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Posted at 10:15 PM, Sep 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-26 01:15:27-04

Knack 2 is about as entertaining as the end piece on a loaf of bread. It still tastes mostly the same as past PlayStation platformers, but I wished I had a different slice. It embodies the look and feel, but lacks the spunk and spirit. It takes far too long to beat, and the moment-to-moment gameplay feels like a chore rather than being engaging.

Knack’s character design is both unpleasant and unappealing. To me, he looks like a character an elementary school student would draw on the back of their math test instead of studying fractions the night before. There’s no cuteness factor and the symmetry feels off. In addition, Knack’s deep voice is very off-putting, resulting in much of his dialogue falling flat. It would have been wiser to make him a silent protagonist, rather than make the gamer listen to the cringing way he delivers lines.

Perhaps the most confusing thing about this game is that I felt like I had no control over my decisions. While all games guide you in a certain direction eventually, each objective in this game began with Knack’s human friend, Lucas, telling me to go open a door, or to activate a switch, and that got old…very fast. Maybe younger audiences won’t notice, but I began to grow tired of Captain Obvious telling me that I needed to defeat the giant armored goblin enemy in front of me. To make matters worse, Lucas never even rewards Knack for doing all these tasks. If you’re going to treat me like your pet, at least give me a treat every now and then.

One of the few bright spots of Knack 2 includes its light RPG elements. As you advance to each world, a skill upgrade tree is available to unlock new moves that will increase your overall power. After a while, Knack becomes so overpowered that dying becomes rare and while this amount of success makes the game advance quicker which I came to appreciate.

Knack 2 is a B-level action-platformer that takes itself too seriously. While its gameplay mechanics and environments are likable, its lack of originality, sub-par character design and lackluster story make for an experience that’s unmemorable. Sony seems to have a knack for creating iconic characters, but I think it’s time to put this series away for good.

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