Published on September 23rd, 2016 | by gareth0
Review by Dark Ocelot
Klang is a Rhythm/Platformer game and it’s the debut of the developer studio called Tinimations. The environments, visuals, story and gameplay aspects were done by one person named Tom-Ivar Arntzen while the music was done by the EDM composer bLiNd.
The premise here is very simple. You assume the role of a tuneblade-wielding elite rave warrior called Klang who wants to free himself from the shackles of a Zeus-like figure named Soundlord Sonus. And so the game begins. There is barely any Story here and it isn’t the focus of the game and it doesn’t contribute to the game whatsoever and if the story is removed entirely, you will barely notice any difference. So if you are the type who plays a game for the story in it or a game that is accompanied by a good premise, then this game isn’t for you. The game focuses mostly on its gameplay aspects.
The visuals of the game look very beautiful with its Tron-inspired aesthetics. Klang’s design is colorful and stylish. The environment looked gorgeous with all the vibrant neon colors popping out on the screen while you’re playing but on rare occasions, they can be distracting and a bit too much when there are so many things happening at once.
This is one of those games that are worth buying a quality headset or a subwoofer for because the sound design is excellent and the composer bLiNd did a marvelous job with it. Listening to the music with a normal headset or your TV’s sound system doesn’t do it justice. And the way the music and the beat sync with what’s on screen are perfect. The soundtrack is most definitely the best aspect of the game.
The game mechanics tries to blend rhythm game mechanics and platform game mechanics into one game. That means instead of only pressing buttons that appears on the screen like you normally do in Rhythm games, you also have to traverse the levels by jumping and sliding while pressing the buttons in order to get through the stage.
The controls are fairly simple. Like most 2D games, you use the left thumbstick to move the character left and right and you use the Right thumbstick in one of the eight directions when the icon that looks like a slice of Pizza appears on the screen in one of those eight directions to deflect the incoming attacks. And you use LT to jump and RT to slide throughout the levels.
While blending those game mechanics works very well on most stages, they can also be overwhelming and frustrating at times. For instance, there is a place where you have to dodge lasers by jumping between 5 platforms that falls when the lasers make contact with them (They come back up after a few seconds) so you will have to jump left and right fast and all that combined with rhythm gameplay. It gets very confusing because there are so many things happening at once on the screen and you don’t know whether you should focus on deflecting the attacks or focus on the lasers. One mistake and you are dead so that made it a bit frustrating and annoying instead of challenging. There is a thin line between a game that put your skills to the test and a game that simply frustrates you to cover its flaws.
Unfortunately, I felt like this is the latter because the game itself is very short and if I hadn’t died in the game over 300 times, it would have lasted me an hour. So I felt like the difficulty spike was there just to mask the game’s short length which brings me to the final point in the review.
Difficulty, Length and Replay Value:
The game has three difficulty levels. Easy, Normal and Nightcore Mode. The higher the difficulty, the higher rank you can achieve when you finish a stage. On Easy mode, B Rank is the max possible rank, Normal mode, S Rank is the max possible rank and on Nightcore Mode, SSS Rank is the max possible rank. Also the higher the difficulty, the faster the game music sounds, and the faster the button prompts on screen moves
I started the game on Normal mode it took me 3 hours and 311 deaths to finish. Once you finish the game for the first time, you unlock the hardest mode in the game which is called NightCore mode where everything moves so fast and that includes the music.
In terms of Replay Value, there isn’t much to do after you finish all the stages except for collecting Pirate Tokens which are the in-game collectables that allow you to unlock the game’s Soundtrack in a special level where you can hear them without replaying the other levels just to hear that awesome track.
And you can also replay the game on Nightcore mode if you want to get the highest rank possible in the game. And if you are the Achievement Hunter type then you will find that getting all the achievements will be very time consuming. For instance, there is an achievement that requires you not to die even once throughout the whole game and that is excruciatingly difficult. So, if you are a completionist, then the game will last you for quite a while.
But if you are not, then you won’t find much to do here after you finish its short story mode because it doesn’t have much to offer after that.
Klang is a great game but its short amount of content and sometimes overwhelmingly difficult levels can put you off. So for that, I give Klang 4/5. Great concept but if the gameplay was more fun and rewarding, and it had more content and unlockables, it would have been a superb game. And I give the developer Tom-Ivar Arntzen SSS for effort and for trying to innovate and do something new with the genre and I am definitely interested to see what he is going to do next.