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8  |  A cute Rogue-style game
IMightBeGiant , 12/26/2002 7:59:51 AM
If you've played Rogue or one of its offspring, then you have a pretty good idea of what you're in for with Chocobo's Dungeon 2. (Apparently, there was a Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon before this, but I don't think it got released in the US.)

Fans of the Final Fantasy series will recognize many familiar themes. The magic system is what you'd expect - fire, ice, bolt and other elemental magic; mini, haste, flare, ultima and even summons. Even some of the equipment is the same (genji armor, for example)

There's a basic storyline that follows you, the Chocobo, through a series of adventures, but the main part of the game is exploring 5 basic dungeons. The trick is that each time you go down a level (you don't go back up), it gets randomly generated. This includes unidentified items. You might find a glowing flask this time that becomes a healing item, but next time you're here, it's poison!

As a chocobo, you have only a couple of equipment slots: claw, saddle, collar and thrown item. One goal of the game is to build better equipment through combining. This system is really fun to play with - you can build an elemental-resistant saddle or a claw that sucks essence out of an enemy. Plus, the only way to get certain spells is to have it come out of an item that you use until it breaks.

When you teleport out of a dungeon, all of your items are identified, at which point you can sell or store them for later use. Depending on which dungeon you go into, a friend will tag along, each with his or her own special ability. You even get to journey with Cid

Overall, I found this game HIGHLY addictive. I've played it through probably 4 or 5 times in the past year. Part of it comes with a desire to get all the spells, and the other part is just the fun of exploring.

The only downside to this game is what many consider to be its redeemer. After you 'finish' the game, you have the option of continuing in bonus dungeons. These are HARD because you play as one of the friends, and they get reset to L1 each time, plus they don't use any equipment. I've yet to actually complete all of the bonus dungeons - but I don't mind playing the rest over again.

If you've played Torneko (the Dragon Warrior flavored version), or the Lufia games, then you know exactly what the bonus dungeons here are like.

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