Dark Cloud – 9. Game Over, In a Good Way

Hell, it’s about time…

 
I cleared half the levels of the gallery yesterday, and the other half this morning. It took me about one to two hours to do that. Then it was time to fight the genie. He kicked my ass, several times. I could only attack his hands that rose out of the ground for a second or two and only with one element, indicated by a symbol on the hand. He takes more than half my health with each hit, and I can hit him for about 100 or so damage. I believe I took close to 3000 and still nothing changed.
 
This is way I’ve spent most of the day leveling my weapons up. I did some fishing until I ran out of bait, exchanged the points for gems, then went and cleared some of the back levels of the Shipwreck for more gems and Abs. points. It took me the entire day to level Toan’s sword into a 7th Heaven and to level Ruby’s Crystal Ring to a Secret Armlet. I pretty much maxed out all of the attributes on most weapons. I did this from around 10 in the morning, to about 30 minutes ago (17:00).
 
My second attempt against the genie went much better. I sold all the gems I had left and spent it all on premium chicken and repair items. It turns out the genie had three phases in total. The first one with the hands was where I noticed the nice change. Instead of doing 100 damage at a time, I did around 1100.  It took me just a few hits to go to phase two. The genie stopped attacking me with his hands and instead started shooting some giant beam from a third eye on his forehead. I had to dodge the beam and shoot at the eye when the beam stopped.  A few 1000 damage hits later, phase 3 started. He turned into some giant insect like thing and summoned to skeleton monsters. First I tried to kill the skeletons, but then their corpses kept blocking me and he resurrected them again. I decided to ignore them and focus on the genie. He would send a shock wave in my direction by stomping his foot, so I had to dodge that. Right after the shockwave, he opened his mouth and something came out that I had to hit. Every now and then he would also shoot a tracking laser beam at me, this time a bit stronger than in phase two. A few hits at the thing in his mouth, and he was dead.
There was a big ending scene where I resurrected the king’s wife and then Toan disappeared. The credits started rolling and after that there was a scene of Toan running towards his village where a party was happening. I got the “The End” screen and a notification about unlocking a new dungeon. I guess the point of that one is to do more grinding, but that is not something I’m looking forward to.
So, what do I think about the game? All in all, I would give it a 6-7/10. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fun game. Some of the humor was decent and the weapon system looks good on paper, but there were a lot of things that could’ve been done better. First of all, the controls are really bad. The camera spins like crazy and it’s really hard to hit anything properly from melee without taking damage. Most of the difficulty in this game comes from bad controls. Also, the forced grinding is just bad game design. All the other bosses in the game could be killed with minimal leveling in advance, but the last one took 6-7 hours of grinding before I could kill him. The fact that the last dungeon had 25 levels instead of the usually 16-17, including levels where you were forced to use each of the characters is not even worth mentioning.  The story itself could have been good, but the presentation was just bad. At times I wasn’t sure if the game is supposed to be funny, serious, bright or dark. It’s just completely inconsistent.
 
All in all, if you like grinding and don’t care about the story to much, go for it. Just don’t expect that you will like it nearing the end just because you liked the beginning. The game tricks you like that. Oh well, they say Dark Cloud 2 was way better, so I will try that one next.
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