User Review: Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil (Retro)

By HylianBran, Jan 17, 2020 (updated Jan 24, 2020) 11 5

Jan 17, 2020
  • Release Date (NA): July 25, 2001
  • Release Date (EU): November 9, 2001
  • Release Date (JP): March 22, 2001
  • Publisher: Namco EU: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Developer: Klonoa Works (old subsidiary of Namco)
  • Genres: Platform, Sports
  • ESRB Rating: Everyone
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative

Review Approach:

Reviewed on the PlayStation 2, and I used the JP cover because it looks better, again. Also, yes, the review reads kinda weird, but I need to go to do other life stuff. I might make a reprised version later on.
Before getting to the review, I strongly recommend reading my review of this game’s predecessor, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, for continuity's sake and all (Here’s that review: https://gbatemp.net/review/klonoa-door-to-phantomile.1250/). Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil, oh Klonoa 2. This review is biased, and no, this is not a preference. This is tied as my favorite game of all time, and if your not looking for insane, obnoxious, never-ending levels of positivity , then this isn’t the review for you. I love this game to death, and I won’t deny that. This also isn’t a traditional review. I’ll be going over everything in this game from top to bottom, and if that doesn’t sound like something you’d be fine with, please click off now. Get ready for a review of one of the best games ever made (my opinion is right, your’s is wrong). Also, I’m sure that I’ve put some story beats in the wrong places, but it isn’t significant enough to really change anything.
HylianBran
Klonoa 2 beings with another amazing title screen. Just the “buh buh, buh buh buh buh buh WAHOO” is so, so good. Anyways, the file select screen is just as satisfying as the first game’s, with an even better tune. Then the actual opening begins, and it starts strikingly similar to the first game’s opening. Then we get some strange voice calling out “Help me, Help me, Help me”, which instantly sets a goal for the game to follow. Then Klonoa is shown opening his eyes and falling into the Sea of Tears. A few mysterious bandits then fly down to pick Klonoa up, to remove the risk of “dropping the ring”. Klonoa then wakes up next to Lolo, a priestess in training, and Popka, her good friend, who had just saved him from the sea. Lolo refers to Klonoa as “The Dream Traveler”, which builds upon the ending of the first game, and sets up why Klonoa’s here; whenever the balance of dreams is breaking, the “Dream Traveler” is summoned. Anyways, after meeting for the first time, the group sees that monsters are surrounding the area, and they need to leave quickly. Lolo then powers Klonoa’s ring, and the group head off. I like that the player has been told enough to know his/her goal to progress, while also raising a sense of intrigue.

With all the exposition out of the way, onto the gameplay. In terms of controls, it is mostly the same as the first game. The only real auditions is the ability to pull up the HUD and pull off some sick tricks with the shoulder buttons. It’s not all the same as the first game, however. K2 adds a bunch of new enemy types and stage obstacles to keep the action interesting. Tornados automatically bounce you into the air, and are often combined to create interesting setpieces. Jetimos and Keetons are both unique ways to rocket in the air. Lickuri, which are enemies that power up by throwing them at other enemies, are used for interesting puzzles. There are also cannons that serve as a great spectacle, and are usually used as area transitions.

After getting through the Sea of Tears, Lolo will ring the “Spirit Bell”. Klonoa is then told that they’re going to see Baguji, the greatest prophet of land, which is introduced in this cutscene as Lunatea. After making their way to Baguji off-screen, Baguji informs Klonoa that the power that Lunatea is divided into four kingdoms; The Kingdom of Tranquillity, La-Lakoosha, The Kingdom of Joy, Joilant, The Kingdom of Discord, Volk, and The Kingdom of Indecision, Mira-Mira. Each Kingdom has a bell that houses it’s element, but a new bell, and by extension a new kingdom, is forming, and it has to be stopped. To do this, Klonoa needs to retrieve the element from each kingdom. Klonoa and gang are told to go visit the “High Priestess” of Lunatea, so they head off.

