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I don’t care what anyone says, Knack is a good game.

TL;DR: Knack got more hate than it deserved.

When this game was first announced, people thought it was just an interactive tech demo to show off the PS4. A game console that can handle that many particles on screen at once was something to be shown off. Then the game came out and people were mostly disappointed. The story was mediocre, the gameplay was repetitive, and there was just nothing all that innovative about it.

Well, a lot of that is still true. But the game is still fun because it feels like a video game.

Look, the story is nothing to write home about. Doctor discovers ancient relics that turn into a little humanoid. Little humanoid can gather more relics to get bigger. Evil military guy wants to use little humanoid for endless riches. Doctor and friends want little humanoid to stop the goblins and evil military guy. Good guys win, bad guys lose. It's your standard story. But it's not bad. The characters remind me of Pixar characters but ones that are a little bit genuine. Like, they kind of gave a shit about what they were doing.

And the gameplay is straightforward. You go through different levels punching enemies until they die. You acquire different materials in addition to the relics like ice, wood, crystals, and metal. You can use sun stones to perform super moves that deal more damage. You'll die a lot because the AI in this game do a ton of damage. But I never got mad about dying. Sure, I got sent back pretty far sometimes but the combat was enjoyable enough that I didn't really care. And the load times were short enough that you weren't stuck contemplating your existence.

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Along your journey, you can find hidden secrets to create gadgets that can help your playthrough. Some tell you when you're close to secrets, some slow down time when you're fighting enemies, some make you deal more damage the longer you go without getting hit.

In addition to gadgets, there are collectible crystals that can be used to obtain different forms for Knack that have additional benefits. I'll admit, I never finished an entire collection of these since I only did one playthrough. In fact, that's probably my biggest complaint about this game. There are just too many collectibles that are spread far too thin. You literally have to do multiple playthroughs to get all of them. One thing that I thought was cool was if you had friends that found the same chests as you, you could also select the collectible that they got since they're all random.

And the game just looked good. The environments didn't blow me away, but they just looked good. They were colorful, they were vibrant, but they also had intensity and grit when they needed it. It didn't have to be dark and dreary to let us know we were near the bad guys.

Finally for the most minor detail, can we appreciate the fact that the game utilized the controller speaker? Because it wasn't that spectacular or anything. A small sound would play when you picked up relics, sunstones, or collectibles. That was about it. But it was a small feature that was just plain nice. I know a few other games utilized it better but I also know a LOT of games that never bothered with it.

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Look, Knack isn't going to blow your mind. It's not going to be your favorite game and it doesn't revolutionize the industry. It's not a work of art and it won't change the way you think about games.

But it is fun.

It looks good. It feels good. It sounds good. Because it is good.


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