OK where do I begin. First of all I was a huge fan of the first game, I played it over and over again, I mean really played it into oblivion. So when my friends told me that there was a second game I was pretty excited, cause I knew it was gonna be good. I first played this in school, back when everyone was playing games during lessons and during lunch in the computer rooms. This one got a lot of plays out of everyone, literally all my friends were playing it and for a good reason. It has it's upsides and downsides.
First of all the controls take a little getting used to. Difficult things to get down were the fact you can't shoot whilst walking, which is a pain, but it was the same in the first game. Secondly the absence of being able to shoot in both directions at the same time, like in the first game, was kind of a bummer. However you did introduce the ability to dive which was a fun new ability to master and quite essential in playing the game. Getting that skill down was really important. Also the ability to only shoot forwards caused a little bit of trouble in the later levels. In addition when you get hurt the controls jam up, which is a pain when trying to attack a clown right in front of you whilst he's slashing at you and was worse for people when they got caught in a pool of fire.
The game was difficult as hell. Most games don't throw so much at you at once and most games down have such a steep difficulty curve.
When we used to play this game, your were pretty great at this game if you could beat the first level, which took a little bit of classic skill, nothing much to, you know the drill, shoot everything, kill kill kill and keep moving forward.
If you could beat the second level, you were fucking awesome at the game. It took some real skill, this is where diving becomes quite crucial. It's useful because he fires off 2 rounds as he dives which can easily take out the clowns in front of you and very useful for dodging the molotovs being thrown at you or getting out of the flames in case you accidentally got caught in them. Shooting the clowns before they throw the molotovs was usually the best option. Diving was also good for progressing through the game properly. But becomes tedious when in a panic you accidently dive into a cluster of clowns or into the middle of a pool of flames.
If you could beat the third level of this game, you were the motherfucking beast, which fortunately I was. Level 3, or the total clusterfuck as it's better known as, is a final test of your skill. Unlike level 2 where you got one new enemy to face, in this level you got 2 new obstacles, exploding cars and falling bombs. The bombs you have to look out for the blue circle that flashes briefly telling you where it's going to land and the cars were just luck. You had to stay the fuck away from the sides of the screen because the car could come and fuck you over, also it was easier just to move straight to the other side of the screen when the bomb dropped because keeping an eye out for the blue circle was pretty damn difficult whilst dodging the car, the molotovs and killing the clowns. Would it hurt to have just given it a shadow where it was landing? I mean all the characters had shadows, why not the bomb? A minor flaw.
In level 3 diving became even trickier, because the screen would get packed with enemies, since you could only shoot forward, you'd often not be able to kill the clowns because you had to move vertically to avoid the car or the bombs. Often when diving to avoid the bombs or the car you can land yourself in a tricky spot, also sometimes you'd get jammed between the flames, the car and the bomb and cornered by the clowns. When you get to this level, the clowns totally tear your fucking world apart, they seem to come in clusters. It's just so difficult to maneuver everything and shoot at the same time, especially since you can't shoot whilst moving. It would have been better if you had split level 3 up into two levels, level 3 you get the bombs falling and level 4 you get the car too. Better difficulty curve.
Like I said, if you can complete the third level, you are the motherfucking beast.
The boss was a little disappointing, yeah he was pretty cool looking and he was quite tricky, but he didn't do much except zoom across the screen and occasionally shoot at you. After the third level it wasn't really all that difficult, also it's a shame it doesn't utilize any use of the diving feature. Overall it was just a shame there wasn't more challenge in it. Like perhaps if he switched what side of the screen he was on, their were other enemies joining in or he threw bombs at you or something. I never thought I'd say this about this game, but this one level isn't difficult enough.
What makes the game more difficult is the items are useless, they appear more than in other games but they just don't do enough for them to be useful. The ones that give you points I guess are useful to people who want to rack up a high score, but the ones that heal you just don't heal enough of your health. I wish you had made the items heal you more than 5-20%. Also there are no lives and no continues, you die, you go straight back to the menu and have to start over from the beginning. Would it have killed you to give people a continue screen? Maybe some level codes or even just more than one life? You will die a lot at this game and when you do die, you have to start over, so you can't really practice at the later levels. That is unless you know the Arena Mode password.
