The Dink Network

Cloud Castle 2: Scarab

Jameil released! Boss mode!
December 9th, 2004
Score : 9.8 exceptional
I haven't played in a while, so I may say stupid things. I shouldn't write this, but the paucity of reviews alarmed me.

This game epitomizes the "stuff theory": the more stuff you put in, the better the result. Furthermore, it has an epic story, and excellent "balance" (in terms of gameplay).

Better than PQ. Better than Mayhem. Better than what happens nine months after PQ and mayhem love each other very much.

Let's start with the enemies. There are about five recurring "minibosses", each of whom has his (/her/their) own unique strengths, requiring unique tactics. Plus, there are two "big bosses", one of whom is optional, although neither is particularly interesting. Beyond that, there's a bevy of new enemies. Just to give you a taste:
1.Scarabs: very small pillbugs who can sometimes do a great deal of damage. Found in swarms. Try to get them to pack together, else they'll be tricky to evade.
2.Bane Boncas: black boncas who spit blood, a la "Lyna's Story".
3.Weird Slimes: sometimes they combine, sometimes they split apart. The first type is best handled by killing them before they can get together, the latter type is easily dispatched by water magic, though care must be taken if there are other enemies on the screen.
The enemies in the "Temple of the Ancients" are even cooler.

"What is this 'Temple of the Ancients'", you ask? An optional dungeon, and IMHO the coolest in Dink history. Basically, its filled with all manner of weird enemies, puzzles, and traps. And there's a cool-but-easy boss at the end, upon whose death you recieve some very nice goodies.

The fighting is not as well balanced as PQ--it's easier--but it still never gets boring. (Of course, the "death star" rather unbalanced the gameplay in PQ, but so do the rewards from beating the Temple of the Ancients in CC2.)

Besides of the fighting, the gameplay is almost flawless. I spent a lot of time wandering around at certain junctures, but with a little bit of thinking, combined with talking to people, nothing is too hard to figure out. The minigame(s?) were quite entertaining, same for the dungeons, puzzles etc etc.

A lot of, er, "British" humor. There's a tremendous amount of dialogue, most of it quite witty. Also, the map has been decorated well. I don't remember the music. Ultimately, the mood of the game is pleasantly light-hearted.

Yes, it's a good story. You fall from Cloud Castle into this penal colony. The colony was created to contain some Jamiel dude (the TOA boss), by using the psychic energy of its inmates. Completely seperate, there are some annoying punks, the Scarab Club 7, who are just trying to act cool and wreak mayhem. Although they lend a lot to the gameplay (as minibosses), they make very little sense (to me) in the greater context of the story.

Overall: 9.8
IMHO, CC2 is a little better than LOT and FIAT. It takes some time, and borders on epic size--with a walkthrough it's probably much faster--but is well worth it. Of course it doesn't have the feel of an epic, as there is really only one town, but that is besides the point.

The point being, unless you hate good, wholesome fun, and prefer to hurt little children or something, you should give this game a shot!