December 11, 2001
Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil - Review
Release Date Publisher Developer Players Rating Price
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Being fired from one of the canons.
Is it just me or does it seem like the platform genre is slowly becoming a dying breed? Just try to name a couple of classic styled platform games on Playstation 2. UbiSoft released the wonderful Rayman Revolution early this year while Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex and Jak & Daxter were released last week however all of these games are more free roaming then this side scroller. Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil has been sitting on my desk for quite a few weeks now, mainly because of so many other games to get through but also because of my initial impressions. Too cutsey, too Japanese, too childish. However a week or so ago I spent a little bit of time playing this game, and my thoughts changed... drastically. Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil is actually a very well thought out and entertaining game that almost anyone can, and will, enjoy.

The storyline for Klonoa 2 is as follows; Lunatea is a world very different to our own. A world of dreams, where peace and harmony reign, preserved by the mystical power of the four bells. The pleasant serenity of Lunatea is rumoured to be in the balance; it is said that a fifth bell is in existence and is threatening to ring the changes forever, transforming the beautiful and tranquil land of Lunatea into a place of darkness. You control Klonoa as he journeys through this magical world on a quest to unravel the mystery and prevent the fifth bell from ringing. He will be aided in his quest by a shine maiden Lolo, and her friendly assistant Popka. Lolo's knowledge of Lunatea will prove very useful for there are many strange and wonderful things to be found in this fantastical place.

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Rain effects are most impressive.
Despite the 3D look of the graphics Klonoa 2 is most definitely a 2D side scrolling platform game. Playing Klonoa 2 is no different to many other platform games in that the main character has both a jumping and shooting ability, thanks to his magic ring. Namco have taken this a little futher however as the shoot button allows you to "catch" the enemies which can then be used to effectively give Klonoa a double jump by springboarding off the enemy while already jumping in the air. Also, by holding the jump button down longer Klonoa can also get a little more elevation when required.

More variety in the game is offered through the inclusion of a surfing down a rapid ride in an amusement park level as well as a snowboarding level down some icy slopes. With 24 stages in total this game will takes some time to fully explore and complete, although it never seems to become too hard, perhaps to keep younger gamers happy. Controlling Klonoa is a complete joy as he responds perfectly to your commands while the games collision detection is perfect.

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The fun snowboarding level.
It's not stretching the imagination to say that this is one of the prettiest games ever. The colors are vibrant and the levels varied as Namco once again prove themselves as the leaders on PS2. The characters are all wonderfully animated and fit in perfectly into the game with plenty of cartoony graphics. This graphical style is quite Japanese and will seem very refreshing to western gamers who are tiring of seeing endless dreary Tomb Raider styled graphics. Most importantnyl Namco seem to have nailed the camera angles perfectly, which given the 2D nature of the game should never be a problem to begin with. There is no getting stuck behind walls, no hiding the enemies, no having to guess your location. It's such a pleasure to play a game where you aren't hindered by poor camera work. One interesting, and pleasing, thing to note is that Namco have include a 60Hz mode in this game, unlike their previous Playstation 2 titles. Hopefully this will continue into their upcoming Tekken 4 and Soul Calibur II home ports.

Aurally this game is quite enticing as Namco have kept up the lively and colorful feel from the graphics. The music varies between some brilliant background melodies to some very average Japanese boss type music. The sound effects are a bit on the "cutsey" side, but given the content of the game are very well done. My only hesitation with the sound in Klonoa 2 is that the characters aren't speaking English. I'm not even sure if it's Japanese, Chinese, French, German or anything. Whatever it is the speech seems to suit the feel of the game but it becomes tiresome with so many cut scenes and you'll soon wish they just used plain old English.

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The camera pans to keep a side view.
Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil is a game which I had quite a few reservations about however these soon vanished after playing the game for a while. Namco have produced a very poished and well thought out platform game with plenty of action and puzzles throughout the levels. The graphics are among the most colorful and vibrant in recent years, while the flat cell-shaded style characters look wonderful in motion. This style of 2D platform game been missing in the last couple of years and it was refreshing to return to a genre that can really be enjoyed by both young and old. This is one game that everyone should seriously consider as the short-term disinterest will soon have you up until the wee hours of the morning. Superb.

GRAPHICSIt's one of the most beautiful games on PS2, or any console, to date.
SOUNDSome good, some bad music with solid sound effects, strange speech.
GAMEPLAYA fun, engrossing, well designed title that will have you up all night.
VALUEThe 24 levels take time to complete, Klonoa 2 isn't too hard though.
OVERALLThis isn't just for kids as the great gameplay will suck everyone in.

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