Preview: Cladun: This is an RPG
Cladun: This is an RPG is an action-based role playing game that doesn’t take itself too seriously yet packs a serious punch for the seasoned RPG gamer. The battle system is reminiscent of Secret of Mana but with only one character in play at a time. You will attack enemies in real-time action (not turn-based) and see the amount of damage being done in numbers. Instead of trying to heal with clunky menus and potions, players will step on ‘Heal traps’ which will give them a chance to get their HP back up. Be careful though, while there are beneficial traps such as Heal and Haste traps, there are also traps that can hurt you, for example those which invoke fireballs to be thrown at you!
With classic style graphics that reminisce on the roots of role playing, a creative and unique Magic Circle system used to enhance your skills and attributes as you level up, and so many awesome twists to the traditional RPG formula, Cladun is a title RPG fans should not miss.The game begins the way most RPGs do, but with attitude and style that will have you laughing off the bat. You will be playing through the brief introduction section of the game as a character trying to keep up with the adventurous and flirtatious Pudding as they wander into Arcanus Cella in the search of adventure, danger, and of course treasure! The Magic Circle is soon introduced and gives Pudding the ability to realize her dreams, characters that don’t go into battle are assembled on the Magic Circle to provide beneficial enhancements such as Defense boosts and also share the damage received by the character in battle.
After a short period in Arcanus Cella you will realize that this place is a bit off-the-wall crazy, in the way that it is a fun place to be and there seems to be many strange things going on around you which will later unfold themselves. Some notable features involve the ability to listen to 8-bit music or the modern soundtrack, co-op play up to four players, and character creation which is unlocked in the story after a few dungeons. Character classes available for your custom creations include Warrior which starts out as a balanced class, Dragoon with an emphasis on high Health Points and Attack with fire / water elemental damage, Guardians who specialize in healing and supportive magic, Wizard with high Mana and elemental damage, and a Merchant job class with lower starting attack and defense but the higher potential for tech as well as a decent amount of magic attributes.
The custom creation gets very detailed, even allowing you to draw the face of your character, change the style of the boss they will face, and select the conversational pattern you would like them to use when speaking in the game. As you conquer dungeons and get your characters leveling up, you are able to switch the main character at any time. You will be able to create characters of various jobs detailed above and bring them into battle while the sub-characters will provide attribute boosts and not come out on the playing field. There are also artifacts that can be purchased to enhance the your characters even further through the Magic Circle.
At first glance Cladun may look easy, but the difficulty lies in the design of each dungeon. As you progress battle really heats up and whether you prefer melee or magic you will want to make note of the elemental attacks being thrown at you. Dungeons can be revisited and the game contains multiple endings, which is great, but my favorite aspect of the game is the battle system. Finally an Action RPG battle system that is so intuitive and yet so detailed that it truly feels like the blend I’ve been looking for. The old school experience of tweaking attributes and equipment, leveling characters up and unlocking abilities, and slashing / casting your way through enemy after enemy while trying to keep your HP up never felt better. Be on the lookout for the full DualShockers review coming soon!