The stage then kicks off, and it introduces some new stage gimmicks, including these eel-looking creatures that will eat the first that goes in front of him. After eating, there will be a short period to get pass. This means you will have to throw something in front of him to get passed because of the 2D plane, and is used later in the game in a much more challenging way, with them being placed one after another. I also think it’s worth mentioning the unique gimmick at the end of the stage. In the final section, you will be in a circle around some clock hand looking thing, and you must break blocks in the way with the clock hand looking thing. To do that, you must throw enemies at it, which requires the use of the 3D plane. I like the good use of the extra .5D.

Anyways, after getting through, you will confront the High Priestess. Lolo informs the High Priestess that she rang the spirit bell, and seems ashamed for doing so. The High Priestess grants Lolo status of full priestess, and sends them off to the Bell of Tranquillity. After making their way there off-screen, the bandits from the beginning of the game, Leorina and Tat, show up, referring to themselves as the “Sky Pirates”. Here I want to complement Leorina’s introduction, and how it immediately sets her up as an edgy villain, but it’s not annoying at all. From the way she walks, to her scoffing, to the fucking music with the harpsichord just blaring into your ears, making sure that god damn theme doesn’t leave your head.

Anyways, she sends a boss at Klonoa. The boss is simple, but sets the template for all of the bosses going forward, well, for the most part anyway. Give the player simple moos to throw, hit the boss, repeat a few times, then a second, harder phase kicks in.

After dealing with the boss, Leorina asks for Klonoa’s name, sounding surprised, for some reason, because apparently that was supposed to be hard. Klonoa and friends then head back to Baguji, who sends them off to the next kingdom, the Kingdom of Joy, Joilant.

After entering, Tat snatches the element off Lolo and splits into two pieces, branching out into two levels. No matter which one you pick first, you still miss the element. Deep element-seption. I’ll start with the waterfall level. This is the first level to take use of the game’s biggest gameplay addition; the float board. In four levels, Klonoa will pilot this “float board”, which will automatically push him through a level. The controls are simple and straightforward, keeping the switch from walking normally to piloting the float board natural. Push the corresponding direction to go faster or slow down, and use jump and shoot buttons to well, jump and shoot. The grabbing mechanics translate over to these stages perfectly. The biggest change to these is how the stages sometimes switch to a full 3D perspective. Luckily, they keep the 2D controls, and they are simple enough to where you don’t really need more. Bottomline, these stages are fantastic breaks from the traditional puzzle-platforming. This first stage does a fantastic job at showcasing and teaching the player how the mechanics work in these stages. Aside from that, this one’s pretty tame.

The other level is within the Joilant theme park itself. The stage features brand new stage gimmicks, like moving platforms that are completely physics-based, requiring the player to throw things at them. The stage also makes good use of one of this game’s new enemies, keetons, for both movement and taking out enemies. I also like how the end of stage sees you avoiding a rollercoaster, I don’t know why, just jumping over it is really satisfying. This stage also has a seamless transition to a second area, the “Ghost Palace”, and switches back without requiring a loading screen. That’s all there is to really say about this part.

After finishing the levels in your selected order, you’ll retrieve the element back and face off with one of Leorina’s minions. This boss is fairly simple, but changes significantly in the second phase, which deserves recognition for an early-game boss. After finishing it off, Leorina will tell Klonoa that she’ll “let him keep the element as a souvenir”. The gang get the element and head off to Baguji, who informs them that they must go to the Kingdom of Discord, Volk, which is referred to as a “warring kingdom”, as they are always in a civil war. This is later expanded upon in the area.

