My big bad Klonoa 2 review!

Postby Klonoa on Wed Aug 01, 2001 9:28 am

Well I've managed to pull my way from work and playing Klonoa 2 long enough to give you a big ol' review of one of the best games for the PS2 ever (at least until Pac-Man World 2 comes along). So what's the game? Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil, of course! <P>Long time readers of this message board have probably figured out by now that I love the original Klonoa for PSX. It, and the sequel, are 2-D platformers with 3-D graphics similar to such titles as Kirby 64 and Pandemonium (who knows that game anymore?). To me, the things that stand out in the Klonoa games are the original character designs and the well-crafted simple and fun play mechanics. As in the first one, Klonoa uses a ring to inflate bad guys so he can use them as projectiles or boost his jump.<P>The only new things in Klonoa 2 are a PS2 graphic overhaul, the use of different enemies for puzzles, and hoverboard sections. The hoverboard sections force you along a path but they're not too hard and all the play mechanics are there from the other stages. You still grab enemies with your ring for instance. The hoverboard itself is cool because it has Pac-Man on it just like Klonoa's hat. There are also more puzzles in the regular stages, thanks to a few new enemies. Nothing too hard, though. Some enemies change color when you throw them, others explode, one helps you fly around and one electric enemy helps you jump higher and break things above you when you jump. <P>Graphics are simply beautiful. One Namco employee I talk to now and again described it best when he said Klonoa 2 is "pretty as hell." There are so many imaginative details in the backgrounds that sometimes you'll want to stop playing just so you can view the scenery. Waves crash on rocky shores, special giant mushrooms illuminate caves, fireworks go off in the amusement park, you go upside down in a M. C. Escher world of doors and stairs, a warring town bustles with activity, and one stage on a ship defies description, except to say it looks to take a lot of inspiration from some of the settings from Myst. Characters are cel shaded but it's a bit more subtly done than other titles like Jet Grind Radio. It all fits very well.<P>Since you can only go left or right, camera angles are not a problem. With the power of the PS2, there are more dramatic camera views than in the first game. My favorites are when you get shot out of a cannon and the camera pans to show a large part of the level as you fly around, or when you jump on a high trampoline and the camera pans above you so you can see where you can land.<P>Sound is also one of the best parts of the game. I think I may like the music better in the first game because its use of mostly guitar and woodwind made for a folk style of music you don't hear in video games much. But Klonoa 2's music is still grand; it just has more variety. My favorite tunes are: the tranquil piece in La-LaKooshka, the amusement park theme, and the awesome jazz piece they play in the town level. It has lots of big brass backbeats. <P>There is one piece of music that stands out above all the rest, though. In one of the hoverboard levels you take to the snow, SSX style. Well it's not as complicated as SSX, but you know what I mean. The music they play in the background is a rock n roll piece, but it has vocal lines in it. Keeping in line with the spoken dialogue in the rest of the game, the song's vocals is all in Klonoa gibberish speak! It sounds like Meowth's Dance Party! It's wild! Namco has balls to put a crazy song like that in the game! I want an MP3 of it because it's so crazy.

Speaking of 'spoken' voices, all the voices in the game are all gibberish, but it sounds like a made up language, adding to the fantasy feel of the game. The original Klonoa game did this too.<P>Play control is so good you don't even think about it when playing the game. It's amazing how only using two buttons, jump and shoot, allow you to do so many different things in the game. One cool thing is that if you press the L1 or L2 buttons while doing different things in the game, Klonoa will do different taunts. They don't do anything in the game at all, but it's just cool. <P>You'll love the new cast of characters in Klonoa 2 because they provide a lot of fun dialogue in the game. Klonoa has a priestess in training, Lolo tag along with him (no it's not the blue ball from HAL's NES game), and Lolo's sidekick Popka. Lolo hops in Klonoa's ring like Huepow did in the first game to help Klonoa shoot wind bullets. In the amusement park level, when you enter the haunted house attraction, Lolo gets all scared and starts trembling in the ring. I've been told the haunted house level makes some references to Splatterhouse as well. In the snowboard level, Popka brings out the hoverboard they rented back at Joliant and Lolo immediately starts praying for forgiveness! And don't forget the love triangle between Lolo, Tat, and Klonoa. Well OK, there really isn't a love triangle, but you should see Klonoa's facial expressions through all of it. <P>Another cool thing about Klonoa 2 is how they integrated so many small details from the first game. The title screen has the same music, when you first start a game you get a similar cryptic message while a ring falls from the sky, the save music is the same, the ending has a bittersweet tinge to it and a bunch of other little details that only Klonoa freaks like me would notice, but I won't bore you with them. Knowing Yamcha's crazy yet hilarious perchance for picking out video game character females for me, I probably shouldn't ever tell him what happens in the end of Klonoa 2! <IMG SRC=""><P>Klonoa 2 is one of the few perfect games out there, but there are some minor quibbles that I'll talk about. Keep in mind that none of these quibbles detract from the gameplay at all.<P>First of all is the difficulty, or lack thereof, that plagues this as well as the original game. It's pretty easy. You'd think Klonoa 2 would be harder than Klonoa 1, especially since you only get three notches instead of six on your life bar this time. But I think Namco overcompensated for this aspect because Klonoa 2 is actually a little easier than the first one. Of course, it's also easier that you can replay stages at any time to get extra lives
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