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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

ClaDun X2 First Impression Review

Cladun is a hack-and-slash, dungeon crawling and retro-style RPG brought by Nippon Ichi, the same guys who brought us the Disgaea series. The first game, namely Cladun: This is an RPG! was released on September 2010 and now they bringing it back with the sequel, Cladun X2. The feel of the second game is basically the same as the first, but as what they imply on its trailer, all the stuffs in it is X2.

The main plot of Cladun X2 is basically not connected to the first (or as far as I could see). You are stumbled upon a mysterious world known as Arcanus Cella, a miniature world on which accordingly whoever sets foot on it never gets out and the only door connecting to it leads to dungeons that constantly changes. You are introduce to few characters living in the world. As you progresses, you are able to learn about them little by little and along with secrets behind the small world that you're trap into.

One thing to know about Cladun X2 is that it has tons of varieties in terms of customization. If you're familiar on how most Nippon Ichi's game were made then you have a basic idea on what to expect at Cladun X2. I guess most of the elements of the original game are still intact at X2. I never played the first Cladun that much but as far as I could tell, everything are basically the same only with few additions and improvements. So if you played the first one, you're already knew what you're getting at X2.

For starters, the most notable feature here is that the game allows you to fully customize your character going from its name-your-character-thing, choosing gender, and up to managing and building-up characters. Everything will be basic from the start-- choose your job class, equip your weapon of choice and armor and build-up your character using the Magic Circle feature. After a few minutes of progress, the game will give more customization options for you mess around like changing job class, managing equipment's Job Titles and and tons of weapons/armors at your disposal. More of it, as your character's levels up, you gain various skills and Magic Circles depending on your job class. If you're starting to change job class more often then you will get a LOT.

Building up your character involves the use of the feature called Magic Circle. This is where you place all sorts of power ups called Artifacts to boost your character's stats and abilities. The feature involves using multiple characters (main and sub characters) that will be place in the circle. Depending on how strong the characters you're placing, how you place Artifacts and the Circle that you're using, you can build up your character in any preferred way you want. You will pretty much spend some of your playtime building up your characters considering the tons of stuffs you can do to improve your characters. Not to mention that do you will eventually have to create several characters to use for both sub and main character role.

yes folks. its a chicken sword... and its awesome!
Other than the varieties on building up characters, there are also some other varieties that somewhat doesn't really make up for your progress in the game rather it’s for all your amusements. One of the cool varieties in the game is editing character's sprite face and equipments. You can freely edit your character's face, armor and weapon all you want.  So if you want a character that looks like Squall from FF series with shades wearing Tidus' outfit and wielding a Buster sword, you go ahead. XD These optional varieties aren't really necessarily in your overall gameplay. You can play through even without messing with those but it’s actually hard to ignore it at first. It's time-consuming but addicting at the same time. You would find yourself editing faces and equipments the whole time than playing the main game.

the exit... so near yet so far (T_T)
The main gameplay is simple yet fun and challenging. You basically have to work your way to dungeon levels by finding the exit. Dungeons have different themes and each consist of 3 to 4 levels before going to the next dungeon theme. At first walkthrough, dungeons are simple and straight forward with some few handfuls of monsters in your way. As you progresses, dungeons became more and more complicated. There will be certain dungeon levels that require you to beat certain monsters before going any further. You can hack and slash your way or simply run pass through it, which you might try doing it anyway since there’s a reward for completing a dungeon if you beat its given fastest time record. But as you going further to dungeon levels, monsters will gradually improves. Once you starting to feel the difficultly, you might think of slowing down and try to play smart.

Unfortunately, Cladun X2 doesn't have any multiplayer mode at all. You can still do adhoc session with other players but it only does sharing of your pixel art of character's faces and equipments that you've created. I never played the first Cladun that much but I do knew there's a co-op mode there so it's too bad that they remove it at X2. Personally, it would have been fun to play Cladun with somebody else.

As I said, the game has tons of varieties you can mess around. Although some of these varieties are mainly for player's amusements and doesn't really add-up worth to the main gameplay, but these extra curriculums can be addicting at some point and that's actually how the fun works in Cladun. Building up characters might overwhelm you at first but it can still play the game casually. Surely there will be some grinding moments but they're not that as unforgiven as you may think and you can easily cope with it as long as you have the gist on the basics of the game. The retro feel of the game is a plus for guys (like me) who appreciate oldschool style of RPG gameplay. I would highly recommend this game for guys who appreciate classic RPG style and all.

And that's about it for my review. As always, I tend to make my review more general as possible so that I won't spoil the game that much for you. Everything I've talk about is just on the surface and it’s up you to know the rest. Hope this review is enjoyable and helpful.

Until then!

ClaDun X2 Trailer