Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 02/23/05 | Genre: Puzzle
Klonoa is one of the franchises Namco first started on the PlayStation. They continued it on the PS2 several years later before moving the series to the Game Boy Advance. Klonoa 2: Dream Champ looks and plays just like the first one. In fact, the game has been out for a long time in Japan. For some unknown reason Namco has been sitting on this title just waiting for the right opportunity to release it. Apparently the time is right now and GBA owners can finally play this magnificent puzzle title.
Klonoa 2 has over 50 levels to complete. As you play through each level, you will receive a ranking at the end. The goal is to get an S. To do this, you will need to take little or no damage, pick up all the items in the level, and exit safely without dying. For some levels, this feat will be very easy. However, on other levels you will find this task to be nearly impossible.
For those of you who are not familiar with the first GBA title, you navigate Klonoa in what appears to be a platformer. While it may look that way, this is really a puzzle game in disguise. Players will be asked to use enemies and objects in the game to reach higher ledges, grab jewels, and obtain three different gold items that are required to open the door at the end of the world. While the majority of the game plays out like this, in each of the worlds there will be one surfboard stage that plays like a scrolling action game, a forced side scrolling level, and a boss level. I found the game to be more challenging when playing through all of the scrolling and boss levels. In fact, I would have sometimes preferred a harder puzzle, at a little bit slower pace, over these levels. This is due to the extreme degree of frustration the speed of these levels can cause.
Like any good Game Boy Advance title, Klonoa 2 automatically saves your progress upon completion of a level. This will allow you to quickly turn off your game if you need to (just in case you are getting ready to throw it across the room in one of the aforementioned heart-attack inducing levels.)
As I mentioned above, Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament is a relatively old Game Boy Advance title from Japan. Because of this, the graphics and audio are dated. The cinematic sequences used between the levels are also plain looking. However, the gameplay is so much fun that I can easily look past these flaws and recommend this title.
Overall, this title is one all fans of the original should buy. If you haven't played the original but enjoy puzzle titles, then you owe it to yourself to not only pick up the latest Klonoa title but also search around used game stores and Ebay for the first title as well.