the events chronicled in the original game, Dark Cloud 2 continues its predecessor's combination of dungeon-crawling action and world-building adventure with a new visual style, time-traveling storyline, and two playable characters. The game's visuals make use of cel-shaded characters and 3D backgrounds to create a presentation not unlike Japanese anime. Max is a young boy with the talent to create mechanical inventions, including a robotic battle suit he can control. Monica, on the other hand, dabbles in sorcery and has the power to transform into animals. The majority of the game takes place in randomly generated dungeon levels where players hack-and-slash at their enemies in real time using a lock-on targeting system.
Players have the ability to switch between characters at any time to take advantage of their distinct traits. Both characters can pick up and throw items found along the ground as well as perform moves, such as back flips, blocks, jumping attacks, and more. Unlike most traditional role-playing games, experience points are awarded to the weapons used in combat rather than the character. As a character's weapon becomes more experienced over time, it can absorb the powers of certain items to acquire new abilities or attributes. Max can also invent different weapons to use in battle, and Monica's power of transformation means her animal alter egos will gain new powers over time as well. These powers must be used to stop a time-traveling sorcerer, who plans on taking out those who oppose his command by destroying their cities in the past.
Between dungeon battles, players can help shape a town by using Max's robotic creations to position trees, bodies of water, houses, and other buildings found during their travels. No longer restricted by a grid system as in the original, players are free to design their town however they see fit before getting a chance to explore it. Since Dark Cloud 2 also involves time travel, certain puzzles can only be solved if a particular building is present during a specific time period, which may mean returning to the past to make sure it has been built. Once players have acquired the necessary items in their dungeon battles, they can advance to the future and continue the story. Mini-games include fishing, watching fish race each other inside a tank, golf, and taking snapshots of characters met along the journey. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide