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Chocobo's Dungeon 2 (PlayStation) artwork

Chocobo's Dungeon 2 (PlayStation) review


"“Chocobo’s Dungeon 2” starts out very well, with chipper music and some exchanges between a chatty moogle and his mute chocobo cohort. Don’t know what a moogle or chocbo are? Then this game isn’t for you. Actually, this game isn’t for a lot of people, you’re just the first group to be filtered out. Next group: People who can’t stand cutesy art. This game is so syrupy, it’ll put cavities in your eyes. Out with you, now. "



“Chocobo’s Dungeon 2” starts out very well, with chipper music and some exchanges between a chatty moogle and his mute chocobo cohort. Don’t know what a moogle or chocbo are? Then this game isn’t for you. Actually, this game isn’t for a lot of people, you’re just the first group to be filtered out. Next group: People who can’t stand cutesy art. This game is so syrupy, it’ll put cavities in your eyes. Out with you, now.

Anyway, “Chocobo’s Dungeon 2” is a roguelike. Don’t know what that is? Basically, it’s a game where the entire premise is exploring/escaping a vast and hopelessly perilous dungeon. Everything is random, from traps to loot. One moment you might get your mitts on a +3 Death Blade, and the next you might trigger an arrow trap that drains all 5 of your remaining HP. You’re sent back to the start, all your treasures and gear gone. Those who are still reading, make room for the group that is now shuffling out of this review.

If you’re still with me, then you are probably a roguehound like myself. The top question on your mind is: Is this a good roguelike? My answer is: Not really.

The first thing that’s wrong with “Chocobo’s Dungeon 2” is the health system. HP regeneration, normally the primary source of health in a roguelike, is ridiculously slow. There are dungeon squares that boost regeneration, but they’re too rare to make a difference. Because of this, potions become *the* life source in Chocobo, and these can only be acquired randomly or through shops. The latter requires money, which is a terribly rare commodity. Things get worse.

The equipment system is bad too. Weapons and armor (claws and saddles for our feathery hero) break after repeated use/abuse. Enemies have lots of HP and you don’t, which means survival may hinge on how fast you can kill the opposition. How fast you can kill the opposition hinges on upgrading your weapon to a plus-something. Upgrading your weapon to a plus-something hinges on how long you can keep it around before it breaks. This game will give you a lot of headaches.

To recap:

1) Health regeneration is too slow to reasonably keep up with the damage you take.
2) Money and inventory space is scarce, and therefore so are healing potions.
3) You need strong weapons to kill enemies fast.
4) Equipment breaks.

Is there a way to prolong the life of your weapons and armor? Of course. There are two options, actually. One is the randomly dropped “Repair Card,” which is obviously not reliable. The other is to visit a blacksmith in the hub town outside the dungeon. Unfortunately, he doesn’t start his smithing business until you complete a really obscure side quest. Finish that, and he’ll repair one piece of gear for the measly price of 1500 gil. (Don’t forget that money is scarce!) By the way, he only repairs one piece of equipment per cycle. In other words, if your weapon and armor both need to be repaired, you can only do one or the other. Anyone still there?

The game throws you some bones, I guess. Death doesn’t reset your experience levels, and the save system is very lenient. Don’t like how something turned out? You can reset the game and load your last file. There's also magic and summon moves, which takes some of the burden off your Chocobo's talons. In some ways, “Chocobo’s Dungeon 2” isn’t a bad roguelike. It just rubs you wrong in all the other ways.

Rating: 5/10

joseph_valencia's avatar
Community review by joseph_valencia (December 02, 2009)

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