I love rhythm games. It’s definitely one of my favorite genres to sit back and relax in, even despite their occasional intensity. Even games like Beat the saber have a calming and cathartic quality even though I jump to the beat. I appreciate the amount of innovation that rhythm games see doing, with games like Ragnarock and BPM: balls per minute make bold moves to differentiate yourself from the pack and change the rhythmic formula. Klang 2 is the sequel to a game that looks as much like an action platformer as it is a rhythm game.
Klang 2 is a rhythm game. It’s played from a 2D, side-scrolling perspective, but it’s not really side-scrolling. In fact, most of the time, onscreen action doesn’t really matter much when it comes to placement. There are three different objects coming in, and you have to “attack” them to the beat. One forces you to line up with a dash attack, another a more direct slash, and another forces you to keep up. All of Klang 2 is composed of these three notes, with some variations during boss fights.
While certainly a psychedelic experience with some thrilling EDM music, I’m not a huge fan of Klang 2is aesthetic. The whole game looks like a mishmash of artistic styles. The main character, Klang, looks like a character you could unlock in Mortal combat, and is so nervous and sinister in the dialogue that it was hard to care what was even going on.
Klang 2 has a story, but you can choose to ignore it and play in Arcade mode. I almost wished I had it, as I was inundated with walls of text that made me more confused than enlightened. Instead of being intrigued by the world of Klang 2, I was mostly confused about what Klang 2 was even supposed to be around.
Now, none of the above matters if the rhythm part is fun, right? Unfortunately, Klang 2 is not a rhythm game that I liked. While I really liked the soundtrack (I’m already a fan of EDM music), the actual mechanics never felt very fun or interesting to me. It was rare for me to get into a groove and really feel like I was hacking and slashing alongside the music. The three different attack patterns attack you from different angles, forcing you to aim, but you don’t really have control over your movements, unlike in games like BPM: balls per minute a rhythm game was mixed with a more traditional shooting game.
Klang 2 is not a bad game. In fact, I’m sure there are those who would find it fun. It’s certainly not a rhythm game that I enjoyed, however. It has some pretty good EDM tracks, but its artistry – despite its almost neon arcade aesthetic – felt mixed and lacking. It’s rare that I go play a game that excites me just to be so overwhelmingly disappointed, but Klang 2 handled that.
Klang 2 is available now on Steam.
We have been provided with a Steam key for this review.