Posted in Old Games

Dark Cloud

This game was another of my all time favourites as a child. My first memory of this game is my mum renting (YES, renting!!) this for me as a random little surprise – I simply was not able to stop playing it until we had to take it back! Although at that age, I wasn’t very good at it and so didn’t get very far!

The main protagonist is called Toan, and he is a classic mute, sword-wielding character (I wonder if you can guess who he reminded me of as a child ..). During the night of a festival in his village, the world is attacked by the Dark Genie, and this is what kicks off the game.

You are saved by a divine power, who also saved all the other inhabitants of the world, but sealed them away I’m spheres for you to collect and then rebuild.. this isn’t as complex as it sounds!

Each village has it’s own corresponding dungeon where these spheres will be found, and the dungeon mechanic itself is quite simple but enjoyable.

Your weapons have stats which will go up as you level them up with certain stat-boosting attachments, as well as elements which you increase in the same way. Eventually your stats will be high enough to “build up” your weapon into a new one, which is key for surviving in the later dungeons.

You will gain allies as you progress through the world, until you eventually end up with 6 playable characters – all very unique with their own weapon of choice and special abilities which will be used to help progress in the dungeons.

The dungeons themselves actually hold plenty of challenges. First there’s the obvious, the monsters. Then you actually have to be wary of your thirst meter – once it depletes you will start to gradually lose health. Certain monsters can inflict status effects on you which will be detrimental in different ways, you will need to either leave the dungeon or use an item to remedy the status.

The layout of the dungeon will change every time you enter, so although the enemies found on that floor will be the same, you will still be finding your way around the floor. Each dungeon floor will also have an access point to the “Back Room” … these are darker areas of the dungeons where the monsters have buffs, but give extra experience for your weapons, and great treasures can be found in these areas.

The last major challenge is the “Limit Zones“. Certain floors of the dungeons will have special restrictions put on them, such as only a certain character having access to them, not being able to change your weapon and losing experience points on your weapon, and thirst occurring at a rapid pace.

There is also a post-game dungeon which is particularly gruelling, and it takes a lot of high end weapons for all your characters, and a lot of skill to be able to make progress here. It is not something I have completed, but it is certainly on my gaming bucket list.

I really recommend this for anyone who enjoys a dungeon crawler, and it’s very easy to get these days! It was originally a PS2 game, and has since appeared on the PSN store for both PS3 and PS4. I frequently see it half price, so it’s easy to get this great game at a low price!


  • Platform: Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation 4
  • Release Date: 14/12/2000 (Japan), 29/05/2001 (US), 21/09/2001 (EU)
  • Genre: Fantasy RPG, Adventure, Dungeon Crawler

Posted in Old Games

Final Fantasy VIII

In light of the new remaster that has just hit the current generation of consoles, I figured I would talk about one of my favourite games from one of my favourite franchises .. Final Fantasy VIII!

I never actually owned this on the Playstation, but got this when it hit the Playstation 3, and I was simply enthralled. It is unlike any other Final Fantasy game that I have played with it’s unique junctioning system, where you enhance the members of your party by assigning the various GFs (Guardian Forces) to them, along with magic which you must “draw” from the monsters around the world.

As with any game in the series, the characters are all wildly unique in their own way, with a variety of weapons and personalities. The new remastered version brings us refreshed character models, so the party have never looked better!

The characters are in fact some of my favourite throughout the whole series – in particular, Squall Leonhart, Quistis Trepe, and Seifer Almasy. Squall is my favourite of all the Final Fantasy protagonists, and Seifer is a fantastic rival character in my opinion.

The character development that takes place as you progress through the story is very deep and emotional, though I won’t mention anything specific to avoid spoilers for the sake of the people who may not have played this game yet.

This is a long game, one that you will need to sink many hours into if you want to complete the story, let alone complete everything. The original Playstation version had 4 game discs as it was such a large game. There are lots of optional areas to explore, particularly in the second half of the game, lots of enemies to fight, cards to collect and card games to win, and there are GFs for you to find.

There are some interesting themes that are tackled in the story, personal growth, memory loss, love and fate, not to mention the controversial nature of a school dedicated to training teens to become an army of elite mercenaries!

The remastered version has actually added a few features that help you blitz through the story, which I would say have been added specifically for those of us who have already completed the challenge of the game, and simply want to experience the story again. There is a fast forward setting which allows you to play x3 times faster (but keeps the music at the regular frequency thankfully), a boost mode which gives the party full health and full limit break, and a no encounters option which of course turns off random encounters. Personally I am definitely making use of the x3 mode, as one of my favourite parts of these kind of games is grinding, levelling, all the things that most gamers would probably complain about!

This is absolutely one of my favourites, and definitely what I would consider a classic. I would say the remastered version is well-deserved, and I’m really looking forward to completing it!


  • Platform: Playstation, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Release Date: 11/02/1999-23/03/2000 (Region and platform Dependant)
  • Rerelease Date: 03/09/19
  • Genre: Fantasy RPG, Adventure