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Chocobo’s Dungeon 2

Japan has always been a pretty decent market for dungeon crawlers. They’ve been around in that region for decades. During the 90s, there were quite a few of these featuring an overhead perspective with companies making versions starring popular characters from their franchises. One that became popular during this time was Chocobo’s Dungeon. The first game, released on the original PlayStation, never saw a release outside of Japan, but its sequel on the same console did. It was a very straightforward game with procedurally generated levels as players delved deeper and deeper into dungeons in search of treasure. While it was par for the course as far as dungeon crawlers go, it was actually quite cute, making for a much more charming experience.

The game started with Chocobo and his friend Mog exploring a dungeon. Mog is a greedy little moogle eager to find treasure, while Chocobo is much more cautious, and more than a little concerned about being pushed into the front lines to fight the various monsters they encounter. Eventually, one thing leads to another and the two get separated. When Chocobo awakens, he meets a human white mage named Shiroma. The two decide to work together to find Mog, with Chocobo now having a much kinder partner. When they do find the moogle, he’s about to open a treasure chest that has a crystal inside. It then begins to resonate, causing the dungeon to collapse. As a result, the trio are swept into the ocean and wash up on the shore near a village. Undeterred, they continue to explore dungeons in search of treasure.

There’s not much to the game, but the exploration is relaxing, and the dialog between characters can be quite humorous. Chocobo and his partner wander the dungeons going from one room to the next fighting monsters and collecting goodies, while trying to avoid traps. Much of what can be found includes various spell books that are used as items, restorative potions, nuts which give Chocobo a boost of energy, feathers that provide special abilities, as well as claws and saddles that Chocobo can equip as weapons and armor respectively.

Combat happens when Chocobo gets near a monster and he can use a melee attack, or he can cast a spell from range using a spell book, or even throw rocks at them. Shiroma or whoever else is with him will assist by providing additional melee attacks if they are close enough, as well as having some other abilities available to them. Monsters are visible while exploring and there is a sort of turn-based system in play where Chocobo will move, then the monster will, Chocobo will attack, then the monster will. The trick is figuring out which monsters have ranged attacks, and trying to take them out fast because some of them are casters that can do a lot of damage. The combat is simple, but enjoyable, and will be very familiar in execution for anyone who has played dungeon crawlers.

As mentioned earlier, while the gameplay is very simple, Chocobo’s Dungeon 2 does have a lot of charm. This is thanks in no small part to the graphics, as the game has a very cute look to it. Chocobo and Mog are adorable, and all of the monsters have a cutesy look to them that belays how dangerous they are. On top of this, there are a lot of animations when Chocobo is talking with people that make things all the cuter. It’s hard not to have a little smile on one’s face while seeing all of this. Moreover, the game’s soundtrack has a very upbeat feel to it that enhances things all the further. About the only shortcoming that the music has is that it can get a tad on the repetitive side.

On the whole, Chocobo’s Dungeon 2 is a fun RPG. It isn’t doing anything terribly complex, and treads the same path as most other console dungeon crawlers of the 90s followed. Nevertheless, people looking for something casual to play in a laid back way would do well to give this game a go.

- IroIro
August 6, 2020

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Platform: PlayStation
Genre: Role-Playing
Developer: Squaresoft
Publisher: Squaresoft
Released: 1998

Chocobo's Dungeon 2 Image 1
US Box Art

Chocobo's Dungeon 2 Image 2
Excerpt from intro cutscene

Chocobo's Dungeon 2 Image 3
Exploring a dungeon

Chocobo's Dungeon 2 Image 4
So many black mages