9.9

Jade Cocoon 2 review
This is the game that makes me go Gaga!

The good:

First off, the music is incredible. It fits every situation well, including for the battles and environments of the main hub (the main hub is the Temple of Kemuel, the last place where we last saw Levant (previous protagonist)); battles include upbeat pieces, to valorous tunes that will get your heart pumping.

The monsters are animated in full 3D, a must for any Japanese RPG that lets you capture and raise monsters, but you can’t really catch anything in this game; instead, you have to wander around one of four elemental forests to find eggs, which you can hatch in the Room of Life. Then, you put the beasts on your BeastAmulet (the place where you hold your Divine Beasts), and then you go out and grind all the enemies of the forest in order to merge them and make them even stronger. However, merging here is different in this game than its prequel; whilst in the first Jade Cocoon game if you merge two monsters you get a combined monster (your base minion gets the posture, but the minion getting mixed gives the skin), here you have to find Kalma (which are disguised as different Beast Hunters), bring them back to the Room of Life, and then you have the option of merging with that Seed Beast, to get the move it lists. Say I want to merge with, Ginugon, a Water Slimy type beast. It gives off Medinite, and I want to merge my Helicone with it. Helicone will hatch as a Leifich (its pre-evolution) and Medinite will be in its Water move slot.

I think this is the thing that leads people like me to love this game; its option to battle against your friends. Yep, this game's got that! If you and a friend have "Beast Hunter Data" on your Memory Cards, you can hook 'em up and battle your BeastAmulets to your heart's content. There is an option to battle against someone else, a CPU (or have your friend battle the CPU), and the CPU fighting against itself with different BeastAmulets.

The bosses in the story are big; really big. You have to fight the last chain in a genus' line, depending on what elemental forest (like Ginugon for Water).

The bad:

Now, let me get the flaws out of the way: the game wasn’t bad, but it had a LOT of typos (there are worse games out there though, if they could even be called “games”).

There weren’t that many moves and abilities either (Nintendo’s “Pokemon” franchise didn’t have abilities until Ruby/Sapphire two years later) to hold all of the hundreds of monsters out there. Six monsters were dummied out of the final product, as well as five seed beasts and 24 dummied out abilities, meaning this was and could’ve been much deeper than Pokemon and Digimon ever could’ve been together.

Summary:

Jade Cocoon 2 is one of those games that took the idea of other series such as Pokemon or Digimon, and gave it brand new monsters, an interesting storyline, and brand new game mechanics not seen in any capture-monster RPG produced in Japan.

For 2001, and for the PS2, it’s a jewel to behold, with fully animated monsters, a variety of moves and abilities for those monsters, and many secrets to behold; you wouldn’t want to pass this, not even if you were a hipster at a Hot Topic outlet. Its many secrets and riveting story will make you think twice about turning it down. With character and monster designs coming, once again from Mr. Katsuya Kondo (who worked with Studio Ghibli to make character designs for movies such as Kiki's Delivery Service and I Can Hear the Sea, both directed by Hayao Miyazaki), this game should not be turned down at any time; whether its yours, or at a friend's house, play this game, and your heart, out.

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