Tokyopia has a hilarious review of Dark Cloud 2.
Start the game. It teaches you how to use a new combat system. Ok, it says, go get used to it. But as you do, here’s three other combat concepts too! And here, have some mini-quests! And new some characters to play as and learn! All within 10 minutes. Level 5 were so eager to show you their new ideas, that they didn’t bother to pace the introduction of them even slightly logically.
Take the textbook example of a learning curve: any Miyamoto game. In Wind Waker, you are given the opportunity to learn how to use each and every new move, item, skill you acquire in an intuitive, in-game scenario. You’re actually given the chance to feel comfortable with skills as you play, before the game sticks you against a boss and expects you to be seasoned professionals with them.
In Dark Cloud 2, you get no such treatment. It may sound like a minor gripe. But when a game is throwing entirely new concepts, modes and controls at you every 20 minutes for the first 10 hours of the game, it seriously compromises the game experience. And that’s a pity, because Dark Cloud 2 obviously has great ideas in spades.”
“Turns out all the levelling up, elemental balancing, magic collecting, character swapping, random-dungeon beating, photo collecting, invention creating antics you’ve been doing for 10+ hours is really a subset of the REAL game, which is about changing the future.