After entering the area, Klonoa and gang see Leorina and Tat working on a ring, just like Klonoa’s, and the group conclude that they need to shut off the power to prevent the ring from being finished. The player is then presented with the option to pick between two stages, which are Volk City and the Volk City Undergrounds. The Undergrounds feature the eel enemies from La-Lakoosha, and puts them in more challenging locations, forcing the player to keep an enemy on hand instead of using it to double jump, which is used as a challenge later in the game. Here, it just means that the player needs to backtrack to find a normal enemy and hold on to it. This stage also features conveyor belts, returning from the first game, and various moving platforms. Volk City is one of my favorite stages in the game. The stage features giant springs that launch the player high into the air, which are made much more challenging soon in the game. The stage also has plenty of sections that force the player to bounce from tornado to tornado, serving as interesting set piece. It’s ace thematically as well. It shows Klonoa going up and down, underground and above ground, as he runs through a city being destroyed by its own inhabitants. It all caps off with Klonoa narrowly catching onto a train, and all of this with the fuckin’ banger of a track playing in the background. We also now get into the spoiler section.

Klonoa and friends return to the room from earlier, only to find it only housing a Volk Security Robot. The boss is very simple, just double-jump to throw enemies down at the boss to damage it. The second phase ramps up the tension significantly, making it so the boss comes in from the background, forcing you to time your double-jumps, and forcing you to avoid the spikes around the boss. After finishing off the robot, Leorina appears, informing Klonoa that the generators were just decoys made to get data for the ring, and the guard bot was the last data needed to finish the ring. She then suddenly rings the bell and collects the element, running off, and setting the city up, leaving some of the real generators on. Leorina also tells Lolo to go home, calling her a “little girl”, and informing her that she (she as in Leorina) will save the world. The gang then heads off to shut them down to save the city.

The player then runs through a remixed version of the Volk City stage, which adds tons of new hazards in challenging locations and adds a Volk Security Robot that follows Klonoa through the majority of the stage, which forces the player to get a move on. This stage is great, as it does a fantastic job at expanding the original Volk City stage. There are also more remixed stages in the game, and I often see this used as a criticism, and a criticism that I think is invalid. These stages do a wonderful job at expanding the stage gimmicks, and create much more challenging scenarios. Anyways, after shutting down the generators, Klonoa and Popka talk about how both Volk and Joilant are kind-of crazy, in their own ways. Lolo also ponders to herself how Leorina powered the ring, as it requires a power source (Huepow in the first game, Lolo in this game).

The gang then heads off to Baguji, who tells the group to go to Mira-Mira, the Kingdom of Indecision. In order to reach this kingdom, they must take the Ishras Ark, which has been powered down. In order to get it up and moving again, they must turn the turn on all three engines, which leads us to the stage. I also want to mention how Lolo brings up how isolated the kingdoms are during the cutscene with Baguji. Anyways, onto the stage. With the group needing to turn on all three engines, the stage is split up into three distinct areas. Each one is heavily puzzle-focused, often requiring use of Lickuris to progress. This is also when the stages start to become much longer, with this one taking about 20-25 minutes on a first playthrough. The occasionally very long stage lengths are often used as a criticism, but to be honest, I don’t see what’s inherently wrong with this. It’s not like this is a hand-held game that you’ll be playing in short bursts or anything. I do hate it when stages are long by reusing sections or are long despite not doing anything interesting with it’s mechanics (looking at you Sonic Heroes), but Klonoa 2 always gives the player something interesting to do, even in remixed levels. I really like the calm atmosphere of this level, too. It is enhanced exponentially by the music, which is really relaxing.

After making their way through the Ark, the gang land on the mountains of Mira-Mira. Popka pulls out the rental float board from Joilant, Lolo says “Oh, Goddess Claire, please forgive our sins!”. It's haha, and the stage starts. This stage showcases nice difficulty escalation from the first float board stage, and introduces new obstacles and gimmicks. Not much to say really, it’s just fun. It also contains this endlessly charming, joyous track titled “Stepping Wind”, that’s sung in the fictional Phantomilian language, returning from the first game.

After making it through, Klonoa and friends find a giant building. They enter, only to find a maze. Lolo asks one of the Mira-Mirans near the entryway about where the bell is, but she states that “she knows nothing of this”, and that the Mira-Mirans “never venture to the outside world,'' as they can bask in memories by looking into mirrors, and she elaborates by saying “Just as are is a reflection of the soul, these mirrors are reflections of our past. Why leave, if you could keep reliving bygone days?”. Lolo seems to be saddened by this, but the group go on forward anyways. The stage, titled “The Maze of Memories”, is the most puzzle-focused in the game. It features a ton of tricky enemy-swapping puzzles with Lickuris, and contains a trippy gravity-switching gimmick. You really have to play it for yourself.

