The PlayStation 4 continues to get a bevy of classic PS2 Japanese Role Playing Games added. Dark Cloud 2 (aka Dark Cloud Chronicles) was announced as the latest title to be ported from Sony’s previous dominant console to its current one.
The hosts of the PlayStation Blogcast revealed the 2002 JRPG cult-classic from Level-5 will be released to the PlayStation 4 on Tuesday, January 19. This was confirmed Sunday when Sony revealed its planned releases for the PlayStation Store update this week.
For those that aren’t familiar, Dark Cloud 2 is a spiritual successor to the original release. It was released as Dark Chronicle in Europe and Japan, but given a numbered release in North America.
Dark Cloud 2 shares many of the same basic gameplay mechanics as Dark Chronicles, but introduced a completely new cast of characters, a different plot, and a new graphics technique.
The gameplay in Dark Cloud 2 follows a classic action-RPG style. Dark Cloud 2 is played from a third-person perspective through procedurally generated dungeons full of monsters and loot. Players control the same two characters on the cover for much of the adventure. Max fights with his wrench and a gun, while Monica uses a sword and magic bracelet combo.
The weapons are the key to Dark Cloud 2 as those are leveled up instead of the player. Weapons can be built up into bigger and more powerful weapons to clear the game’s dungeons.
PlayStation 4 players will be tasked with restoring various destroyed towns in the game. This is a bit of a settlement building mode called “Georama mode” that Fallout 4 players may find somewhat familiar. This city-building is a major component to the game to help with progress and advance the plot.
Reviews of Dark Cloud 2 were mostly positive with praise for its gameplay and art style. The main negatives came from a sometimes cheesy and lackluster story as well as hit and miss voice acting. Here are blurbs from some of the reviews way back when gamers were playing on 4:3 TVs.
Eurogamer wrote the following.
“There’s just so much to it. It’s a town-builder, a compelling dungeon-crawler, a fishing game, a golf game and, in short, a great RPG.”
“Above all, it deserves credit for making us focus on actually doing things. Its qualities aren’t designed to bring quick gasps from casual gamers – they are designed to keep people like you playing for hours on end. Add great graphics, decent music and quality voice-acting to the mix and there’s not much to say against it. We were tempted to dock Dark Chronicle a mark for its slightly clumsy battle system but then, ahem, we saw the light. Sorry.”
IGN said the following.
“As good as this game is, it’s not for everyone, especially those who were not fans of the original’s dungeon crawling and town building. Because many of the same gameplay elements made their way from the first game, you’re still going to get a similar experience, although it’ll be a lot prettier this time around.”
This is the third classic PS2 title developed by Level-5 to be brought forward to the PlayStation 4. Dark Cloud and Rogue Galaxy were released in December 2015
As previously covered, there is a distinct difference between how Sony handles bringing PlayStation 2 titles up to the PlayStation 4 and how Microsoft brings Xbox 360 games to the Xbox One. Microsoft emulates the previous generation console to make the Xbox One backwards compatible and brings new games every month.
Meanwhile, Sony is porting the PS2 titles to the PlayStation 4 with upgraded features. Each PS2 game made playable on the PlayStation 4 receives Trophy support along with upscaled resolutions to reach 1080p. Don’t expect upgraded visuals, but the games do support the key PS4 social features such as Remote Play, Share Play, Activity Feeds, and the ability to broadcast gameplay or record video and screenshots.
Long-time PlayStation fans should keep those old PS2 disks holstered and their PlayStation 2 Classic purchases on the PS3. Each of the PS2 games ported to the PlayStation 4 are a new purchase from the PlayStation Store that ranges from $10 to $15.
[Image via PlayStation Blog]