Tuesday, November 21, 2000

Jade Cocoon 2 | 10

Jade Cocoon 2 is the kind of game which invariably will be explained, failingly, in comparisons: Final Fantasy X, Monster Rancher, Pokemon, etc. It is no less fabulous for the seeming inability of gamers to describe its pleasures for what they are. If I were to compare JC2 to another game, the title that springs to mind would be Okage: Shadow King, and that simply on the virtue of its irreverent charm and heavy stylization, for be assured that the gameplay stretches leagues and leagues deeper, and the experience becomes far more addictive than that relatively lukewarm RPG. JC2's prime offering for you, prospective customer, lies in the endless drip feed of pure RPG dungeon crawling, monster evolving joy -- and the game's developers have stuffed JC2 with enough side quests, arenas, dungeons, and monster variations to keep your thumbs rooted to the dual shock for just one more level, one more merge... Before long, you'll start marking time with your bladder. Critics who whine about repetitiveness apparently have never spent an afternoon with Monster Rancher 3 or Phantasy Star Online -- and even those games are enjoyable. After all, who cares about going back for seconds if the game makes it so entirely worth your while? Other selling points include JC2's cute character designs (including a faux girl band with a dead ringer for Scary Spice), inspired voice acting (yes, probably better than FFX) and very nice graphics throughout, from the actual battle animations to the high-res boss cut scenes to the anime narrative bits. JC2 is every bit worth your time and money, and for all the love that went into this title, it's also well worth yours too.

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