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Born for Wii: Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil (page 2)

Wesley Fenlon

Klonoa 2 begins when our floppy-eared hero awakens in a strange world, saved from dark, choppy waters by a priestess-in-training and her sidekick, best described as a weird talking dog thing. Klonoa, a dream traveler, was drawn by a mysterious voice begging for help, and he quickly is recruited by his saviors Lolo and Popka to help rescue the world of Lunatea.

The story is unfortunately simplistic and predictable, but it's bolstered somewhat by how well Klonoa fits the hero archetype of a determined, ever-happy, never-discouraged adventurer. It's easy to love, even if the characters speak a special brand of gibberish that can be a tad grating.

Lunatea's Veil features quite a few cutscenes, though most of them consist of relatively little movement and largely fulfill the role of story exposition. Even though the majority of the cutscenes aren't exactly action-packed, the graphics make up for it. Even though it's now nearly 7 years old, the bright, cartoony visuals in Klonoa 2 are a welcome change from many of the darker games on the market today. The cel-shaded characters really stand out and look great, and the environments are wonderfully complex, expansive, and, most importantly, varied. Klonoa travels through several different kingdoms on his quest to save Lunatea, and each one is markedly different than the last.

Klonoa 2's gameplay is predominately 2D platforming in a 3D environment. Most of the levels feature set paths on a single plane of action, but it's not quite as simple as it sounds -- although you can only walk left or right, you can also face into the foreground or background, where other parts of the level are visible. This is a key component to solving some of the game's puzzles, as you may be required to throw a certain object or enemy to another path in the background.

Nearly all of the game's puzzle involve using the game's enemies in a variety of ways. Using his priestess-infused ring (yeah, Lolo rides around in Klonoa's ring -- talk about weird) Klonoa can grab onto enemies and use them to kill other baddies, destroy objects, or double-jump by throwing them downwards. The puzzles aren't especially difficult, and neither is the game -- despite the fact that you only have three hearts of life, health pickups, checkpoints, and 1-ups are numerous. You won't be dying all that much, anyway.

The levels begin fairly simply and present little challenge, and even the later stages lack the difficulty present in a lot of platformers. They do, however, become considerably more complex, so the game never really gets boring. The game's sense of scale is especially impressive -- you'll often find yourself hopping in cannons that blast you from one part of a level to another, through a tangle of 2D pathways or past massive waterfalls. It spreads out both horizontally and vertically in a way that really shows off just how well-designed each platforming stage truly is. Even the numerous gems scattered around every level are fun to collect -- no annoying, tired collectathon woes here.

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