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Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil (PlayStation 2) artwork

Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil (PlayStation 2) review

"Klonoa 2 is a pretty good platformer, and I had fun with it. It doesn't do anything exceptionally well, but it doesn't have any glaring shortcomings either. It has a solid graphical style, a solid soundtrack, solid level design, and a solid control scheme. It may not be ambitious, but hey, it's just a solid game. "

Klonoa 2 is a pretty good platformer, and I had fun with it. It doesn't do anything exceptionally well, but it doesn't have any glaring shortcomings either. It has a solid graphical style, a solid soundtrack, solid level design, and a solid control scheme. It may not be ambitious, but hey, it's just a solid game.

Well, okay, the storyline isn't so solid. Klonoa 2's plot is the equivalent of turning Super Mario Bros. into an anime soap opera. There are lengthy cutscenes, filled with melodramatic dialogue, preachy moral messages, and awkward attempts at pulling at your heartstrings. If you poked a hole in the disc, I'm sure sap would spill out. Everyone speaks in a bizarre foreign tongue, and I'm not sure if it's Japanese or just some gibberish language from Klonoa-land. Whatever it is, it's translated via traditional dialogue windows, and it all reeks of Limberger.

Klonoa 2 falls into that mutant breed of platformer known as "2.5D". That is to say, Klonoa moves left and right like in a traditional side-scroller, but everything is rendered polygonally and there are points where cannons shoot you to different planes. In addition, being in 3D gives Klonoa 2 the advantage of a dynamic camera, which is occasionally used for some neat perspectives (for instance, an overhead view for when you jump down a series of cliffs.) Everything is done with a cartoony cel-shaded look which has aged impeccably well; at first glance, you would not know this game was from 2001.

There's only one feature in Klonoa 2 that really differentiates itself from other platformers, and that is Klonoa's magical ring. With this tool, you can grab almost any enemy in the game and use it for a number of different things. You can throw it at other enemies. You can destroy barriers. One of them can fuse with other enemies for a more powerful projectile. One of them turns Klonoa into a lightning kamikaze. One of them acts as a helicopter so you can reach high places. Most often, though, you'll use them for their double jump capability: at the apex of Klonoa's regular jump, he's able to somehow use them in order to spring himself twice as far. The game's level design isn't anything special, but it gets the job done, relying on the same platformer cliches I guarantee you've seen in a million other games before.

This is about as complex as Klonoa 2 ever gets, despite its attempts to be devious later on with some puzzle-solving. It's all pretty fun, and there's no real problems with the basic gameplay, though it's difficult to not feel as if the game was made for six-year-olds. I'm not quite sure what audience Namco was aiming for with this game; yes, the lax difficulty suggests that it's for little kids, but the large amounts of text dialogue would be utterly incomprehensible to them.

The game mixes up things along the way with simple boss battles and--this is the best part of the game--surfing levels. In these stages, Klonoa hops onto a surfboard and you go careening down an obstacle course filled with bad guys, spikes, and other pointy bad things. These parts are quite fun, and honestly, I wouldn't have complained if these made up the whole damn game. But alas, the game only offers about four stages of them.

Mind you, four stages is still a sizey chunk of the game. Therein lies another of Klonoa 2's faults: it's short. Really short. With only eighteen levels, it's not out of the question to plow through this game within a day. The fact that the quest is so linear doesn't help. However, Klonoa 2's brevity also ensures that it does not overstay its welcome; the game features minimal padding and never drags.

There's only so many ways you can say "this game's pretty good--not spectacular, but pretty good", and that's all there really is to say about Klonoa 2. It's a typical platformer--not especially memorable, but completely inoffensive at the same time. If you like platformers, I see no reason you would not like this game. It's incredibly cheap now, so you might as well pick up a used copy and give it a try.


phediuk's avatar
Community review by phediuk (February 02, 2007)

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