The Dink Network

Cloud Castle 2: Scarab

The Cloud Castle series has always been full of bugs.
February 8th, 2005
Score : 8.9 good
Peasant He/Him Australia
Overall while this DMOD had elements I liked, and a few really excellent touches I still did not enjoy playing it as much as I had hoped. In fact I have had 4 attempts now to finish it - and for the last I had to look into scripts to see how to get the "good" ending.

Story: This is a fairly strong element to the DMOD. There are a number of threads here that diverge and then entwine again. I liked this very much. What I didn't like was the fact that not only was there one evil creature imprisoned in the desert but 2, plus a 3rd guy roaming around who is an underlying of one of the 2 really bad evil dudes, but he is the last one you fight. The Jack and Jill element kinda didn't work - especially as I seemed to have killed her in the last (?) confrontation, just before she opted to leave with Jack. This sort of confrontation, which is interrupted before a resolution comes about, is throughout the DMOD and after a while really started to bug me.

Score 8.5 out of 10

Graphics: Really liked the use of these and the new ones. Ancient was cool - dont remember seeing that before in a DMOD, so I'm guessing it was made for this one.

Score: 9.5 out of 10

Mapping: Pretty good, with some brilliant touches. I loved the Ancient's temple. Had a few depth dot errors with doors (I remember being behind doors in Alessa's mind world with Dink saying "it's shut..." or something. Find that weird.

Score: 9.5 out of 10

Gameplay: This is where the DMOD wasn't working that well for me. I hate it when you have screenlock creatures revived seconds after killing them, especially if it is just part of sub-quest. This happens with the spitting boncas in the first part of the game. I died here a number of times before getting through as I tried back tracking to find barrels with hearts etc. There were also other annoying stuff like going back to areas after you had visited and Dink says "Time to find..." and you've already done that. A weakening of the non-linearity aspect. (i.e. I loaded up a saved game, couldn't remember if I'd been to free the dragon, entered the caves and Dink says "time to find blah blah" so I figure - oh, this was the saved game before I freed that dude - in I go, battle away, only to find I had already freed him) Also this cave was another example of the screenlock Goblins reappearing. I figure once I've killed a stone goblin that's come back to life - it isn't going to be a stone goblin anymore - but nooooo, you have to fight them again, and again, and again.

Which brings me to the next point I found detracting - the amount of fighting to level up. Too much for me. I ended up bumping my stats up to fight Jameil as I got bored with dying, and wanted to see the "good" ending.

I also found that after beating him, the rest of the game seemed less important - especially those Scarab 7 dudes - which while funny at first, really bugged me after a while.

Even so - there are lots of good puzzles and scripting going on here - which help offset the stuff I mentioned above.

Score: 7.5 out of 10

Bonus Material:
Humour - a big plus, and while some of it I found annoying, there were some nice one liners. Plus lots of stuff scripted.
End Boss unlock - this type of stuff I never like - it's too boring for me. Plus you don't have any heal potions, so I stopeed playing after a while - heck I'd already defeated all the bad guys (except Jameil) without bumping up stats - why do it again? But it seems to be well executed, so it's a pretty good bonus if you like that sort of thing.

Score: 9.5 out of 10.

Overall: Not a bad DMOD - but of the two biggies that came out at the same time last year - Initiation has a definite edge of this one.

8.9 out of 10