If Klang managed to teach me one thing about myself, it’s how bad I suck at multitasking when it comes to platform games. Oh, I died, and I died a lot, and thank you for the death timer by the way. I kept saying how such games should have one and Klang does! I appreciate to know how much I suck exactly. Well, it was 170 times during story mode, if I can call it that way, on the intended difficulty, which I believe was called normal (even if not I will call it like that). I guess it could have been worse, but there were just some chokepoints which triggered me so much and it soon turned into a pure trial and error run. That was usually at boss fights mainly and oh, the last two were very enraging.
Anyway, one thing managed to get my attention and that was the loading time in the beginning. Why is Klang loading so much? I mean, games with heavier assets have loaded twice as fast for me and another thing. While Klang loads, I cannot do sh*t on my PC, because everything just refuses to work until the game fully loads. It does say that it’s loading most of its assets in the beginning, but seriously, it was a bit putting off. And this is every time you open the game. Also, is it just me or there is no way of exiting the game from the level select unless I go Alt+f4 on it???
Anyways, once we get to the main game, oh, now all the goodness begins. I’m a simple person, I see a music fighter game, I like, but Klang was pulled off in a very unique way.
I can probably beat down this review into three main sections, each being an equal and important part of the game: music, platforming and combat.
Starting with the ear candy – the music. I simply loved it. Each track was dynamic, had a personality of its own and I quite frankly never grew tired of them. Now what do I mean by personality? Basically, each track was memorable. When I went to the pirate bay and listened to the unlocked tracks I could instantly point out most of them, which one was from which level it was. Boss tracks are especially awesome, because even thought I rage on boss levels, for further will be mentioned reasons, when I listen to the music itself it’s just so awesome to jam to. I’d definitely recommend the soundtrack in itself, even if the game is not your style, at least listen to the music, there are some sick beats, which even if I cannot say how much I will replay Klang, I know I would definitely listen to its music more.
In reviews I complain usually, when I die a lot, that music repeats itself and it gets frustrating. Here was actually an interesting case, because it did happen but the motive was different. Usually it would indeed get frustrating and here was the case too, but I wanted to pass the level just so I can hear the track fully, so in other words, even in the so many deaths, it managed to keep my interest. Okay so if I have to rate each aspect separately, just for the funsies of it, music definitely gets a 10/10 from me, for being dynamic, different and engaging.
Next up we got platforming, a.k.a the rage part of the game. Here I managed to see not only how much I suck at platforming, but also how bad I am at multitasking, while platforming. Most of Klang’s platforming involves multiple things at once, and generally it would be, fend off incoming projectiles, while dodging wonky lasers and jumping or moving around platforms. Why? Just why? If this is normal, what would nightmare be? When I beat the story of the game, and it unlocked nightmare mode, my first and honest reaction was “nope, nope, definitely not”. There are so many ways how that could go wrong, but I would definitely try it on an easier difficulty, just for the leisure of playing the game and listening to the music.
Back to platforming, I believe they were made really engaging. I don’t find myself remembering there being many repetitive platforming sections, everything was made so that it’s engaging and varying to keep the player occupied and trust me, if the platforming was repetitive, even I would get used to it and get good at it … well nope, I sucked from bad to worse so yep. It’s definitely an interesting way to combine the platformer with the combat genre and Klang is surely a kind of game I haven’t experienced before.
The obstacle-reward aspect of platforming, yeah it was hard, but it is also rewarding and god I am so glad there are checkpoints. Basically the level is broken down to sections and each section is a checkpoint, but there can also be mini checkpoints in a section itself, for those klutz enough to die so much. Anyway, in the bigger picture I was very pleased with this saving system, apart from some inconveniently placed mini checkpoints, but hey! I am very optimistic here, because I appreciate them being implemented. Other than that you can restart the section or the level or choose another level as much as you wish.
One last thing for platforming, it’s definitely dynamic. It’s not that sort of case where you can prepare mentally for a jump to another platform, let’s say for example, and you spend a few minutes meditating, doing voodoo magic, hacking the PC, humming dark chants, etc, basically everything to get your success rate up, only to fail miserably and return to where you previously were. No, In Klang, if you don’t move, and I mean constantly move, you’re dead. Like a wise kraken priestess from League of Legends once said “All is motion”. Oh wait, I’ve got another good one: “Even if I die, I die in motion” … get it? get it? no? okay :(. Anyway, platforming gets 10/10 too.
