Be prepared for a lot of story and very little gameplay to start. With the exception of a fighting a few clowns when you first pop in the Dark Cloud 2
DVD, you'll be treated (or forced) to watch a 45-minute movie. After this, the game slowly progresses and allows you to talk with villagers, which will eventually allow you to enter the randomly-generated dungeons typical of the series.
New to Dark Cloud 2 is the ability to take photographs anywhere you travel, including dungeons. These photos have a couple of purposes. First, you'll need to take pictures of certain objects or creatures, and then take the pictures to villagers who will then help you and possibly join your party. The second objective of the photographs is to allow you to get new ideas for inventions.
As you meander around, you'll find notes that will list three pictures to take. When you combine these pictures, you'll develop an idea for an invention. Then it's just a matter of collecting or buying the necessary parts to build your invention. Inventions range from new weapons to attribute items that will help you survive the dungeons.
Once again, as in the first game, Dark Cloud 2's main objective is to rebuild towns from parts you find in the dungeons (this time in the form of geostones). Different however, is that everything you do in the present will affect the outcome of the future. What this means is that as you build the present, you'll frequently travel to the future to find out what you have changed. But the basic overall premise of making everyone happy remains constant throughout the Dark Cloud series.