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 Recent Games

Persona 5

I had never actually heard of the Persona series until a friend mentioned it shortly before the game released. After a small amount of digging around on the internet, I quickly decided this would be a game to add to my collection. It was definitely the right choice!

This is certainly one of the most unique, story-driven RPGs I have ever played. The story was simply phenomenal, I could barely put this game down as I was so desperate to see what was going to happen next. It takes a long time to get through, but I feel that there is more than enough variety in the activities and options that are available to you to stop you from losing interest.

The game almost plays like it’s actually a Japanese anime, and this is reinforced by the story cutscenes which actually are in the format of an anime.

I find the battle system very interesting, the standard expectations for a turn-by-turn system are in place, but the Persona system is what I enjoy the most Рa feature which could be compared to Pokémon. The main bulk of enemies you fight will be Personas which you can in fact collect. There is a large variety of Personas that are available to the main character, and I particularly enjoyed the mythical theme around each of them Рyou will spot many legendary creatures, and even Gods. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses for you to discover, so most of them can be useful in some way.

A large part of the game is forming bonds with your teammates and other potential allies, and as your bonds deepen, various benefits will be given to you. This could be some form of service in the world, or it could be a maneuver/tactic in battle. It definitely pays to try to deepen your bonds as much as possible.

The soundtrack to this game is like nothing I have heard before – a unique sound without a doubt! Catchy tunes can be found just about wherever you go, in particular the standard battle music – I have found myself pulling tracks up on YouTube to listen to!

I think the social commentary in play here is particularly interesting, the story tackles an array of issues, mainly regarding “higher up” figures, and really makes you think about people’s perception of others, deep-running corruption, the reaction of the public to the media, and I can’t think of another game that so effectively makes you think about such modern day issues.

There are so many more things I could talk about, but I wouldn’t want to give too much away for anyone who might not have played the game yet! I would definitely give Persona 5 my full recommendation, easily something that you can sink hours and hours into!

  • Platform: Playstation 3, Playstation 4
  • Release Date: 15/09/16 (Japan), 04/04/17 (Worldwide)
  • Genre: Fantasy RPG,