After making through the stage, the player is shown a traumatic memory of Lolo, as she’s being told by other kids that she’ll never be a priestess, and that she’s a failure. Baguji even tells her that Klonoa’s the one that’ll save the world, not her. The flashback ends, and Lolo breaks down. Klonoa looks confused, until she says that it was his power that really got her the title priestess, and she doesn’t deserve it. The soulless eyes of the other kids and their echoing voices really help sell this scene. You really have to watch it for yourself to understand.

Because I couldn’t find a dedicated video, just use this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-eyx6Y8qsU, and skip to 1:10:41.

After that, the group go outside and find the bell on an old, talking tree. The tree sees that they are after the bell, and Klonoa tells him about the situation at hand, which the tree laughs at. The tree then gives them a test to get the element, which happens to be a boss. Klonoa asks for Lolo to power the ring, but she gets all emo, so he goes by himself. This is the first float board boss, and all it really requires is dodging obstacles and ramming head-first into the boss to damage it. Halfway through, where the second phase would normally start, a cutscene plays, showing Lolo and Popka chatting. Popka knocks some sense into her by talking about Klonoa, and saying that he’s protecting the world, despite it not being his own. He follows up by stating that he’s not doing this because he wants to, but instead because it’s all he knows how to do. He tells her to get back out there and help, which she responds by saying “was that supposed to comfort me?”. Popka asks “ya mad?”, which she responds with “Maybe, but I deserved it.”. Lolo then comes out and powers the ring for the second phase of the boss. The second phase is basically the same as the first, but you now have to throw enemies at the boss to damage it. I really appreciate this because it calls extra attention to the fact that she wasn’t there before.
The group defeat the boss, get the element, and head off to Baguji. Once there, they inform Baguji that one of the elements is in the hands of Leorina, and that they will get it back. Baguji then asks for the elements they do have, and as Lolo hands them over, Popka states that this doesn’t smell like Baguji, and then, BUM, BUM, BUMMMMM! It was Leorina in disguise! Baguji was running errands (not joking, Leorina says that). The music quickly shifts from the calm Baguji theme to an even heavier version of Leorina’s and it instantly stultifies the sudden change in tone. Leorina then heads off, and not knowing what else to do, the gang quickly run off to inform the High Priestess.

The following level is a remixed version of La-Lakoosha. The stage includes a new poison gas gimmick, which requires the player to run off to statues to regain his/her breath. Aside from that, though, this stage just expands on the original stage, and does a great job at it. The sudden shift in tone is also reflected perfectly with the aesthetics, showing a sudden shift from the graceful light greens and happy music of the original La-Lakoosha, to the new, dark, drab one, and I don’t mean drab in a bad way. The gang get to High Priestess, and inform her of the problem at hand. The High Priestess then tells them more about Leorina. Leorina used to be a priestess, but over time, she grew hasty, and demanded to become more powerful, and quicker. She was sick of the useless training, and went off on her own to find other ways of gaining power. All she wanted to do was gain respect, so she set out to save the world from the final bell. The High Priestess then told them to go after her, and the gang set off to the Sea of Tears. The following stage is a remix of the Sea of Tears, with a new darkness gimmick that requires the player to destroy strange looking enemies that lighten the field of view. These are often placed in locations that require the player to use subtle level queues. Aside from that, this stage also does a good job building upon the original’s foundation. I also appreciate how this version brings the player to sections of the stage that weren’t in the original version.

After making their way through the Sea of Tears, the gang meet up with Leorina, just in time for her to use the power of the elements to “summon the 5th kingdom”, and she boards the Ark and flies it over. Here Lolo remarks that if there is a 5th bell, there should be a 5th kingdom. Klonoa and friends then find that the sea has been emptied, and is now filled with this yellow substance. Klonoa boards the float board and heads off to catch up with Leorina.

