Knack 2 is back on PS4 and PS4 PRO with some touch-ups to the old story. In the past, the old Knack missed the concept of being physically big. Some even went as far as to say the story lacked soul and meaning. This time around, Knack 2 is capturing children and adults with the attractiveness of growing big. With a big history of creation, Mark Cerny has created another cartoon platform-combat-puzzle game.
His work includes well known games such as Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon and Ratchet & Clank, as well as the original Knack. There’s no wonder why this game reminded me of Crash the first time I saw it. This platformer specifically has the same style of control like Crash Bandicoot when jumping over platforms and obstacles except there’s more of a Mario feel when Knack gets to float and spin.
Before all of that however, the story is one of the best parts to this new game. Knack is faced with goblins that are trying to take over the world. He and his companion humans, must work together to make sure this doesn’t happen. As far as background and scenery goes since this is a platforming game, the game switches backgrounds to the general forest scenery, a city and some type of factory. So, the game isn’t boring but things aren’t repetitive either.
When using Knack to fight enemies, he goes through his stages of growing. At first, his human size can get in to smaller spaces and fight most of the low level goblins that he comes across. At other intervals Knack can become small to get in to specific areas like pipes to get around. Eventually when he comes back to normal size, he comes across puzzles and gets to smash crates to find items that help him become even bigger than before. By big I mean 20 to 30 feet bigger. At this height, enemies and bosses seem like a breeze.
Throughout the game, there is a system of currency used for upgrades. Some upgrades are for shields, while others can be used for materials. This currency can even be used for new move sets. Be warned however that even with new upgrades and such, when testing out these new features, the camera can be very screwy. For people that like to have control over camera angles, this is not it. The camera seems to move along with Knack and can be hard to control especially around puzzles and platforms.
Speaking of platforms, Knack 2 is based around a steady pattern of object puzzles. Mostly they consist of moving large items to weight plates. Somehow though, these puzzles, even though they can be somewhat easy, allow Knack to incorporate objects like ice and iron in to his body. Knack gets special abilities when he does this that help with the puzzles but the process can be slightly confusing at first.
The game originally sets the player up with a standard move set such as punch, kick and block but the skills gradually become better. Knack 2 does a good job assisting the player in getting new moves and teaching them how to use what they need. Since Knack needs all of his moves, there is a familiarity to the levels and flow because suddenly players can see some call backs to Spyro and Sonic. For example, since Knack has to work his way through different levels, players go through machines that stomp, platforms that move, gasses and rocks that might smash him. Luckily, learning the different move sets will have you ready. Even though single attacks are good, combo moves are better. These moves are usually double button oriented but worth the minor struggle to get the patterns down.
Overall, this game is unique in the way that it incorporates a lot of different styles of platforming. Also, the appeal of a family friendly story is nice because no one gets left out if they want to play the game. The battling and puzzles are fun but not too hard, which keeps the motivation going. Knack 2 has more going for it than the first Knack but even the original had enough appeal with the uniqueness it possess to keep people coming back to try the next one. Thankfully, the developers of Knack 2 listened to the original complaints and made the improvements necessary to create and even better game.
Knack 2 is available for the PS4