Chocobo's Dungeon 2
He's cute, yellow and feathery, and as soon as genetic engineering allows it, he'll be in the homes of all dedicated Squaresoft fans worldwide. He's the Chocobo, and Square is utilizing everyone's favorite "not-quite-a-bird" to introduce the younger demographic to the world of RPGs. In Chocobo's Dungeon 2, the curious Chocobo teams up with Mog, an adventurous young Moogle, in search of treasure that is supposedly hidden deep inside mysterious dungeons.
At first glance, the gameplay seems rather simple. Chocobo can move and attack in eight different directions, and the battles can best be described as "live turn-based." Any action (walking or attacking, for example) makes up one turn. After the turn is over, all enemies in the dungeon take a turn. The only difference between this setup and your typical RPG is that you can constantly be on the move. This sounds very simple, but after a few hours of play, a hidden level of depth is revealed. Chocobo can pick up a large variety of items and equipment, and then combine them to produce upgraded saddle armor, claw weapons and powerful potions. The only drawback to this system is that every time you perish inside of a dungeon, all the items that were in your inventory disappear.
Each dungeon is randomly generated, making the game different every time it's played. Items, enemies and staircases to the next level are also randomly placed, as well as various traps, teleports and transformation pads. Another nifty feature is simultaneous two-player action (Secret of Mana fans, take note).
The game's overall style is decidedly cartoon-like. The surrounding landscapes are very bright and colorful, and the dungeon enemies are your typical Square-fare, with just a hint of super-deformity. The music is also very happy and upbeat, just what one would expect in such a lighthearted game. It's good to see that Japanese companies like Square are bringing over games that aren't quite "sure things." While not the most hardcore RPG out there, Chocobo's Dungeon 2 looks to be different enough to attract some new fans to the genre.