Acclaimed PS2 launch title Dark Cloud didn’t tick all the boxes for developer Level-5.
“One thing I can talk about now is that the fact we had to complete Dark Cloud and release it to the general public was actually really hard for me,” Level-5 boss Akihiro Hino said in this week’s Famitsu, as translated by 1UP.
“I wanted to do this right, but we never got to what I thought was ‘right’ to me – I felt like I could’ve done more, and that was something I couldn’t get out of my mind.”
Luckily, Dark Cloud – which combined RPG and town building in an addictive formula -was successful enough to be released internationally and spawn a sequel, both opportunities for Level-5 to smooth the rough patches.
“We actually threw a lot of we didn’t do in Dark Cloud into the overseas version of that game – we put a lot of effort into that, which was huge to me. Dark Cloud 2 was a natural evolution from the overseas version of the first game, and it really felt like our games were growing right along with our company’s skill and game-creation sense.”
Level-5 went on to develop Dragon Quest VIII, and spawn successful franchises White Knight Chronicles, Inazuma Eleven, and Professor Layton, as well as winning cult worship for sits PSP RPG Jeanne d’Arc. Upcoming titles include Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, a PlayStation 3 collaboration with Studio Ghibli, and the mysterious “genre-free” Time Travelers.