That's right, if you type "arena" into the bonus codes box you get a survival mode, where you get a single screen to move in and you fight the enemies endlessly. It features all the enemies from the game minus the exploding car, which I'm glad of because that enemy is a bitch. It's good for practice, so putting this as a default option would have been more helpful to people, even if you didn't include a continue screen.
The game is very addictive, it's very challenging and most of the replay value comes from just how challenging it is. When I first played it, I just had to beat this game so I kept coming back like some kind of gaming masochist, it took a lot of time, but I got a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment out of beating this game. The game has it's flaws in the programming and style, but the controls are fluent and it gives you some features (such as diving) to master as well as things to learn and improve at, thus the difficulty is fair, unlike in some games where difficulty comes from bad controls or hit testing, the challenge is straight up. And I loved every second of it.
Playing it again I forgot how frustrating and difficult it was, having not played it in a really long time it was refreshing and great to face the challenge all over again.
I love the wholesome oldschool arcade feeling of it, it takes games back to it's bloody routtes. The enjoyment of the game comes from playing it and that's about it, gameplay, challenge and replayablility is what brings people back playing it over and over and that's been lost quite a bit nowadays. The arcade feeling, racking up points and the oldschool sidescroller elements make it a lot of fun. I have a lot of nostalgia invested in this game, chances are I'll come back to play it years from now.
Also I forgot to mention the second code, which makes all the characters heads massive. It's a little bit pointless but once again still a little bit fun. Type "heads" as the bonus code to make everyone's heads massive, only downside is it can get in the way and be a little distracting.
The graphics are awesome, they maintain everything I loved about the first game, it has the grumgy look to it, the backgrounds with the perfectly stationary people, the fact it's completely black and white and holds some of that carnival and circus performer feeling to it, as well as the creepy touches such as that kids face screaming on the poster actually make it quite dark and cool. It's a shame the backgrounds are actually so low quality, I mean I know you got to compress it a little for filesize reasons, but you could have made it a little bit higher quality, so we could appreciate it properly.
The clowns, the drawing, the characters etc are well done. You kept true to the feeling of the game throughout, a lot of simplicity to it. The evil clown standing amongst the flames was fucking awesome looking when I was a kid and it's still pretty cool looking now. The violence is pretty cool, I wish there was more deaths though, they all seem to die in the same way, but I can't really complain. The items seem perfectly appropriate for it too. The animation was also pretty good, seemed a little stiff or rushed at times, but overall still good.
The soundtrack was fucking awesome, the music suits it perfectly and it's a shame the author who made the Bonus Battle Theme playing during the game play had his account deleted, I had the song downloaded, but I lost it and now I can't download it anymore. You did a good job of choosing the music.
The storyline itself was pretty cool when I was younger. Yeah, it's lame and cliche and obviously meant to be a funny satire, there are some comments from people who didn't like it. But it's a game about killing clowns, is that really what you're gonna question? It point blanc suits the game perfectly and it's actually at least a little original and good for shits and giggles here and there. The ending seemed a little disappointing, I'll admit, but nothing too much. The story doesn't really have much presence though, it doesn't progress during the game, it just has a start and a finish, a setup explaining why you're killing everything and a conclusion of what happens after you've finished.
The fact the story doesn't play much into the game seems a little lazy and disappointing. But hey, it's a story, the first game didn't have one, most flash games don't either, especially the flash games of 2006 but then it's all about playing the game, if the game is fun mission accomplished. All it falls down to really is... Fuck it, I wanna kills some goddamn clowns. The games called Clown Killer after all and it delivers what it promises.
It was awesome then, it's awesome now. Shooting clowns to pieces is still just as satisfying. The only thing I was disappointed about is there was never a Clown Killer 3. I expected a conclusion to the story and a continuation of the series, but one never came, that was a dream crushed. But I'm not gonna hold any grudges.
Fucking awesome and hopefully, maybe, just maybe, someday there will be a Clown Killer 3.