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Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament

Platform : Game Boy Advance
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 ratings

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  • Five new worlds to explore - with intricate, puzzle-packed challenges and interesting creatures
  • Race against time to collect stars, sun and moon stones to become the Dream Champ
  • Solve the fiendishly clever puzzles, using boxes, bombs, switches, Goomis, springs and scales in your quest for glory
  • Each world has its own hoverboard race - a fast-paced thrill ride of gem collecting

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Product description

Product description

Klonoa 2 Dream Champ Tournament gives you a chanc to race against time to become the Dream Champion. In this fast-paced, colorful side-scroller you'll guide Klonoa as he tries to beat other travelers in the Dream Champ Tournament. Combining platform, puzzle and adventure elements, it's the kind of adventure you've been waiting for.

Review

Though there was another game entitled Klonoa 2 (on PS2, 2001), this latest GBA offering from Namco is the same only in spirit – though this is a completely different game, tight 2D platforming with delicious puzzle elements are still the order of the day in Dream Champ Tournament. And if some of the later stages are painfully tough, who ever said video games had to be easy?

Most of Klonoa 2's levels are more reminiscent of Lode Runner than Mario. You'll have to figure out which enemies to pick up and where to throw them, push around boxes, find keys, and otherwise solve some of the better puzzles around. Farther into the quest, your reactions will be tested along with your brain as you'll be dodging obstacles or working under tight time constraints while desperately trying to get all of the pieces into place to advance to the next room. You have the option to scroll your view around the room you're in, which is immensely helpful, considering the complexity of Klonoa 2's many multi-part puzzles. It's a wonderfully unique variation on 2D action, and an absolute blast to play through.

For the most part, new elements are introduced at a good pace and utilized well to continually diversify the style of puzzles the player faces. About halfway through the game, though, the difficulty suddenly goes through the roof, as the puzzles get much larger and harder. In and of itself this is a minor annoyance; however, taken along with the abrupt need to execute intricate and precise platforming wizardry in the process of enacting the solution, it makes for a mighty strong temptation to launch your GBA through the nearest window. Of course, when you actually beat these occasional monstrosities, it's a great feeling.

Some variety is thrown into this basic formula in the form of levels where you have to race against a boss, auto-scrolling stages, and some basic Mode 7 F-Zero-like levels. For the most part, the 2D ones are a fun break from the standard gameplay while the pseudo-3D Mode 7 parts are dumb – fortunately, you always have the option of skipping the 3D ones and doing a regular level instead. Unless you're going for the insane task of collecting every single item in the game, of course (which nets you some bonus stages). Remember the trouble you had with those brutal levels? It's infinitely harder to pick up all the goodies on top of beating them in the first place.

As much of an irritation as the trouble spots can be, perseverance pays off with Klonoa 2. There's a lot of great platforming to be had here, and the infrequent annoyances of those nasty levels and the questionable localization are a small price to pay for the opportunity to revisit the 2D nirvana that so few modern games give us a chance to experience.



Concept:
Bring another helping of Klonoa's unique puzzling platforming to the GBA

Graphics:
Sharp and colorful, the visuals do a good job of drawing you into this cartoony adventure

Sound:
Boring and forgettable, just like most titles on the GBA

Playability:
It's a rare title that creates such a tight link between player and character

Entertainment:
Despite some punishingly difficult levels, this is head and shoulders above the vast majority of GBA offerings

Replay:
Moderate

Rated: 8.25 out of 10
Editor: Adam Biessener
Issue: March 2005

2nd Opinion:
Ignore the kiddie characters and the ludicrous story – this game is straight up platform puzzling goodness. The colorful stages are varied and enjoyable, even if the music and sound effects that accompany them aren't. The mild variations on the traditional platforming pattern make for a slightly slower paced, but no less enjoyable jaunt as you steadily cross the 2D landscape. Several of the puzzles are downright mean in later levels, a distinction that may not win it a lot of fans with the demographic most attracted to these cutesy visuals. For myself, I would have enjoyed a little more action to keep the pace up, but overall this cat emerges from the proverbial bag as a quality offering for the GBA.

Rated: 7 out of 10
Editor: Matt Miller


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