ClaDun x2 has to be one of the more unique RPGs that I’ve played on the PSP so far. For one, the graphic style harkens back to the retro era of the NES and SNES. Is it unique enough to keep this reviewer’s attention?
DOUBLE THE FUN
First time? Not a Problem - What I really liked about ClaDun x2 is that even though there was some sort of story in the first game, it doesn’t carry over to the second game. In ClaDun x2 it’s all about you this time. This is great, because this saves me time in searching online for the back story and trying to make sense of any references to the first game.
Circle of Power- This has to be one of the more interesting leveling/formation systems that I’ve seen so far. As you level up, these formation type grids called power circles will be available. By putting allies into certain circles, they affect the attributes of those in the circle. Some circles will have branching attributes that can raise the party leaders stats at the cost of the ally’s MP. The higher you level up, the more varied the circles will become and each formation will have a type of ‘theme’ to it, so to speak. For example, there will be formations that stress high defense while lowering magic, high strength and HP but low magical defense and so on.
Defend Me, My Minions! - In addition of having your allies enhance your overall stats, they also act like a human shield taking damage for you. This can become a double edged sword at times, but with the right power circle and formation, players can have a nearly invincible defense.
Possibilities Are Endless - For being a PSP game and a dungeon crawler, ClaDun x2 offers an extensive custom creation mode. There is, of course, the character customizing mode, which lets you alter the look of your avatar, right down to the weapon he/she wields, his/her death expression and the relationships the party has with each other. Think you can make better in-game music? You can make your own soundtrack within the game and play it as you dungeon crawl using the game’s music language MML. There’s a whole community that’s dedicated to creating music, character skins and much more. Who knew that Guile’s theme would go great with dungeon crawling?
Endless Crawling - After completing the main story dungeons, there are two other types of dungeons that ClaDun x2 offers: Neo-Geons and Tri-Geons . Neo-Geons are 99 randomly generated dungeons that players can explore and fight through. Within each of them is one of three gates: Devil Gates increases the difficulty of the monsters and has other “consequences,” Angel Gates, which bless crawlers with restored HP and “blessed luck.” Tri-Geons consist of three types of ran-geons: Normal, Chaos and Heaven. Here, you start out in a Normal dungeon but after that it’s anyone’s guess. Chaos dungeons are uber-hard and should be cleared as fast as possible while Heaven dungeons shower players who carefully go through them with rare loot. You never know what kind of dungeon is next behind that exit gate. Having these two extra dungeon types extend replay value and will keep loot fiends coming back for more.
The Price is Right - At $20, ClaDun x2 is a bargain compared to other full priced dungeon crawlers out there.
DOUBLE THE PAIN
I’m On My Own - When I think of dungeon crawling, I think of couch co-op, or at least online multiplayer. Unfortunately that’s not the case here. ClaDun x2 skips out on the multiplayer modes, which is a shame really, even with ad-hoc mode having a friend or two exploring the dungeons could have been twice the fun.
Seems a Bit Short - ClaDun x2 can seem a bit short. I personally clocked in about 12 to 14 hours, not including the extra dungeons and customizing my party. This is really odd for a dungeon crawler, since most that I’ve played have had a minimum of at least 20 hours of gameplay not including side quests and extra missions.
ClaDun x2 is a pocket full of dungeon crawling fun, perfect for that quick fix. It does, however, have its faults with a relatively short main story and no multiplayer. But with an easy to follow story, a unique leveling/formation system, a vibrant and creative community behind the game, and at a steal at $20, ClaDun x2 is a must have for those wanting their dungeon crawling on the go.