Review by SegaSaturn2kX

"Sega's toy story"

Clockwork Knight was one of the first releases on the Sega Saturn. It is a simple 2D sidescroller with some 3D effects thrown in for aesthetics sake. Although it is a fun game to play, I question Sega's decision to release this game. Obviously the Saturn was marketed towards an older generation, so why is one of its first games about a toy knight saving his girlfriend? I have read a rumor that this game and its sequel were actually originally intended to be one game. The rumor goes that the lineup of games was so thin that Sega decided to split this game up into two games. If this rumor is true, then expecting a consumer to pay $100-$120 just to play and finish CK is unreasonable. Good thing it is all in the past.

Pepperouchou the Knight is out to save his girlfriend from the clutches of evil. It's a toy story, Saturn style.

Compared to other home console 2D sidescroller games of its time, with the possible exception of the Donkey Kong Country series, CK stood head and shoulders over all challengers. Pepperouchou himself animates nicely throughout all his moves. The efforts remain consistent as well for all of the belligerent toys that he encounters. For extra eye candy, as each enemy is defeated, the game is showered with confetti explosions. There is, however, some grittiness to look and I would have appreciated a crisper 2D model. The backgrounds and foregrounds also have a nice 3D look. The bosses even look more incredible because of their larger sizes and higher detail. The art style of this game is simple, but that is the way it should be since the gamer is following the actions and adventure of a toy.

There is nothing memorable about the music in CK, good or bad. Fortunately there is a satisfying popping sound whenever Pepperouchou defeats an enemy.

The game is incredibly short. As implied earlier, the story is not even complete when the game finishes either. There are 4 worlds, each with 2 stages and 1 boss. After that there is one final boss, giving the gamer a grand total of 13 stages/bosses. Most of the stages are straight forward as well. There are only a few slightly difficult jumps and a timer to keep the gamer's efforts honest. The boss fights are fun, especially the matchup between Pepperouchou and the Transformer-like Jet Fighter boss.

Final Thoughts
In spite of the game's obvious shortcomings, I like this game. There is always charm in a well-done old school sidescroller. The game is significantly more fun than other early Saturn games like Bug! or Astal. For the time being I am hoping to beat the game in one speed run through, but after that the game figures to sit around for the rest of its existence.


Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 08/17/06

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