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If you're an action-platforming puzzle-solving type, Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament is probably one of the best GBA games available on the market today. With the current GBA slump, Klonoa 2 is by far the best GBA offering of 2005. For the price that Namco's asking ($29.99), it's hard to pass this one up.
As much as 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.
After playing Klonoa 2, I went back and played the original GBA game, Empire of Dreams. I can safely say that graphics and sound have been greatly improved for the sequel. Detailed, multiple scrolling backgrounds and small but well-animated sprites are pleasing to the eyes and catchy music fills the handheld's speakers. The play control is spot on 99 percent of the time, but sometimes in the hoverboard levels it seems just a slight bit loose. Klonoa 2 is a very short game. I beat it in three days, but there's replay value to be had finding all the stones and gems to unlock levels and get better ranks on the stages. If you like colorful 2D platformers, you owe it to yourself to get Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament. Maybe if enough people buy it, we can convince Namco to bring over Klonoa Heroes as well!
If you like games of both the puzzle and side-scrolling platform genre, then you will adore Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament. If you are one of those players who can not stand to leave a game only 99% completed, then you should definitely pick up Dream Tournament. The game is easy to learn, fun to play, and quite challenging. There aren’t too many quality platform games currently being issued for the GBA, and this fills the void nicely. Join the tournament today.
Despite the iffy music and the fact that the action tends to become somewhat monotonous in large spells, Tournament is a top-notch addition to the GBA library. It's been a long time in coming, but it couldn't have arrived at a better time than in the midst of the current portable dry spell.
Dream Champ Tournament continues the Klonoa puzzle adventuring tradition in fine form. Don't get fooled by the cartoony visuals--this is one game that'll make you think long and hard in a good way.
It's a shame that it took so long for Namco to bring Dream Champ Tournament to the U.S., but now that it's here, make sure you don't miss it. The excellent control and stage design mixed with the clever puzzles make this one of the better (and certainly one of the most thought provoking) platformers available on GBA.
In all honesty, other than a new string of platform level challenges, Klonoa 2 doesn't really attempt to be any different than the original game that shipped more than three years ago on the platform. This game is just "more" of Klonoa: Empire of Dreams, but with a new storyline and different levels. But that's not so bad considering the original game was -- and still is -- a great, unique platformer that's held up extremely well on the GBA platform. It's also great to see Namco's cute hero return to the scene in a game we though would be left overseas.
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.
Ever since the Nintendo DS was released, the output of GBA games, let alone good GBA games, has petered out to next to nothing. Even though Namco sat on Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament for two years, it has picked a very opportune time to release it now. This unique marriage of the puzzle and adventure genres isn't for everyone, but those of you out there who like solving puzzles while hopping around will definitely get your money's worth.
It's a shame; Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament is a very tight platformer, taken from a unique angle. It's more low-impact than many entries in this slowly fading genre, trying to be more light fare than an intense action fest. While this may make it different, it also reduces its overall appeal, pulling it away from the action gamers that make up a great portion of the US gaming audience. In the end, I can't see anyone who doesn't already know Klonoa being drawn towards it. The cutesy graphics and character design certainly won't draw anyone but the young, and what it offers in gameplay will primarily appeal to those who are already fans — not intense enough for action gamers, not devious enough for puzzle gamers.