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Current time: August 6, 2020, 9:33 pm

Poll: I should have added more pictures.
This poll is closed.
Nah, it detracts from game-time, i mean it must have taken you like 2 hours to write that shit.
3 42.86%
Definitely. Too many words! I CAN'T FOCUS ON THIS SHIT! And what is with that format?! DON'T YOU CARE ABOUT FORMAT, YOU FUCKING ENGLISH PEDANT?! Angry
1 14.29%
I'm not actually sure what this is. I might have the reading comprehension of a snail, I may have clicked this thread by accident, or 'it's complicated'. (This is the Blueberries option).
3 42.86%
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So I'm playing Dark Cloud
So I'm playing Dark Cloud
For the first time in like, 3-6(?) years... I'm playing the first PS2 game I ever owned. Yesterday, I logged 16 hours in the game, which is not counting the time I read up on the fishing or build up paths, nor the time I spent finding the best ABS locations. Nor bathroom breaks, or the time I ate in between. And I'd probably have done the same today if I hadn't heard our government closed (which seems like no biggie)... so imma return to the game in a little bit Smile

[Image: darkcloud_ps2box_usa_org_01.jpg]

Dark Cloud is an RPG that came out in 2000. /endbackground (yes, I'm that eager to get playing again).

I don't even know how to divide up what I've experienced, so I'll probably do it in a random thought-stream, maybe I'll make use of bullet points...
*The game's hard enough that I've been hit once due to poor timing and been knocked out of the dungeon (losing half of my money, mind). While I cannot say it quite as punishing as, say... Dark Souls... it does posses a non-miniscule level of challenge. As with all RPGs: you are welcome to trivialize such by grinding your 'levels'... however, to do so in an even slightly efficient manner, you either have to be willing to put up with a whole bunch of really annoying menu-switching... or you have to engage enemies with absolutely shitty weapons (or take your shitty weapons to a level where they might kill a meager Ram, with some work, looking at you Dagger).

Okay, bullet points aren't going to work. Fuck it. Continuing: So yeah, there's an opt-out of the difficulty, right? Not so much! Even with my absurdly overpowered weaponry (Xiao's slingshot is like a nuke. On one enemy. Spammable)... I've still managed to die a number of times. Always, mind, due to a mistake in timing. Take the werewolves in the back room of the 10th floor of the Wise Owl Forest: slow as shit, leave plenty of openings, very vulnerable to invuln-windows with your power attacks, right? Well, after clearing them a few times, I stopped respecting them, went full spam-mode. What is the result? You get one-shot. Spamming WILL kill you, spamming WILL leave you open to attacks you don't need to take, spamming WILL get you cursed, stoned, poisoned, gooed, and more. Spamming will also prevent you from reacting, because it drains your speed bar critically low (which leaves you unable to formulate an on-the-spot effective combo, or power attack, or doublecharged power attack, or guard, or lock-off dran's feather juking (citing the time-lock of spamming with regards to the last two)).

So now that we know that spamming is bad, how about the enemies, are they actually worthy of respect? That would be a resounding YES. Oftentimes, even when Toan is using his ~117 attack Dusack... I will absolutely not engage an Auntie-Medusa, Gunny, Witch Illza, Sam, Tuesday, Thursday, Dragon, Cannon, and other enemies who butcher weapon durability and/or have a long-ranged projectile attack (with Toan). It's incredibly difficult to use his mechanics to 'close the gap', and once he does... he can't combo effectively against enemies who backstep, and even if he gets a full 100-0 combo off, there is ALWAYS the risk of being hit with a status effect (or a shit tone of damage) on the way in. It's simply not worth it... for enemies at range, I would much prefer to use a different character (likely Xiao or Osmond). And the things that Xiao and Osmond have an unnecessarily hard time with? Enemies who really like to guard, who are durable enough to take extremely low damage from their weapons (looking at you, Demon Shaft...), with capacity to easily 1-shot them. Sure, you can orbwalk like a boss with Xiao, and Osmond's kiting is superb... but they will end up losing so many Weapon Hit Points that you feel the burn.

