For me personally, there is nothing more disheartening, disconnecting or disruptive than the discovery of dissonance. It’s unfortunate when something upsets the balance and tuning which makes an otherwise enjoyable experience anything but. That is how I could best summarize my time spent playing as Tinimations blurring beat battle droid in Klang 2. A game where your ability to feel the rhythm is critical to your survival.
Available on: Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Playstation 4/5, Microsoft Windows
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
Instru - mental
Klang 2 gives players the option of enjoying the game with or without the story. Typically if a game offers the opt out of the story then the gameplay experience is the essential and that is certainly my opinion of Klang. While you could try to follow the hero’s journey this game puts sights and sounds over storyline. Does it work out and hit the right notes?
For those that take the story although this game is a sequel of sorts playing the previous entry isn’t a barrier to enjoying this game. The opening events of this game hint at what transpired during the previous entry of the series. Klang is awakened by something named A-Eye who gives the hero a new set of eyes. Apparently Klang lost his sight in the previous game. As soon as this happens Klang encounters a SoundLord. Mistaking Klang for a character named Sonos the SoundLord begins to attack Klang. The intro to the game is equal parts of story and gameplay instructions since as this sequence plays out players learn how to maneuver Klang. By the end of this portion A-Eye takes the Royal TuneBlade from Klang and sends the hero to train for the next Boss battle. Completing each of these Boss battles sends Klang to a virtual arena where you compete to earn tokens. These tokens then are used to unlock more story levels.
Battling through the various droves of drones sent his way, Klang smoothly slices through them. Aiming in the direction and pressing the attack button sends Klang in the direction of the next attacker. Although this may seem basic the various attackers require different techniques with some forcing Klang to hold Y and charge the Tuneblade to defeat it. The timing and efficiency of your attacks improves your overall score on the level thereby allowing you to advance and seek to eliminate the threat. While the tempo of the enemies starts slow it doesn’t take long until your screen is filled with drones.
A key component of the game and as I found your ability to get Klang in synch to face the game’s foes is the background track. Given that the game recommends playing with headphones I was happy with the Switch’s Bluetooth capability. Listening to the rhythm and beats as you send Klang from one edge of the screen to the other is a euphoric EDM experience. Klang becomes something of a Techno Bowl, eliminating one opponent after another.
I can’t start this portion of my review of this game without offering one admission. The fact is I am terrible at quick time events. I don’t care if it’s God of War or a buzzer beater game. So I am arguably at a disadvantage going into any game like Klang 2. That said my bad timing didn’t diminish my enjoyment of this game. I found the synchronization of the sensation of sights and sounds on screen worked wonderfully. The ability to select from various songs on levels helped find a tune that kept my head nodding. This even as I was getting knocked around the screen.
Visually the game is “eye” catching. Klang is designed to fit in with the dance club aesthetic with neon blue and black attire. As the drones fill the screen and Klang attack a dimly lit room is instantly turned into a discotheque. The pulse pounding audio combined with the dazzling visualizations reminded me of using Windows Media Player to listen to music and going into full screen mode. The upbeat energy of the game makes replaying a level a unique experience each time.
In video games and music you need a hook. Some component that makes the people take notice and can move the crowd. While I can’t say I was invested in the story of Klang 2, I did find myself willing to play though just for the option of the experience. Klang 2 is both a party game and a partier’s game. If you like the feel of the club or want challenge a group of friends to a rave battle I would recommend adding this game to your playlist.