The wait is over, magic circle fiends. Cladun is back, with more character classes, customization, and random dungeons to shake a wizard’s staff at.

There’s two types of people in this world: those who have played Cladun: This is an RPG…and everyone else. If you’re one of the few, the proud, the Nippon Ichi loyalist comprising the former category, keep reading, bubba. Those new to this wacky dungeon crawler, however, are best served getting the initial review lowdown from its predecessor.

This fork in the review road is for good reason. Simply put, Cladun x2 is the original Cladun…but with a little more Red Bull in its veins. Same mechanics, gameplay, and homage to SNES dungeon crawlers of yesteryear. Even the plot remains almost non-existent similar: dude finds him/herself thrust into secret world (Arcanus Cella), teams up with compadres to hack and slash through randomly generated dungeons. No explanation as to how he/she got there, and it doesn’t become any more sensical as time progresses.

This is not to say that Cladun x2 doesn’t add welcome piñatas to an already rocking fiesta. The sequel sports a considerable amount of new character classes, and with it exponentially more magic circles to draw upon when planning dungeon conquests. These new classes also enable additional weapons and character upgrades, making the allure of ‘one more go’ at a dungeon even more appealing.

I don’t know what it is about Cladun…but the draw of an additional level up and/or alternate magic circle configuration is like being at the mercy of movie theater popcorn scent. Hours literally fly by in search of the best ways of conquering adorable but deadly dungeon baddies in the best means possible. With literally hundreds of ways to attack a dungeon, Cladun x2 is portable, dungeon crawler crack.

If you’re one to customize every nuance of a character, do I have the game for you. Cladun x2 extends customization of the original to now include naming weapons, creating weapon/item sets, forging relationship dynamics, and giving your favorite Arcanus Cella tavern a name to call your own. Think ‘Cheers,’ but Norm and Cliff are smack talking, tiny birds. Cladun’s music is now completely customizable, for both its regular and old school soundtracks.

Random dungeons are still…random dungeons. Learning curve remains ridiculously unforgiving, with the game’s encyclopedia requiring…an encyclopedia. Still, combat – on the flipside – persists as intuitive albeit occasionally flawed (cheap hits are aplenty). Sense of humor is intact, and – like the soundtrack – terrific.

The $20 question, of course, is whether Cladun x2 is worth its cost of entry. For those new to the series – and assuming you followed instructions up above – absolutely. The sequel takes an already solid dessert and adds strawberries on top.

Additional character options means even greater gameplay life.

Repeat offenders…? It depends on how much customization means to your overall Cladun experience. While the new classes add a fair amount to the Cladun engine, overall encounter changes very little. Still, there’s reason why BMW owners are more than apt to re-lease the newer version of a very similar car.

‘Cladun x2’ picks up where the original left off, much of the same (for better and worse) but with a little more customization. Its terrific magic circle system and dungeon crawler dynamics combine for yet another wonderfully addictive, portable title. Newbies will find much to like, but are again faced with an enormously high learning curve. Another solid entry by NIS America.

  • The ‘Magic Circle’ system shines once more
  • Additional characters and customization
  • Addictive gameplay experience
  • Déjà vu to its predecessor in almost every way
  • Same steep learning curve
  • Flaws of the original return
Quote: "Cladun x2 picks up where the original left off, much of the same (for better and worse) but with a little more customization. "
Reviewed by Paul Stuart | 09.14.11

Similar Games: What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord!? 2 (7.4) | Cladun: This is an RPG (8.3)

Cladun x2

NIS America
Nippion Ichi Software, Inc.


US Released
August 2011