Review of Klonoa 2
Four years ago a little known Japanese platform game suddenly appeared on the scene. At the time it faced stiff competition from the likes of Crash, Spyro, Gex and Croc … and therefore Klonoa just as quickly disappeared from our sight. While it may not have collected any awards, it certainly raised sufficient interest to warrant a sequel on PS2. Using many of the tricks and a lot of the style that made Pandemonium 2 a moderate success, Klonoa 2 is at its heart a 2D platform game set upon a 3D environment and definitely warrants a little more attention this time around.
Before I go any further I best mention that this game is very, very easy and may be ideally suited to the inexperienced player. But with Christmas upon us this may just solve the problem of what to buy a younger relative as a pleasing stocking filler. As a bonus I guess you won’t be able to resist looking over their shoulder because there is still enough going on to impress the veteran platform fan.
Rather than follow the 3D ‘walk anywhere’ style of modern platformers the player controls Klonoa on a more traditional predefined route across 4 themed Kingdoms. This means for the majority of the game the character is confined to rails moving left or right, up and down, with the occasional swing of the camera offering a forward and backward dimension. Think Crash Bandicoot to get the picture.
Gameplay follows the tried and tested ‘collect 100 jewels to get another life’ format, with several bonus stars to be found… often hidden in eggs. It’s a little slow to get going but after a few levels things really begin to impress with roller-coaster rides, slalom skiing, bomb blasting and several Boss characters that put the emphasis on fun rather than frustration.
Control is really simple with only two face buttons being used: one to jump and another to fire a magical ‘grip/grab’ ring. Pressing the jump button twice allows Klonoa to temporarily float, while the magical ring can ‘grip’ onto items (allowing access to higher platforms) and ‘grab’ hold of enemies. Once grasped enemies can be used as exploding projectiles or to gain extra height in a jump.
The 24 levels are divided into four Kingdoms. La-Lakoosha is the Kingdom of Tranquility. The theme for this quiet and tranquil setting is mountains, caves and giant mushrooms (didn't Sonic visit this zone...?). Joilant is the Kingdom of Joy. Basically an amusement park packed with sideshows, roller coaster rides and a circus. The Kingdom of Volk is a dangerous war-torn country and is set among huge factories and red-hot furnaces. Finally, Mira-Mira is a beautiful Ice Kingdom where slippery slopes and freezing conditions make it a land of indecision.
Before each Kingdom is accessed a brief CG intro keeps the player up to date with the story, which is sadly spoken in Japanese with English subtitles. The background music is rather bland, while the sound effects appear to have been taken directly from the ‘Best of Bust-A-Move’ CD (aaarrrggghh..!).
Graphically the game looks stunning. Maybe you won’t think so at the start when big chunky animations (it’s Japanese so you know the style… large blinking pick-me-up eyes with huge floppy ears) strike the screen but once the game moves on a few levels it looks as good as any cartoon I’ve ever seen. Similar to Pandemonium the best effects are saved for the times when your character is catapulted high into the sky landing on rooftops, big dippers, mountains and all manner of settings. Overall it’s colorful, bright and imaginative and well worth a look.
OUR PLEDGE: We promise that we have fully played 'Klonoa 2' before writing this review. The scores given above are our honest opinion and were not influenced in any way by the manufacturer or distributor of the game.
This review was written by Martin © Absolute PlayStation
Click here to view our 9 Klonoa 2 in-game screenshot slideshow
Have You Played Klonoa 2 ?
If you have owned 'Klonoa 2' long enough to have formed a solid opinion on it, then click here to write your own mini review of Klonoa 2.
Alternatively, if you would like to read what other gamers who already own Klonoa 2 think of it, click here to view all of our reader comments and mini reviews of Klonoa 2.
Want To Know More About Klonoa 2 ?