Dark Cloud® 2 Delivers Unique and Refreshing Gameplay to Role-Playing Game Genre

Greatest Hits Title Returns With Sequel Exclusively on PlayStation®2


Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. announced today the release of Dark Cloud®2, an imaginative, invigorating and vibrant 3D action-adventure, role-playing game (RPG) developed exclusively for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. The follow-up to the successful 2001 release, Dark Cloud 2 features a new character-driven story with two playable characters, an enhanced graphical look utilizing cell-shading technology, the return of the GEORAMA -- the unique ability enabling players to create, build and customize a fully interactive, 3D world, and the introduction of the Invention System which allows players to create an array of items for later use in battle and exploration.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000510/SFW104-a )

The original Dark Cloud was released in May 2001 on PlayStation 2 and was greeted with much enthusiasm by consumers. Only nine months after its release, the game became a bonefide hit and entered the "Greatest Hits" program.

"Dark Cloud 2 brings with it even more elements of what made the first title so popular," said Ami Blaire, director, product marketing, Sony Computer Entertainment America. "By combining fast-paced action, strategy, puzzle-solving, mini-games and world-building with conventional exploration and battle elements, Dark Cloud 2 delivers a revitalizing and fresh look to the RPG genre that will satisfy fans of the genre and supporters of the first game, as well as those looking for a unique gameplay experience."

The compelling saga of Dark Cloud 2 will captivate gamers as they undertake the roles of two playable characters -- Maximilian and Monica. Maximilian is a young inventor with the heart of a hero who always lets curiosity get the better of him. Monica is a skilled warrior from the future and a master of magic who favors her graceful sword and possesses a magical bracelet. When Maximilian, who has never set foot outside of his town, uncovers a secret involving the fate of the world, Monica leads Maximilian on a journey through the past, present and future to prevent an evil madman from destroying the world. In the process, they find themselves assisting a diverse group of villagers, battling monsters, rebuilding the world and unlocking secrets that will lead them to their ultimate destiny.

One of the biggest enhancements made in Dark Cloud 2 is the introduction of an innovative new gameplay mechanic called the Invention System. When players portray Maximilian, they will obtain a camera during the early part of the game that they can use to take photos within the environment. These photos help to give Maximilian ideas on items he can create for later use to assist him in battle and exploration. Dark Cloud 2 allows gamers to play as either Maximilian or Monica, both who have their own set of weapons and abilities. The game features an enhanced detailed weapons system, allowing players to upgrade their weapons by leveling up, spectrumizing, synthesizing or building them up. In addition, Dark Cloud 2 features an improved battle system including close and long range attacks, special maneuvers and evasive moves. Max's "Ridepod" inventions are capable of combating the toughest of enemies and Monica can morph into various monster forms during battles, to trick her enemies.

The innovative GEORAMA element returns in Dark Cloud 2, where players can create and build a fully interactive, 3D world, and then immediately roam through their newly constructed environments, all in real-time. This time around, however, players can fully customize everything from choosing the color of a house to where the chimney should be placed, allowing players to take full ownership of how they want to create the world they are building so that the future can flourish. As Maximilian or Monica, gamers will travel to the future completing various tasks and goals to see the result of their GEORAMA building, and sometimes will pick up new clues or objectives in the process.

In conjunction with the release of Dark Cloud 2, Sony Computer Entertainment America is unleashing a major marketing campaign behind the title with national broadcast and print media, gaming publications, Web sites and retailers.

  Support will be provided in the following categories:


The television campaign targeting ages 13 and older for Dark Cloud 2 will kick off this month and run in various time slots on major network, cable and syndicated programming continuing through April 2003. One 30-second execution will air on Primetime and Late Night including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, UPN and WBN networks, reaching viewers of "South Park," "Roswell," "SportsCenter," "Blind Date," "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," "Seinfeld," "Friends," and Home Improvement." Targeted Cable programming will also be utilized, with spots running on BET, ESPN, ESPN2, FoxFX, Comedy Central, TNN, MTV, Sci-Fi Channel, TBS, USA, VH1, WGN and G4.


To support Dark Cloud 2, a print advertising campaign will reach millions of readers through a wide range of national consumer publications including Maxim, Stuff, FHM and Spin, comic and role-playing game magazines such as Wizard, Anime Invasion, Inquest Gamer, Dragon, Animerica, Dark Horse, DC Comics -- Teen, Marvel Comics Jr. and Top Cow and targeted industry gaming magazines including Electronic GamingMonthly, The Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, GameNow, Game Informer, PSM, GamePro, PLAY, PSE2, Tips & Tricks and Silicon Magazine.

The independent Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) rates Dark Cloud 2 "T" for "Teen. For more information about the ESRB visit www.esrb.org.

About Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc.

Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. continues to redefine the entertainment lifestyle with its PlayStation® game console and the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system. The PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system is set to revolutionize the home entertainment market, offering the most compelling interactive content and the capability to be used as a network terminal in the coming broadband era. Recognized as the undisputed industry leader, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. markets the PlayStation game console and develops, publishes, markets and distributes software for the PlayStation game console and the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system for the North American market. Based in Foster City, Calif., Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. serves as headquarters for all North American operations and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

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SOURCE: Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc

CONTACT: Tina Casalino of Sony Computer Entertainment, +1-650-655-8102,
or tina_casalino@playstation.sony.com; or Ryan Schneider, +1-310-205-8381, or
ryan schneider@bncpr.com, for Sony Computer Entertainment

Web site: http://www.esrb.org/

Web site: http://www.playstation.com/