Tip of the Quill: A Journal
He’s not kidding.

Dark Cloud 2Yeah, when Nick mentioned my new addiction, he wasn’t kidding. I’ve long been a sucker for a particular type of RPG, the vaguely-cartoony, kinda-funny-but-also-tragic, epic, innovative sort. Think Dragon Warrior. Think The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Think Final Fantasy I-IV and IX. And now, Dark Cloud 2 for the PlayStation. This is far and away the best game I’ve played in years.
Its graphics are breathtakingly beautiful, the music is lovely and only minimally annoying, and its gameplay is innovative and a hell of a lot of fun. When was the last time you saw an RPG so seamlessly blend the best city-building parts of SimCity or ActRaiser, a story akin to The Secret of Mana or Final Fantasy, a combat system even better than Zelda, and throw in some all-new innovations like using a camera and an invention system to concoct your own weapons?
I’ve been waiting for an RPG just like this. I know The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is slated to arrive tomorrow. I feel sort of guilty suspecting that even the new Zelda won’t dislodge Dark Cloud 2 from its slot in my games-of-the-year list. I mean, it’s Zelda. But Dark Cloud 2 is the game that the Zelda directly after Link to the Past should have been. I’m with Nick when he says that The Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask sucked. Here’s hoping The Wind Waker gets back to those glory days. I’m in no rush to find out, though. Me, I’ve got some inventing to do.