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Clockwork Knight 2 – Sega Saturn

Clockwork Knight 2 – Sega Saturn

Clockwork_knight_2Platform: Sega Saturn

Developer: Sega

Publisher: Sega

Release Date (NA): January, 1996

Genre: Platforming

Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

Before Toy Story came out, many a child always wondered what it would be like if our toys were really real. Then came the movie, and Tom Hanks delivered a knockout performance voicing Woody, a charming and lovable cowboy doll. But it’s not enough to watch the toys. We want to be a part of the fantasy and play AS the toys! The Clockwork Knight series, which only consists of two games, provides gamers with an opportunity to experience the toy life just like the first Toy Story video games. Unfortunately for the masses, Clockwork Knight 2 was released on an unpopular and failing console, further obstructing any chances for success. But one thing is for sure, it’s not too late to enjoy the wonders of the Toyland!

clockwork knight 2 - 5

Each night at the stroke of midnight, all the toys in the house come to life, awakened by Chelsea, the Clockwork fairy princess. But there is no joy in Toyland right now as Princess Chelsea has been captured! The clumsy and lovable knight, Sir Tongara de Pepperouchau (known as Pepper to his friends) and his trusty friends made a daring rescue only to have her snatched away right from their very grasp. Now the toys are really worried because if Princess Chelsea doesn’t return by dawn, there will be no one to awaken them the next night… or ever again. Can Pepper rescue the princess once more and save Toyland?

The story is fun and exciting and picks up directly where the original Clockwork Knight left off! While Clockwork Knight 2 is technically a new game, it is essentially the exact same game as its precursor, yet with new levels, different music, and a few other minor changes. The game’s case says it has better graphics, but I can’t really tell the difference. All-in-all, the control scheme and even the story are mere replicas of the original. This isn’t always a bad thing. Hell, who out there didn’t wish for Guns n’ Roses to make Appetite for Destruction 2? Fans of the original looking for a brand new experience might be a little disappointed. But if you’re only looking for a continuation of the game that you love, then you’ll be more than pleased!

clockwork knight 2 feature

The first thing I noticed when I started playing Clockwork Knight 2 was the exceptional graphics! Not only do these graphics look pretty impressive right now, just imagine playing this game back in the mid 1990s! With excellent shading and a perfectly executed 3D look on a 2D plain, you will be blown away! This really is a 2D game but they really knocked it out of the park with the 3D look! Stylistically it’s perfect and it really feels like you’re running across a huge toy land inside a house! It’s flawless.

clockwork 7

One thing that blows my mind is the wide spectrum of colors used throughout any given level. While each level has a particular theme that separates it from other levels, the one constant is the colors. Any given level is loaded from top to bottom with an array of bright greens, deep blues, rich reds, and more that make the game pop right off your screen! Fully utilizing the Saturn’s color palette makes sense for a game that takes place in a kid’s toy world. Never do the colors feel excessive. Pairing the graphics with the vibrant colors gives players plenty of eye candy from start to finish!

I’m a firm believer in the power of music in video games, and if you’re even remotely familiar with any of my reviews then you know I have a tendency to harp on this quite a bit. With that said, I gotta say… The soundtrack in Clockwork Knight 2 is exceptional! Is any of it memorable? Probably not. But it sure is loaded with darn fine compositions from start to finish. The music sounds very youthful and much like something you’d catch in an education kids show (like, rated Y7 or whatever that crap is). But that doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed by adults. What I’m trying to say is that the music is appropriate for the theme and tone of the game and I love it!

clockwork 4

With brilliant colors, top notch graphics, and beautiful music, you’re probably curious how this game plays and how the levels are structured, aren’t you? Well I’ll tell you right up front… Both are remarkable! Sega included a decent amount of stage variety with a fair difficulty progression. It can take quite a few tries to get used to the controls, the types of traps, the pitfalls, and the enemy movements. But within a few tries, you’ll have all of that figured out in a short while. Even though I mention the difficulty progression as being fair, that doesn’t mean the game starts off easy. Clockwork Knight 2 is a very challenging and rewarding game, right from the get-go. But a veteran of the platformer genre should have no trouble learning the ropes and successfully traversing Toyland.

clockwork 6

The controls in Clockwork Knight are tight and responsive, just the way they should be! Sega took a simplistic approach to the controls utilizing only 3 of the 6 available buttons, and 2 of those 3 do the same thing. So in reality, Pepper only has 2 functions: jump and attack. Pepper carries a key with him everywhere he goes. The key is used for a variety of things, mainly to attack, but also allows him to wind gear sprockets that open up new passages or create easier/safer platforms and such. The simplicity of the controls allows the gamer to focus more on the platforming aspects and less on which button is the right button to press. While I’m a fan of it, I’m sure there were many who would have enjoyed more depth in that department.

clockwork 3

confusing and annoying boss. You gotta hit his microphone-looking tail or something

 

Clockwork Knight 2 isn’t without its flaws, one of which is the confusion in how to play the game when you first start. Some sort of tutorial would have been greatly appreciated, but essentially you have to teach yourself through trial and error, which will basically lead to a game over before you beat the first level. There aren’t too many flaws in the game other than some minor confusion on direction and purpose, so overall  the game provides a very positive experience.

Fans of traditional platforming games should fall in love with Clockwork Knight 2 right away. Simply put, this game is about as traditional as it comes. There’s nothing spectacular about it nor does it do anything radically different from other platfomers, but what it does do is provide a very tight and overall extremely fun gaming experience. I was completely surprised by the amount of detail that was put into Clockwork Knight 2, especially in maintaining the overall theme of the game. It’s very apparent that the developers worked hard to make this game something special. While it’s obviously aimed at kids, possibly to the point of being overlooked by most adults, I wouldn’t classify it as a kid’s game by any means. Toy Story was a kids movie that all ages could enjoy, and that’s where I’d put the Clockwork Knight series.

clockwork 2

Overall, Clockwork Knight 2 is a strong contender in the Sega Saturn’s line-up of 2D platfomers. With developers taking a universal leap towards the next level of gaming (AKA 3D gameplay), many excellent 2D games passed over and flat out ignored by the masses. Clockwork Knight 2 wasn’t quite “ignored” per se, but it definitely was quickly forgotten. I, for one, found the game to be extremely enjoyable, notably in the lightheartedness of it’s presentation and themes. Much like other children, I always pretended my toys were alive and real and my imagination had endless potential. It’s not too late to relive your youthful years and to let go of that tough adult exterior! Let loose and have fun in Toyland with Pepper and his friends! 2 Thumbs Up!

Nerd Rating: 8 out of 10

Reviewed by Nerdberry

Written by Nerdberry

Nerdberry

What’s up yall? David “Nerdberry” here! I am the founder of Nerd Bacon and the current co-owner (and CEO) along with partner David “theWatchman!” I hail from North Carolina, hence my love for all things pork! Oh, you’re not familiar with NC? Well I’m not 100% sure, but I am pretty confident that NC and VA lead the nation in pork production. I could be wrong, but even if I am, I still love bacon!

Come enjoy some bacon and games with us yall.

 
 

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