Clockwork Knight 2

Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega

I guess Clockwork Knight must've turned a profit because the sequel came out only a year after the first title. Did they do a better job this time? Well actually, yes they did!

Taking place right after the events of the first game, it seems Princess Chelsea still needs Pepperouchau's help.

For the most part the sequel looks and plays exactly the same as Clockwork Knight, but there are a few subtle improvements. For starters, the graphics have improved slightly, now, the backgrounds are no longer comprised of a single static image, featuring instead moving objects or several images which move in parallax scrolling. Even the 3D polygon objects look a little better this time around as they're presented in greater detail and do not have any clipping issues.

The improvements don't stop on the technical level aspects though. While the gameplay itself is unchanged the levels are better designed this time around, providing several alternate paths and secrets. The maps are also much more interesting, while the first game was set in an ordinary house it seems the sequel takes place in a massive clocktower with allows for more interesting locales. Some stages require you to explore constantly change between the background and foreground similar to what you might find in games like 'Bug!', this can be a bit of a pain as sometimes you're forced to backtrack, but generally the feature never overstays its welcome.

Even the bosses are much more interesting now, these range from a karaoke singing snake comprised of building blocks to a rubber octopus-pirate. Now do you see what i mean by the 'toy' concept being underutilized in the first game? They took the concept and finally decided to have some fun with it and the game is better for it! There's even a few new forced-scrolling levels in which you get to ride a toy-horse, these are actually pretty fun and do a good job at spicing up the gameplay.

The game is also much harder this time around which brings up a new issue: the lack of checkpoints. Having to start a level from the beginning every time you die is really frustrating. A lot of the old issues do make a return as well, namely the game's length and the fact that at its heart, it's still a very basic platformer with no new moves or power-ups added to your character.

I thought the music was a bit more grating this time around with the exception of the intro theme, which was cheesy yet catchy salsa theme.For the rest of the game though, I would find myself turning down the sound on certain stages.

While by no means perfect Clockwork Knight 2 is a definite improvement over its predecessor, the overall difficulty, stage music and relatively basic gameplay boggle down the experience somewhat, but the interesting levels and original boss designs make up for it.

- Slightly improved graphics
- Better level design with more variety
- Some pretty original boss designs
- Gameplay is still too simple for its own good
- Music can get a little grating
- Lack of a checkpoint can lead to a frustrating experience

Final Grade: B-

Now this is a definite improvement! The cover is bright and colorful and it really draws you in with all the action going on. The manual is similar to that of the first game though it replaces the highscore page in favor of character bios. 

Being an early Saturn game it comes in a flimsy box that if not treated with care will eventually disintegrate.

Packaging Grade: C+

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