Rhythm games are a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, so when Klang 2 came across my inbox it perked my interest. Not being familiar with the original Klang, I didn’t have any expectations for Klang 2. This probably was a blessing in disguise because Klang 2 plays a lot like osu! and not at all like the original platformer. Here’s our review for Klang 2.
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Platform: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PC (Steam)
Release Date: October 20, 2021 on PC, November 17, 2021 on Switch
Armed with a tuning fork sword called the Tuneblade, Klang sets out with the help of an AI (named A-eye) to defeat the evil whatever-his-name-is. Truthfully, the story is present but not at all interesting. The story unfolds in small chapters where you’ll talk back and forth with the AI through snippets of distorted voices with on-screen captions and sets of eyeballs. I guess that’s meant to be an intriguing art design, but the execution is ultimately just a style choice while the stars of the show are the gameplay and the soundtrack.
The music included on this soundtrack was chosen and laid out by EDM artist bLiNd, and while a lot of it seems to fit pretty well, there are a few tracks that never quite seem to mesh with the gameplay. While my favorite track on this game is Symptoms by Arcien, songs like Surf by Rush Garcia, while not a bad song by any means, feels like trying to stuff a square peg in a round hole. I’m all for different variations in styles, but it doesn’t work as well as they’d hoped here.
At it’s core, Klang 2 is a pretty cool idea with the heavy visual inspiration from Tron and the alternating basic blue, pink, and orange color schemes that helped games like Audica and Just Beats and Shapes stand out so well. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Nintendo Switch is the best way to experience this game. Combos are often dropped due to a lack of response from pressing the analog stick in the right direction while also trying to time your shots. Most of the time it’s fine, but no matter how many times I replay a stage, I couldn’t seem to score better than a 92%. A score I’d venture to guess I could have easily crushed had I been playing this on a touch screen only interface like VOEZ.
Ultimately, it’s hard to hate on a game that costs $15, but Klang 2 just isn’t able to perform the way it should on the Switch. An uninteresting story can be overcome by solid gameplay, and again I think that the Steam version of this game is likely leaps and bounds better – but for now, this Switch port is lacking the specific response a game of this caliber requires, and in its current state feels kind of broken. I’m sure that’s why there aren’t any high scoring Switch videos being uploaded on YouTube.
Klang 2 was reviewed on Nintendo Switch using a copy provided by Tinimations. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Klang 2 is now available for both Nintendo Switch and Steam.