Review by PickHut
"Save the Princess Part 692"
In Clockwork Knight, you play the role of a wind-up toy, Pepperouchau, who has the daunting task of saving the kidnapped Princess Chelsea (yup, that plot). As you take control of this little toy knight, you'll end up traveling through eight stages in a house filled with toys that have gone bad. In one bedroom, you'll encounter nuisances like rotating clowns and knight helmets with pitchforks as you run across giant desks and bookshelves. Later on, you'll be in another room, walking on top of a castle that's made out of Lego blocks, while throwing footballs at killer clocks. In other areas of the house, you'll be doing stuff like jumping from plate to plate inside a kitchen sink, and avoid shade-wearing, toy dynamites (that actually blow up) in the attic.
Yeah, CK is as simple as it sounds. That's fine. The problem is that it's too simple. You really don't have to worry about enemies most of the time, because they normally appear on screen and just move towards you, as if they want to get hit. They have attacks, but since it's so easy to destroy them, you probably won't even know they had attacks to begin with. The platforming parts are just as basic. You'll do stuff like jump over a small bed of spikes, dodge a book that comes flying out of its shelf, and run as quickly as you can under a falling ceiling before it crushes you. CK actually reminds me of the original Super Mario games at times, right down to the toy boxes (pipes) and the leap you have to make at the end of each stage. Except it's like a much easier version. Playing the game on the hard difficulty setting won't change much, the only noticeable difference is that it now takes two hits to destroy some toys. There are some instances that resemble a challenge, though. Like in one stage, where you have to jump from one moving train to another. As you move along on them, you'll end up jumping over platforms, taking out enemies that could throw you off the track, and even open up a few closed gates.
However, the majority of the game's challenge comes from the boss fights. But that's because you actually have to put effort into finding their weak points and defeating them before time runs out. They also get credit for being the most unique toys in the game. Like the first boss, for instance, who happens to be a purple toy child, dressed up in a suit, and moves around in a giant hat. After damaging it for quite a bit, the head of the kid comes off and just rolls around the area. It's a pretty weird fight. The second boss, though, is pretty cool, because it's a friggin Transformer! It'll fly around the room for a bit in its jet form, dropping off toys in the process, but when it transforms into its robotic state, it'll throw one of its wings like a boomerang and even jump attack you. Unfortunately, despite being a duck in a pot that farts like crazy when you defeat it, the third boss is just a slight variation of the first boss. It's pretty lazy, especially since there are only five bosses in the game.
Now, even though CK is somewhat lacking in certain areas, it isn't really a bad game. The stages may not be the greatest, but they'll keep you playing till the very end, especially with those bosses putting up a fight. Another thing that'll keep you going is the catchy music, which ranges from jazzy themes to whimsical melodies. It actually makes the game feel quite charming at times. However, once you make it to the end, you feel like there should have been more, as if Clockwork Knight was a rushed product. Doesn't help that it actually ends on a cliffhanger... So, if you want some meat on your side-scrollers, I'd suggest looking for something else.
Reviewer's Score: 6/10 | Originally Posted: 02/26/07
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