Review by DemonEyesKyo

Reviewed: 08/20/03

Like an advanced Pokemon with Fun

Jade Cocoon 2 is an interesting game to say the least. It is somewhat reminiscent of Pokemon, only with a deeper level of strategy and more engrossing storyline.You control Kahu, a young aspiring beasthunter. Your duty as such is to enter the four elemental forests, get past wild beast while defeating the kalma who roam the forests. However, on your way you will be confronted by everything from giant beasts, to rival beasthunters, to what can only be described as the junior Spice Girls. Throughout the game you will acquire new beast eggs and merge existing beast with seedbeasts to create more potent creatures. And of course the storyline will throw greater and more ominous challenges your way as you progress.

Gameplay: 9/10
The combat system is very inventive, at a higher level all of your beasts are dependant on one another and abilities overlap making strategy and skill choice more important. The item menus work well and all items have a small icon to easily distinguish them from each other. Aside from the main story line the game is packed full of sub-quests to consume your time. Controls are simple and easy to use, you could probably play the whole game with one hand if you really wanted to. The game is somewhat redundant though, be prepared to spend hours running through forests, that look just like the ones you finished, attacking wild beasts over and over again. There is also a versus mode for arena dueling between you and a friend, however it requires that you both have saved games of Jade Cocoon 2.

Story: 8/10
Jade Cocoon 2 has an excellent storyline when compared to similar games (Pokemon etc.) You will go through many unexpected plot twists before finally arriving at your goal. One note of caution however, at a certain point in the game it will seem as though the story line ends. While this isn’t quite what happens it does dwindle down from what it was to a much more minor one.

Graphics: 8/10
The game graphics aren’t exactly top notch, but they certainly aren’t that bad either. The combat graphics (which is most of what you’ll be seeing) are where the game really shines, quite literally in some cases. Each attack has its own specific animation most of which look rather shiny.

Sound: 7/10
The sound is decent throughout the game. The music is OK, but it’s nothing stellar. The sound effects are cool at first but after the thousandth time (and trust me in some cases you’ll get there) they get a bit stale. One of the nice things is that the characters all speak so you get a better fell for the story than if you were just reading it, alas some of the voice acting is sub-par at best.

Play Time: 9/10
The play time to do everything in the game is massive I haven’t completed everything, but I can easily gauge the time it would take me to do so. One could easily spend 100+ hours on the game and still not complete all the sub-missions. And as far as I can tell there are a near infinite number of jobs to take.

Replay: 7/10
After a while the game loses it’s charm and your actions become almost robotic. At this point it may not be worth doing EVERYTHING in the game because it doesn’t really advance the storyline or grant you anything interesting. This point came somewhere between 75 and 80 hours for me, so you don’t really have to worry for a while.

Final Verdict: 8/10
While it certainly won’t go down as one of the great games of all time, it is well worth a purchase if the concept of the game intrigues or excites you. It has enough playable hours to go well beyond the scope of rental game and at this point in time it retails for about 20 bucks.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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