The following float board stage ramps up the challenge significantly from the last two stages. There are now more obstacles, including ones that chase you, ones that you must quickly jump over, or ones you have to carefully avoid with careful timing, mostly just the falling statues at the end. The scope of this level is great as well. Just seeing Klonoa blast through this empty wasteland that he started out his adventure in is really satisfying. And the music, oh god the music, it’s so damn good.

After boarding the Ark, Klonoa instantly sees Leorina. Leorina tries to use the elements, but is overwhelmed with the power, and transforms into some strange creature. And damn, is this boss good. The buildup with Leorina, the one that’s been antagonising you the whole game, and you’re finally fighting face-to-face. The boss itself is also fantastic. The boss has you shooting up at it from below and throwing down at it with the bouncing terrain. It’s hard to explain, and I think I’ve said that like five times earlier in the review. And the music, this is so good, damn, this OST is just a damn slapper.

After you finish take her down, she is severely wounded. She insults herself, and says that she was always too weak, always a fake, and that she could never save the world. This draws interesting comparisons to Lolo. Leorina tells Klonoa and Lolo to keep going and to stop the Ark from connecting the Kingdom of Sorrow, the 5th kingdom, to the rest of the world.

Anyways, the next stage is the trip to stopping the Ark, which is accomplished by blowing it up. This stage a remix of the first Ark stage, but with tons of new stage hazards, new enemy placements, more challenging platforming and puzzles, and it comes with a new gimmick, removing the repetition that might have set in otherwise. Same as the original Ark, this stage is split up into three sections, and each section ends with a timed escape sequence, which starts by throwing a Boomie (the bomb enemies returning from the first game) into the core of each section, which were used in the original Ark level as keys of sorts to trigger events allowing progression. This new system is great because it forces the player to learn the layout of the level, and the best way to utilise the enemies given, so sections can be bypassed quicker. After getting through the Ark, the player will reach the Kingdom of Sorrow.

And now, oh, where do I start with the Kingdom of Sorrow? The architecture is otherworldly and abstract, with this quiet, sombre feeling permeating throughout the stage. You can feel the sorrow just running through this level. But it’s not so abstract to become unbelievable, as it also feels like an abandoned city, with broken bridges and gates, with houses and other buildings scattered around, but at seemingly random. This is furthered by the stage’s colour palette consisting mostly of dull yellows and tans. Capping this off is the extremely atmospheric track playing in the background. I struggle to really even call it music, it’s just something else.

The stage’s design also helps support this. Everything feels calmer and more grounded than the rest of the game, but it feels abstract at the same time, with enemies and hazards just there, feeling like they just so happen to be floating there, in your way. The moments of spectacle are also more grounded, with enemies sitting around and chasing after you, and less of launching through cannons up and around huge landscapes. When there is a cannon in this level, it serves as a short transition and as a way to just soak in the atmosphere, not just for spectacle. The stage also combines everything in the game previously, providing an appropriately climactic experience. The stage ends with Klonoa staring off into the distance, looking at the tower that the supposed “creature of sorrow” is in.

After the characters make their way up there off-screen (not a complaint, we don’t need to see that), the next stage kicks off. When Klonoa enters, he hears the strange voice from the beginning of the game, calling out for help. Klonoa then sets off in the final stage in the game. This stage is a fast-paced float board stage, with no 2D sections to speak of, which creates the most challenging level in the game yet, which is appropriate for the final stage. The stage is a speedy romp, just spiralling down, way down, into the ending, as this banger plays in the background.

Once Klonoa makes it to the end, he meets up with the one behind all of this, the King of Sorrow, who is revealed to have created Baguji, so he can lead Klonoa to him. He elaborates by asking why people refuse to accept sorrow, and instead, try to forget it even existed. He questions why he’s not allowed to have any place in the world, and why he isn’t accepted by anyone. He then goes on to tell us that the 5th kingdom was always there, but the people of Lunatea refused to accept it, and pulled Lunatea’s Veil (oh, I see what ya did there) over their eyes, and abandoned sorrow. He then states that he doesn’t care if the world is destroyed, and that he wants people to feel the sorrow, and Klonoa obviously doesn’t want the world to be destroyed, so the final boss kicks off.

