I’ll admit it: I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy. So when I see the word “rumor” pop up on my screen, I never used to automatically assume it could be coming from someone posting in a forum at 2 in the morning just to mess with me. I would read it, process it, and when it was something that I was excited about, I’d accept it like a virtual hug. I call it optimism, though my friends have tossed around the word gullible.
But it’s 2015, and until we see the word “confirmed,” it’s hard to trust a lot of these rumors that show up. I’m constantly being hyped up on leaks and “exclusive tidbits,” only to be taken down from that euphoria when they’re not true (I’m looking at you Nintendo) and it’s forced me to pursue the news with my shields up far more often than I had in the past.
As E3 is quickly approaching us, I thought about what I want to see, what I know is coming, and what rumors have kept me up at night with my conscience battling over their validity. Sure, I need more Uncharted 4 footage, and I want Zelda Wii U to get a 2015 release date, but if anyone wants to see me jump up and down like the 12-year old that’s still somewhere inside me 10 years later, it’s a guarantee if I see a Dark Cloud 3 reveal.
Level-5 develops some amazing things. A few times a year, I get an undeniable urge to solve puzzles with Professor Layton alongside his whimsy and his top hat. Games like Rogue Galaxy and Ni no Kuni are RPGs that raised the bar in the previous generation. But to me, Level-5 will always be the studio that created one of my favorite PS2 games of all time: Dark Cloud 2.
Known as Dark Chronicle outside of the US, Dark Cloud 2 was a spiritual successor to the original Dark Cloud game. The gameplay was similar: Fight monsters in dungeons while leveling up weapons and gaining materials to then restore cities in the main world to influence the future. There’s so much to do in such an immense world.
The gameplay is just one slice of the amazing creation that Dark Cloud 2 is. You want time travel? It’s there – both past AND future! You want upgradable weapons with customizable attributes – look no further. You want to lose countless hours of your life to a game, only to discover there are a few more hours after the final boss? Warm up the PS2, kids.
Now it’s been years since I first ventured through it with main characters Monica and Max, though I’ve probably repeated it at least 10 times since, which is why I would be prepared to give any of my nonessential organs in my body to get my hands on some form of a sequel to the game.
There’s been Facebook petitions and fan speculation regarding the potential of the game for years now. After all, Dark Cloud 2 received phenomenal reviews and was a commercial success for the company. Almost exactly a year ago, Sony renewed their trademark for Dark Chronicle after it had been expired for months. Is this the first hint of the production of the game? I would like to say yes, but apparently trademarks are a game that Sony likes to play.
A few months went by after that and I settled back into Dark Cloud 2. However, the fanboy in me was again awakened at the end of last year when Level-5 announced they would be revealing a new PlayStation 4 exclusive title at E3 2015. During a stream, company boss Akihiro Hino said he wanted to create an “epic game.” Yes, please?
With the success of the PS4 as far as sales go, a lot of companies are jumping in and developing for the system. Late last year, a new post appeared on many forums claiming that Level-5 said Sony contacted them about making a game for PS4. It went on to say Hino said, “There is strong evidence that is a request for a line of work like previous titles in our portfolio.”
Again, I could not find the beautiful word, “confirm” for this particular information, but combined with the trademark renewal and the E3 announcement, the timing seems perfect for some kind of Dark Cloud reveal. The previous games were so huge and immersive on the PS2 that I can only imagine what the developer could do now with the power of the PS4.
In the end, all that’s left to do is hope. Hope and drool over every little rumor that comes my way. If Dark Cloud 3 ever does find its way onto store shelves, and into my heart, I will be there to buy it day one. That is something, that I can 100% confirm.