Like, if I see a mimic, I will immediately swap to Goro. While I was playing, I ended up shifting characters to those who I found (through trial) were best suited to certain encounters. Smile Like, when i played this game before, I pretty much just used Toan, and it was hard as a coffin nail, and I sucked horribly and I died a lot and I lost my weapons repeatedly (nothing feels as bad as breaking a weapon you've spent hours of work on. Nothing in this goddamn world hurts like that). I've even been close to losing several weapons in this play of the game (like that time when you're all 'i've got 5 durability left, I can make one or two more shots with the sling!'... and then you have 1 durability left after accidentally shooting one more time than you meant to), and I've found myself more than once low on repair powder, but not wanting to waste ABS (you may understand if you level weapons efficiently). And sometimes an enemy's ability to destroy your WHP can take you by complete surprise. Example: So I had 30 WHP on a Bastard Sword+3 I was leveling to synth-break, and ahead of me was a lowly Gunny on the first floor of the Shipwreck. 4WHP remaining after that combo... and that goddamn Gunny was still fucking alive, with half of it's hitpoints. 0.o

Little moments like that are very thrilling. The game's highly entertaining in many other facets... whether it be the georama, the occasional cinematic, duels, the fishing minigame (it's like fucking golf, I rage so fucking hard at the fish that I should record this shit JUST for your entertainment, holy shit), spending years looking for the miracle chests, and mocking Ungaga's usability (we shall see, I wasn't impressed with anyone before, but thus far I've found GREAT USE in both Xiao and Goro, and spend as much time with them as I do with Toan).


I would recommend the game to anyone who hasn't yet played it... it is not without flaws (it gets a little monotonous without a Dran's Feather, early slings are generally shitty (I got super lucky and found 4 bandit slingshots almost in a row), it may at times be 'too difficult' if you don't effectively level your weapons (play without synth breaking and gems... you'll /wrist it soon enough), the slowing of your character's speed during lock-on makes it very difficult to handle targets you need to get to quickly, the build paths for other character's weapons end in 1-3 ultimates, whereas Toan has like, 5-7? (including standalone Chronicle 2), and some character's use cases are considerably lower (Ungaga and Ruby, the former is possibly absent a single usage case (will test later, of course), the latter's effectiveness is charge-based and requires a great deal of micromanagement, which leaves her with very few engagement opportunities... granted, I do not believe her projectiles weaken over distance (will also test), which makes her effective from the furthest range possible (very helpful against the Dark Genie)).

But the overall note of the game is overwhelmingly positive... and where Dark Cloud 2 improves on most of this to a legendary quality: the combat of Dark Cloud seems to be significantly more difficult than the sequel (where there's like... the battle with flotsam in the Zelmite mines... and that's it. Dark Element and enemies in that game at typically pansies. Griffon might kick your butt, tho. Maybe, if you suck). Further, the thirst effect is very enjoyable as far as gameplay is concerned.

If only Level 5 would make Dark Cloud 3. I would buy the new playstation 4 over that.
Please give me a home where cloud buffalo roam
Where the dear and the strangers can play
Where sometimes is heard a discouraging word
But the skies are not stormy all day
RE: So I'm playing Dark Cloud
Hmm. . sounds good. I may try to emulate it. (Run it with a PC, using emulation software.)
What falls away is always, and is near.

Also, I am not pretending to be female, this profile picture is my wonderful girlfriend. XD
RE: So I'm playing Dark Cloud
That copy-paste from shoutbox Dodgy

Tiger Just a random excerpt of me almost immediately after doing something that ended up being difficult Smile

7th October 2013, 17:42 Violet Lilly Blossom » I feel oddly... proud.

7th October 2013, 17:43 Violet Lilly Blossom » I managed to down minotaur joe on my first attempt, without prior knowledge of how to do it. Why am I proud, you ask?

7th October 2013, 17:45 Violet Lilly Blossom » Because Osmond died right quick, and i figured out 'the basic mechanic' with Xiao right before she died. Goro also got dropped trying to pull his combo and abuse the invulnerablity window. Word to the wise: stamina'd minotaur is fucking painful

7th October 2013, 17:46 Violet Lilly Blossom » And even then, as I desperately swapped between Ruby and Toan, just struggling to evade his attacks... I was losing. Ruby got hit and dropped below half-health, and all but one of my eight premium chickens were gone... which is when I came across an effective strategy.