Finally, the last major category, but not the final point of the review, we have combat. Now, I’m usually very harsh and strict when it comes to combat in a game, because my favorite genre is hack ’n’ slash and if it is done it should be done right. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect in Klang’s combat. I read it has combat and it intrigued me how exactly it could be implemented in a game such as this. It’s not only done in a very unique and intriguing way, but it’s also mixed amazingly into the platforming, just like you mix two beautiful flavors of ice cream and get something awesome and mouthwatering. Becoming one with the music is as literal as it is, because the beats aren’t just there to sound pretty … oh no … they are a very big part of the combat. See, the main aspect of combat in Klang is fending off projectiles coming from the 4 general direction and also the 4 diagonals, all in tune to the music. A few things here. Once you get in the beat it actually gets pretty easy to follow and enjoyable when you play along. Yeah, but all those other movements you have to do f*cked me up in the first place so yeah. But that didn’t take the enjoyment out of it. There were certainly some areas where the game allowed me to battle only and not having to dodge other crap. For example in some pirate tracks (those are basically the collectables in the game – I think they were 6 total). I did have a few of those without a single mistake and that makes me proud!!! Now, remember I said once you get into the beat it gets easier to follow. The opposite is true s well, for me at least, once you get out of beat it is pretty much GG every time. I found it very hard to get into the beat again, when I lose it and it just resulted in my death. I liked this, because music is a very important aspect into the game and it’s not there to just be ear candy. Feel the beat! Become the beat! Grrr. Basically.
Combat is what it is, nothing too dramatic here, nothing changeable, but it’s kept dynamic and enjoyable throughout music and platform. I’d give combat a 7/10, because I feel it can get more love from the devs.
Klang has story too! Which is super cool, because it makes my suffering have a meaning! No but seriously, you play with Klang, a rave warrior who, okay I thought he was a DJ, but evil Jesus or Zeus or whatever (Sonus I think his name was) takes over our pult and we have to fight through his lackeys to get over to him. So in total I think there were 5 boss battles: A dude on the elevator, a gladiator (Bazz I think he was called), an angel, Sonus and a kitty cat. Now every normal person would think hey Sonus is the last boss so when I defeat him it’ll be game over. But you see the cat. I never really got to fight the cat, you see. And you see, it just appeared at the beginning transformed into a bat, you see. And all the rest of the game, I was like “but the cat, I didn’t defeat the cat, wtf”. And then when evil Zeus dude died I was so happy to be on my DJ pult again, but then the evil eye dude boss came back and guess who … THE CAT!. So yeah, basically what I’m trying to say is that it’s all a lie!!! Sonus is not the big evil boss dude.
Damn, the cat’s boss battle was terrible. I mean it was good, like every other boss battle (I like the fact that they all have different mechanics and with each and every one you’ve got more and more sh*t to dodge, but ‘tis all good), but you see, the cat’s battle was terribly hard. I don’t even wanna know what it’s like on nightmare mode, because I know it’s terrible. But in that difficulty of battle I get the satisfaction of completing it and oh god I praise checkpoints again.
Anyway, last thing before I begin randomly rambling stuff and the verdict will be the world. It’s so amazingly super rainbow, neon colorful!!! I mean, I loved it. Again I’m a very simple person, I see lots of colors, I like, but seriously, it’s amazing. You see there is a combo system in the game and it’s directly linked to the colors. Like you get combo multipliers x1, x2, x3 … etc. and each and every multiplier has its own neon color palette. How cool is that?! Indeed it’s a simple world, but games like this make me appreciate the fact that women can’t be color blind. I never really stopped to say it’s too much or it’s too hurtful (trust me, my eyes are very sensitive when it comes to colors so when something kills them I whine like a little b*tch), but not in Klang, everything was just enough to satisfy my neon color hungry eyes. So yes, this game gets the EAR CANDY & EYE CANDY stamps from me, because it’s just so satisfying to look at and listen to.
Your performance is graded with ranks, which take me back to old Devil May Cry, starting from D, which is the lowest and S, which is the highest (it can also get up to SSS on nightmare difficulty). As far as replayability goes, those score hungry gamers of you might go for the pure SSS on everything, me? … I would personally play Klang casually. I feel that nightmare might be too much for my frail anger management when it comes to platformers, but normal was challenging enough, so I’m proud with all my D’s, C’s, B’s and A’s I got (I did get a few S ranks too :)) Ranking happens on timing, accuracy and health lost mainly, hence why I didn’t get many S ranks, but doesn’t bother me and surely boosts up challenge a bit.
As far as length goes, I managed to complete the story in about 3 hours and there are also a few bonus levels to go through, after you’re done dealing with … the mother effin cat. But there is also this place called the Pirate Bay (hah, nice one guys) where you can go back to and listen to all the tracks from the game. I did spend like an hour there or so.
Okay, verdict. Without further ado, Klang managed to earn a solid 9/10 from me. It’s definitely a unique game for its genre and it has some pretty solid positives, pushing it up to the top. I personally enjoyed the game and would definitely return to it in the future, even if only for some casual play.