The first part is a float board fight, where you grab enemies and throw them at the boss. It’s very simple and straightforward, not much else to say except it’s fun, and the music is pretty repetitive, although that doesn’t really matter, as this boss is extremely short. It also takes place in this weird blue dream-space or something like that, it’s pretty trippy. After finishing the first part, the King of Sorrow asks Klonoa why he hates sorrow so much, and asks if he has any place in the world. Leorina then cuts him off, and gives Klonoa the power of the four previous elements to show him “what the real world’s all about!”. The second part then kicks off. Essentially, the King of Sorrow has surrounded himself with some ball, and that ball has other balls circling around it (damn this sounds weird). The boss also has the two weapons that are attached to it. You must use the weapon thingys and throw them at the balls that are around the ball around the king. Get all that. In gameplay, this is easily understandable, with a weak point and an attack you must take advantage of to inflict damage on the boss. I can’t really say anything more about this boss without it sounding even weirder. Just watch the video below, it’ll make more sense.

After that, the King of Sorrow finally gives up. He asks Klonoa to help him, which Klonoa does by ringing the bell, and obtaining the element, allowing sorrow to coexist with the other elements. Klonoa then sits him down, and tells him that he doesn’t have to run anymore, that he doesn’t have to be afraid. It is then revealed that the voice calling out to Klonoa, and the one that summoned Klonoa, was the King of Sorrow. Klonoa re-informs him that world won't forget sorrow anymore, and that no one will run away anymore. The King of Sorrow, with his mission done, dies in Klonoa’s arms, while smiling. Klonoa, Lolo, and Popka watch in awe, as his essence floats off into the world.

The scene cuts off, and the next thing we see is Klonoa and Lolo exchanging some words on a cliff-side. Lolo reveals that she’s given up her title, and she wants to earn priestess on her own, but then reaffirms Klonoa that she’s not giving up. Klonoa tells her that he believes he can do it, and then takes a step away. She then looks down, just as Popka, laying on the tree, leans over and starts letting of some tears. Lolo then says “so this is, goodbye?”. Klonoa then turns his head around, with his face looking down. She reaffirms him that she’s okay, and that she’ll be fine if she continues to do her best, which gets a simile out of Klonoa. She continues by saying "And you taught me that it's okay to cry, as long as I don't give up.”. She then starts dropping tears, while saying “so...so...so…it’s okay if I cry, right?”. She then jumps onto Klonoa and breaks down on him, not accepting the fact that he needs to leave, just telling herself no. Klonoa looks down, shakes his head, but says “I may leave this world... but we'll always be...together. I believe that if you don't forget the sadness of this moment, we'll always be...together. Okay?”. Lolo continues crying until Klonoa says “So, Lolo.”, and she gets up, and clears her face. He gives her one final thanks, before walking off into his next adventure, leaving Lunatea. As the credits roll, we see all the kingdoms improving in some way, with Volk focusing their money on rebuilding instead of on weapons, and with Mira-Mira becoming less secluded, and with Joilant being Joilant. It all ends with the game telling the player “Good Morning”. And that was Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil. Also, sorry about the video quality, this was the best dedicated video I could find.

Overall, this game’s plot is amazing, and one of the best I’ve ever experienced in a game. The profound themes are moving, the characters are likeable and have great motivations and arks, and the story overall just comes together perfectly. With that out of the way, I want to quickly address some other things before wrapping up, as I covered a lot of what I was planning on talking about already.