7th October 2013, 17:49 Violet Lilly Blossom » Do NOT lock on (with toan). Feather run past him, then slice at his back with your sword (while he's still in the 'recoil window' from his attack). That part was the easy bit to figure out... >_> However, he was still catching me with an errant ability or two due to my poor positioning.*

7th October 2013, 17:51 Violet Lilly Blossom » That's when I discovered, with absolutely zero healing items remaining, and no more stand-in powder, that you could continue to damage him when he's in his 'imma pansy' routine. He can respond with some violence after a few swings if you're not careful... but I finally downed him Smile Toan had ~40 HP TT__TT

7th October 2013, 17:53 Violet Lilly Blossom » So... saving. If i'm not mistaken, sticking the sunstonythingy into the giant triggers a really tough duel... and I'm not sure if I have any fights when i get to the castle of dark heaven. Be prepared, boys. Smile

Violet Lilly Blossom » Every new iteration of enemies seems to really tighten up their windows, and shore up their monster-class's previous weaknesses. I could dance around the enemies in the divine beast cave, wise owl forrest, and temple of the sun and moon. The moon sea was sweet though... and a little short. Here's hoping for a serious spike in difficulty in the gallery of time and demon shaft Big Grin


I've never beaten the dark genie (real), I think I previously gave up at the undodgeable sneeze attack I tried forever to dodge (invuln windows just aren't close to long enough). I'm sure it'll be an exciting fight, regardless Smile

*and my attempting to trigger his over-the-head axe attack.
Please give me a home where cloud buffalo roam
Where the dear and the strangers can play
Where sometimes is heard a discouraging word
But the skies are not stormy all day
RE: So I'm playing Dark Cloud
So I get to the castle of dark heaven (there was no duel, sadness)... and find me a dark flower. I've seen a few enemies like this by now, so I know what to do when in melee. But I'm leveling another weapon to synth break, and I'm on toan. So I wait for it to engage it's whip-back, go in immediately after... hah-hah-hah-hah-[.2 second longer pause for last attack windup]-Ahh!

The plant now has a bite counter-attack Big Grin

Adapted to not use the last strike on the plants, just to back away (.1 second) after the 4th strike.

So there's a new 'Dasher/Ram' type enemy to. So I'm all 'what's his new mechanic?', right? At about 1/3rd of his health, I'm all disappoint, and I just go for the kill. Hah-hah-h[enemy ram turns stamina]ahhhhh. I get knocked on my ass and lose 80% of my health. Ram with an enrage! BRILLIANT! XD Both from a design perspective AND from a gameplay perspective. This game had been sweet on my mechanics... I go back to LoL, and I'm playing just ahead of where I'd nomally be playing.. AND I AM SICK.

Good times ahead. Smile

Also, curse dancers fuck ungaga up. Get cursed, bro. Down-slash is the only one that will connect and cause stutter before its awesome stutter-into windup mechanic that abuses .25 second gaps in a combo/guard, and messes you up at certain ranges for all three melee characters.

Edit: constructive criticism, Ungaga should have a lunge at the end of his combo. I'm always left underwhelmed by him, despite having times when I pull specifically him out (though they overlap with ranged characters).
Please give me a home where cloud buffalo roam
Where the dear and the strangers can play
Where sometimes is heard a discouraging word
But the skies are not stormy all day
RE: So I'm playing Dark Cloud
Main story is done now, we'll see about the demon shaft after the credits. Smile I discovered something: stamina drinks are OP. I had only one ultimate weapon (Xiao's)... and I didn't even use it in the fight (phase one swapped from toan to ruby, just watched which of his hands was going under, swapped element, dodged attack, swung once, repeated until his hands 'died'. Then popped to Ruby for laser and sneeze (stamina + guard with ruby and I was taking 1 damage from it Dodgy ) and struck with stamina'd basic attack). Phase two took me a minute, damn near died to that laser twice (first didn't expect it, second got caught on one of his minions when it came down), so I swapped between osmond and toan. After the first sword strike, thought I'd try holy. Got results. Lift's head? No biggie, just pop to osmond and fly around aimlessly, shoot him once (not sure if needed), and his head'll come right back down.

Had some emotional investment come to some fruition there towards the end (both chain-of-memories and post-genie battle). Lots of almost tears.

After credits scene kind of weirds me out, though.

Demon shaft is pretty much everything I'd hoped it would be Tiger

I love seeing enemies that were later incorporated into dark cloud 2, just gonna make me want to play that game even more Dodgy
Please give me a home where cloud buffalo roam
Where the dear and the strangers can play
Where sometimes is heard a discouraging word
But the skies are not stormy all day

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