Friday, November 13, 2009

Dark Cloud

I've finished Sly Cooper. It was fun and not too long, plenty of moves to learn and good action. I'll probably get the sequel after I finish going through the rest of the games I bought.

The current game I'm playing is Dark Cloud. Most of the games that I got are games that I found on top 20 sites. Dark Cloud was one of them, but I just can't imagine how anyone thought it was that good. You play as a skinny kid with plastic hair that wears a green turban. A dark genie was released that destroyed half the world in a single day. The fairy king, realizing that he and his people were outmatched, decided to lay the fate of the world in your inexperienced hands.

Your job in the game is to collect all the parts of the villages and put them back together. This might have been interesting, but after seeing the people at a festival in the introduction I just couldn't care about them enough to want to put their village back. One of the villagers is named Macho. He's about three or four of your character and he wants his house next to the dungeon so he can fight (though it's just to work out, he never helps you) and he wants his weights placed at his house etc etc. Then there's the fat guy who sleeps all day and wants me to risk my neck to bring him his candy box. Then he gives me a piece of cheese. I'll go off about my (in-game) mom later.

This might have been remedied by making the dungeons fun. They're not. I was concerned at first about my 'thirst meter'. If I run out of water, I start losing health and can't fight well. This turned out to not be a problem (at least not so far, I'm still in the first dungeon) since there is usually a pool on each floor that I can just walk into and I'll be full of water and life. No, what REALLY got me is the hit points on the weapons. I would go through a bit of the dungeon floor then I'd have to leave so I could run back to the mayor's house where he would give me one package of 'repair powder' which magically fixes weapons. So I'd talk to him, use the powder, talk to him again then head back to the dungeon. Later on I had four weapons, but I still had to leave the dungeon after only one floor because all my weapons were about to break. Then I had to go through the boring process of talking to the mayor, getting one pouch, healing one weapon, on and on until I finally healed all my weapons then went to play through only one more floor before having to run back. When I finally got the shop guy and his house and all the items that made him happy enough to start selling me things (c'mon man, you need to be bribed to sell things to me after I saved your life and your home?) I ended up selling a good chunk of what I'd found (most monsters don't drop cash) in order to heavily invest in repair powder so I could actually go through more than one floor without having to run back and forth all day long.

Which leads me to another reason that I can't care less about the villagers. They can't care less about me after I rescue their 'atla' (soul? essence?) from the dungeon, dredge up their homes and possessions and kill tons of monsters and undead that live right next door. For getting all their possessions back to them they'll give me something basic (thanks for the single piece of cheese). Does anyone offer to help me? Don't they realize what happened? If I died in the dungeon (which I did) would anyone ever do anything useful again?

Duels. Some monsters are 'too strong' to actually fight, so I need to duel then instead. This is basically a poor man's rhythm game with no music. These are easier than regular fights, especially against those lousy cave bats that fly just above where my sword swings half the time. The second duel was against a mysterious guy who wanted the bracelet I got from the fairy king. He told me that I had no hope of beating the dark genie, which is pretty much what the fairy king said.

I tend to agree. I'm still slicing away at bats and crap and I can't level up. I can only use the weapons until they have enough xp to level up. Level the weapon up enough and it can change to a stronger, different weapon. Apparently the weapons are made of Pokemon. I did manage to break the weapon I'd put the most work into because my last hit took down more weapon hp than I thought it would. It was like losing a few levels because it was my only decent weapon.

I did get my first ally though. It was a cat I rescued that I used a potion on so she became kinda human. Her slingshot is super weak at the level I'm on. It only does 1 point of damage to the big enemies which have lots more HP. So by the time I've killed ONE of them my only weapon is about to break. Want to know the best part? I'm on a level that will only let me use her. So she can't kill anything, but I need to kill everything to find the key to the next floor. I'm stuck. Even when she died (didn't take long) it gave me the option of switching to the main guy or losing half my money. But it wouldn't let me switch.

That's not the only kind of limit that they put on you. There are floors that make it so that your weapons LOSE exp each time you kill something. Why? Because the makers hate you. You HAVE to kill to progress. Killing hurts your weapons like crazy, but at least you get a little weapon xp for it so you can eventually get stronger, but on these levels it makes playing the game a punishment. (regular levels are just a chore. The difference between cleaning the bathroom and cleaning the bathroom with your tongue.)

On the bright side, it made playing Destroy All Humans all that much more fun.