Klonoa 2 Review

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Graphics: 8.0
Sound : 7.0
Gameplay : 7.0
Multiplayer : N/A
Overall : 8.0
Review by Thomas Cap
(c) Namco


System: Playstation 2 PAL (NTSC available too)
Genre: Jump’n’Run
Players: 1

First of all I want to thank the people at SCEA (Sony Computer Entertainment Austria) and my press contact, the team at "Agentur Impuls", for sending me a copy of this game for review purpose.

Introduction:

The reviewed PS2 DVD is the PAL Promotion version (identical to the retail version from what I can say) and was reviewed on a PAL SCPH-30004 on a 50 Hz PAL TV (the game can be played at 60 Hz although)

Since I never owned a Playstation nor PSone I never played the original Klonoa for PSX in 1997. On the other hand I already played Klonoa (GBA version) on a friends handheld for a few hours – so I got used really fast to the game play of the PS2 version.

First thing I noticed when booting the game was that my controller didn’t work at first - 30 seconds later the problem was solved – my DVD remote plugged into the same controller port caused the trouble. I’m not using the official Sony Remote, but the cheaper one (and also less comfortable one) by Thrustmaster, so I can’t blame Sony at all – if you don’t buy the official product don’t except support for your stuff :p (on the other hand I can only guess if the problem exists with the original remote too – mail me if you know more).

So after unplugging the remote I started the game (no reset was needed to do this). First I took a look at the options. The usual here – Controller, Audio, etc. Only thing remarkable here is the optional 5.1 audio mode the game supports (no 5.1 system here although...)

But back to the game... After you choose your settings the intro starts (with “voice acting” - only avaiable in japanese [i think it's japanese] and subtitles in the language your PS2 is set to) in which our hero Klonoa is washed ashore a remote island and meets 2 new friends Lolo, a Priestess apprentice and her sidekick Popka which think you are the long awaited “dream traveller”. They bring you too the wise Baguji who tells you more about your mission. The dream traveller will save the land from a great evil, so you begin your journey to find 4 magic bells to unite their power and drive away all evil (which origins in a fifth bell) from the land etc. etc.... (okay, okay – the story is quite lame – but read on...)



Graphics:

The graphics of this Jump’n’Run game are really nice done with lots and lots of different locations and graphic sets. The graphics in overall belong to the best the J&R genre for the PS2 has to offer. The game itself is a mix of 2D with a big portion on 3D. Although Klonoa can in fact only move left and right, automatic camera movement, following the player through the level and interaction with objects which are in the far give this game a strong 3D feeling – lets call it a 2¾ D game. The level design is very nicely done as well, the levels are huuuuuge (in length AND in “physical” size). What makes Klonoa stand out too is the huge effort Namco put in to the backgrounds – so many details, ranging from people visiting a theme park to snow falling in a winter level – brings the game even more to live.

The graphics (especially the cut-scenes) are done in a very cartoonish way (with a*little* touch of Japanese Anime Art) which some people will like and some not – personally I liked them very much.



Gameplay:

Klonoa, your character, is a mix of a cat, a rabbit and some other fluffy animals, with waaaay to large ears, which grant him the ability to fly / float VERY short distances.

Klonoa’s only weapon is a magical ring which fires wind bullets and with those Klonoa can catch enemies which he than throw at other enemies, obstacles or buttons (Kirby anyone ?)

One of the more important things to do with enemies is to use them to do a double-jump, which let’s Klonoa jump higher and/or farer. Most of the time Klonoa runs through the above mentioned 2 ¾ D levels, but from time to time he also grabs a board and races downhill a river or a mountain. These levels are great fun but sometimes also a little too hard because some jumps from cliff to cliff our to avoid obstacles are really a little too hard.

One more thing which made me enjoy Klonoa more than most other J&R’s is the puzzle part of the game. Often you have to hit a few buttons in a row within a time limit to open a door, or use special creatures which transform into different colored keys every time you throw them at another enemy. Again, some of the puzzles are very hard and require a lot of dexterity (and if you lack these a LOT of time and luck)


Conclusion:

Klonoa 2 is a Jump’n’Run with a funny main character lots of fun action and some challenging jump puzzles during the game. Buy it ? If you love J&R’s don’t miss this one. If you want to expand your collection with a nice Jump & Run – never can go wrong with this one. You hate J&R’s and will never, ever buy nor play one ? Than why the hell are you reading this ? I stated at the very beginning that this is a Jump’n’Run ;)


PROS
  • nice graphics
  • fun gameplay
  • high replay ability

CONS
  • weak story
  • why only japanese voiceacting ?