Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Five hours with Knack.

Playing Knack on hard mode was a mistake.  I admit that.  This morning I restarted on normal difficulty and breezed through what I'd beaten before in less than an hour, continuing on in the hopes of offering you some decent advice on the subject.  Does Knack wear out its welcome?  It's simple, but is it too simple?

Yes it does, and yes it is.  It just... keeps on going.

There's nothing inherently wrong with a simple platforming brawler - Mario and Sly can attest to that, and Knack's simple mechanics are solid and robust - but Mario and Sly, those most cherished of childhood friends, grow more interesting, more beautiful, more complex over their duration.

Kack himself is very powerful, able to flatten tanks in his colossal form and one-shot mighty goblins when merely large - but he's never able to take much punishment, no matter what his size.  Be he Ice Knack or Normal Knack or (I suspect) any other Knack that becomes available, he'll die in two good hits (sometimes one, if the attack is powerful enough).  So here's how Knack plays.

In Knack, you do a bit of very light platforming and enter a room with two to five enemies in it.  They can one or two-shot you, and you can do the same to them.  So if you're careful and conscientious, you can kill them.

Then a door opens, and you go into the next area.  There will be some enemies, and you kill them.

Then a door opens, and you do it again.  And again.  And again.

And Knack just... keeps going.

I was having more fun with the title before one terribly depressing thought occurred to me : whatever Sony spent on Knack, they could have easily spent on a new Sly or Ratchet & Clank to appear at the launch of the PS4.  That's clearly what Knack is - the fun-for-the-whole-family game.  The kid-friendly action-platformer.

But no, it's no Ratchet and it's no Sly.  It's... deeply repetitive.  You keep on waiting for the game to become more interesting, but even when you're Colossal Knack, three storeys tall, taking out tanks, you're playing the exact same game of distance, defense and attack you were when you were Itty Bitty Knack.

It just... makes me wanna' go replay Into the Nexus.


  1. Thanks for your thoughts. I'mma steer clear of Knack. Did enjoy watching some people stream it in co-op tonight, though.

    Maybe AC4 is what I'll pick up over the holidays as a serious time investment. In the meantime, I'm going to work on getting that Resogun platinum.