Klonoa is back and this time he's in a race to become the Dream Champ by completing an assortment of challenges and collecting the moons, sun and stars.

Anyone that's played Klonoa previously already knows what to expect. The original gave us a fun and entertaining game of the side-scrolling, platform variety. Unlike so many games in the genre, Klonoa was unique. It combined puzzles and action adventure with the platforming for an experience that was not only challenging but displayed depth and variety - and it doesn't feel old-school.

Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament is basically an updated version of the original. This probably wouldn't have worked if it was released within a year of the first one but we've seen a significant amount of water pass under the bridge since then which makes this sequel a most welcome arrival. While the packaging and artwork may make this look like a kid's game, underneath all that fur some powerful muscles are flexing.

With new levels, new characters and a new storyline, Klonoa 2 passes the basic requirements to be called a decent sequel, even though much of the gameplay and some of the environments will be familiar to fans of the original. It appears as though Namco is upholding the if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it philosophy. The original was so good that it really does deserve to be revisited. Fans and newbies alike are in for a treat.

Klonoa has plenty of challenges to face. He's got platforms to jump across, puzzles to solve, hoverboard races to take part in, tokens to collect and enemies to fight. Interestingly Klonoa can kill two birds with one stone as he can grab a hold of enemies and use them to perform double jumps to access high platforms. He will also uncover tokens by completing puzzles which are made up of pressure switches, springs, scales and bombs. Each puzzle is different and put together in imaginative ways.

There's never a dull moment in Klonoa 2. The game starts out easy enough but increases in difficulty slowly throughout each ensuing level. The challenge is manageable and there are enough lives to be acquired so that dying isn't going to pose much of a problem. The bosses are tough and will require more strategy and skill than just memorizing their patterns.

Certainly a better looking game than the original, Klonoa 2 is colorful, crisp and cartoony. The graphics are consistent throughout each level. The sounds are cheery and the music has a subdued arcade quality to it that makes it catchy but not annoying.

Klonoa 2 has an addicting quality to it that makes you want to complete it at any cost - usually paid out of your bank of hours for a good night's sleep.

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System: GBA
Dev: Namco
Pub: Namco
Release: Feb 2005
Players: 1
Review by Shelby