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PAX East 2017 Preview: Klang

PAX East 2017 Preview: Klang

March 24, 2017 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook PAX East 2017 Preview: Klangon Twitter

Klang Logo

Our last game preview from PAX East 2017 is a rhythm platformer from developer Tinimations. Like the previous game that I previewed, Klang is a game that came out last year but was available on the show floor for us to try out. The game does some interesting things that I had not seen in a rhythm or platforming game before, so this game was an interesting discovery at the event.

Klang has a bright neon aesthetic that feels similar to that of the Tron movies, with lots of glowing outfits, architecture, and weapons. Matching up with the visuals is an EDM soundtrack by artist bLiNd. Naturally as a rhythm game, the obstacles and attacks that you fend off are all timed to the music. The demo started off by teaching the basics of moving and dealing with attacks. You are armed early on with a pair of swords to fend off sound attacks that can come at you from eight directions. By timing your sword swings to the music, by using the right joystick,  you can block the attacks and survive the various areas of the game.

Klang_screenshot_8

The later parts of the demo introduced elements of platforming with the main character. While fending off the sound attacks, you are free to move your character around the level. The game introduces jumping and wall kicks as a method of traversal through the world. Different platforming hazards like pits, crushing blocks, and other surprises provide some variety to the earlier rhythm based sword mechanics.

The game then gets trickier by combining the platforming and rhythm based attack elements. When entering arenas, like the one shown above, you will have to time the directional sword attacks, while also dodging attacks from sections of the arena floor by moving your character with the left thumb stick. This requires some intense multi-tasking, especially as the patterns from both sets of hazards get more complex. The sound attacks that you block with your swords follow along with you, so the timing for those remain the same even while jumping around in the world.

Klang 1

This multitasking aspect ramped up in difficulty quite quickly. During the demo, most of the arena attacks where telegraphed early, so keeping an eye on them wasn’t too difficult. However, it became much harder as the sword techniques got faster and demanded more of my attention. The music synced up perfectly and more often than not warned me of incoming attacks that I wasn’t paying attention to. I made it through to the end of the demo, but I was left feeling that the combination of platforming and rhythm mastery was a little overwhelming. Based on what I was shown in the trailers, the game does indeed ramp up its difficulty with both the combat and hazards.

While being one of the more difficult rhythm games that I’ve demoed at PAX East, Klang was definitely a refreshing experience. The visuals and effects matched up perfectly with the music and the rhythm mechanics offer an interesting challenge for fans of fast paced gameplay. If a challenging rhythm platformer with Tron-like aesthetics and a cool EDM soundtrack sounds like your thing, give this game a try. You can currently find Klang on Steam and you can find out more at the developer Tinimations’ home page.

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