First of all, I want to touch up on the visuals. Before I get to the technical side of things, I want to quickly mention Klonoa’s redesign. His old collar and exaggerated shorts have been traded in for a big coat with an oversized zipper and lengthier proportions. While I liked the old design a lot, I prefer this one. I’m no expert by any stretch, but I found the color choices more pleasing, and I appreciate the consistency of the colors chosen. Onto the in-game graphics, they are much higher calibur than most of its contemporaries. The character models are some of the best in the generation, geometry holds up nicely, the use of color is perfect, and the UI elements look fantastic, carrying over the wood-like look that permeated throughout the first game’s UI. Unfortunately, I have to mention some negatives. First of all, the lack of progressive scan really holds the game’s visuals back, producing a blurry image. Secondly, the textures are occasionally really blurry and smeary. While you probably won’t notice most of the texture issues on a CRT, they are really noticeable on a modern display. Luckily, they are convincing most of the time, but your mileage will vary. For me personally, it doesn’t bother me much at all. And seeing as both of these are very common occurrences on the system, I’m willing to give it a pass, especially for being an early release, with this game predating the fall of 2001 lineup.

The OST is also amazing, and one of my all time favorites. One of my favorite things about the OST is how it gives each character its own light motif to be remixed throughout the game, and how it gives an instrument associated with them, which really helps to emphasise the presence of characters like Leorina. The rest of the OST is top notch as well. The soundtrack has tons of variety and compositional depth, giving a layer of complexity that is very much appreciated. It easy to come back to any time.

I also want to mention the side quests in this game, those being the Memory Doll quest and the 150 Dream Stone quest. The memory dolls serve the same function as the captured Phantomilians from the first game. There are six in every level, and collecting all in the game will grant you an extra level. There is also a level that unlocks after getting half the dolls, but it’s short and pretty easy, but still fun. This side quest does a great job at encouraging players to explore every nook and cranny of each stage to look for these things, and I appreciate that. The second side quest concerns the 150 Dream Stones in each stage. The side quest functions identically to the first game’s version, but the stages actually feel like they were designed around this side quest. The biggest difference though is how you get actual rewards for collecting these. For collecting all in one stage, you will be given a picture to view in the scrapbook at the Momet House. While this might not sound much better, the pictures are very nice.

So, to conclude this 5700+ word long review, I don’t think I need to tell you that I like this game maybe a little bit. The plot is engaging and moving, with tons of memorable setpieces, events, and themes that will be stuck with me forever, making it one of my favourite video game OSTs ever.. The graphics are above average for the system, and still hold up in many areas today. The soundtrack is absolutely sublime, well worth plenty of listens. And most of all, the game is endlessly fun to play. Every time I come back to this one, I just can’t stop playing it. I’ll beat the game in one sitting, watch the credits, go eat, and then start another file. I love this game. I love this game too much. This is, well, my favourite game of all time, or, at least I’ll just leave it right next to that spot. I don’t like making statements like that, because I might regret it and change it in two days, but know that this game may as well be my favourite, and that’s for a reason.

That’s another review done and over with. Next time I’ll have to do something a bit shorter. Thanks for reading my way too long review of this nearly perfect game. I have stuff going on this weekend, so don’t expect a review until next week. Anyways, thanks for tuning in, and I’ll see you in the next review. Good morning viewer.
Verdict
What I Liked . . . One of the best plots in gaming Fantastic visuals (mostly) Amazing OST Perfect controls Amazing level design Perfect blend of all of these things What I Didn't Like . . . Occasionally blurry textures and no progressive scan support
9 Presentation
An amazing OST, and mostly fantastic visuals are held back slightly by the lack of progressive scan and occasionally blurry textures.
10 Gameplay
Perfect controls and level design that makes the most out of them makes this one enjoyable from beginning to end with no hiccups to speak of.
10 Lasting Appeal
Plenty of optional content will have you making the most out of the stages, but you'll come back even more due to the addicting gameplay.
9.8
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
A nearly perfect game that has one of the best plots in video games, mostly fantastic visuals, amazing OST, perfect controls and design that makes the most out of everything. This game is an absolute masterclass in every respect, and you should pick it up instantly if you get the opportunity. You won't regret it.
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  • Stealphie
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