Preview - Jade Cocoon 2
Jade Cocoon is cocoon tat is jade.

With the holidays just around the corner, many PlayStation 2 owners are thinking to themselves, "You know, I could really use another RPG where the main character has a goofy hat." Worry not, folks, because Genki's new RPG will be out just in time for last-minute shopping, and features much, much more than just odd headgear. With elements such as monster breeding, a huge world, and (a rarity for console RPGs) a plot which continues where the first left off, Genki has insured that there will be plenty to entertain you (yes, there are plenty of goofy hats, too.)

Hey! Are you lauging at my hat?!
Two goofy hats in one screenshot! Keen!  

The story in Jade Cocoon 2 picks up seven hundred years after the original ends. The hero, Kahu, must visit the four elemental forests and attain the four elemental spheres. This will allow Kahu to destroy the parasitic beast, Kalma. While not the most original of storylines, the gameplay seems up to the task of keeping one playing.

Hoom Hum!
I think I see an Ent hiding over there.  

Jade Cocoon 2 is, at heart, a Pokémon-like monster-raising RPG. What sets Jade Cocoon 2 apart is the sheer complexity that the concept is raised unto. You can capture two hundred different types of monsters, and create new monsters by breeding any two together (quick math reveals a stunning forty thousand combinations.) Players can take eight of thier monsters into battle, and experiment with four different combat positions in order to find the most effective one.

Ha! My hat is much goofier than yours!
He doesn't appear to be friendly.  

To call Jade Cocoon 2's graphical style "anime influenced" would be a grave understatement. Jade Cocoon 2 features character designs by renouned anime artist Katsuya Kondo ("My Neighbor Totoro" and "Laputa: Castle in the Sky") giving the goofy-hatted denziens of the world a very good pedigree. The hand-drawn art used for text boxes matches up perfectly with the otherwise 3D world and characters. The graphics are colorful, and match the theme of the world well.

It's the SAMPO!
The mandatory "Shiny Object" all RPGs must include.  

RPG enthusiasts with an eye for goofy hats with a good dose of strategy and story should be sure to give Jade Cocoon 2 a try. Jade Cocoon 2 will retail for $49.99US, and should be on the shelves on December 18, just in time for last-minute holiday shopping.

by Aaron Gover    
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