Wii

North America

Klonoa

by Nick DiMola - May 18, 2009, 7:56 am PDT
Total comments: 11

8

This gorgeous remake's gameplay has stood the test of time.

Klonoa began life on the PlayStation in the title Klonoa: Door to Phantomile. Since then he has become somewhat of a trademark Namco character, finding himself in a collection of other titles on the PlayStation, PlayStation 2, GameBoy Advance, and finally Wii. Since the series has gone dormant and Door to Phantomile has aged significantly, Namco decided to remake the title with updated graphics, a bevy of new control schemes, and new material to help revive the iconic series.

Klonoa features a character duo comprised of Klonoa himself and his ring spirit companion, Hewpoe, who grants Klonoa his staple wind bullet power. The team begins their adventure in Phantomile, the land of dreams, when a ship crashes into a nearby mountain and the duo decide to investigate. Upon reaching the mountain peak they encounter Ghadius and Joker, two evil beings who seek to destroy dreams, as well as Phantomile itself. The two villains capture the songstress Lephise and set off in order to perform their deed. So begins the quest to save Lephise, dreams, and Phantomile.

For those unfamiliar with the series, Klonoa moves on a 2D plane in a 3D environment. Klonoa's plane weaves all around the environment, and new planes frequently appear perpendicular to his current plane, allowing Klonoa to completely deviate from his original path. Players often find themselves playing three-dimensionally, as enemies, switches, and collectibles are found in both the foreground and background. This shouldn't be confused with games such as New Super Mario Bros, which only features action on the 2D plane in which the player exists. Those familiar with Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards will see some similarities in Klonoa's presentation.

Klonoa's combat mechanics are a tad unconventional as well. Klonoa uses the Wind Bullet to fire a projectile gust of wind that serves a variety of purposes. Players will mainly use it to pick up enemies, who can then be thrown to defeat other enemies, collect items, or perform a double jump. As such, players often need to trek back and forth to obtain enemies which enable them to reach a new area or collect an item. Klonoa also has the innate ability to float in mid-air for a brief moment at the peak of his jump, thanks to his massive floppy ears.

Conveniently, players can control this relatively small moveset on a variety of controllers. The Wii Remote, Wii Remote + Nunchuk, GameCube Controller, and Classic Controller all give players sufficient, comfortable, and responsive control of the titular character.

The game is split into a set of seven visions (worlds), each containing two sub-visions (levels), the second of which features a boss battle. Merely playing through these visions to reach the end of the game proves easy. However, meticulously scrounging through each level for all of the crystals and trapped villagers proves to be a much bigger challenge, and when played this way, Klonoa can be described more accurately as a puzzle-platformer. Puzzle elements also appear in the game's boss battles. Each boss battle typically locks Klonoa into a specific area, requiring players to identify the boss' weakness and exploit it to win. In many instances, these bosses are present in the background, allowing Klonoa to attack from many angles thanks to the oft-circular layout of the arena.

Players already familiar with Klonoa: Door to Phantomile will find that the remake has stayed true to its source material. The game sports a fresh coat of paint that looks even better than the cel-shaded graphics of the PlayStation 2 sequel. Those who finish the relatively short game will notice that a Reverse mode has been added, along with a mid-level challenge room in the reversed levels. After completing the game players can also unlock costumes to give Klonoa and his friends a new look. Finally, there is also a new Time Attack mode, allowing players to challenge the bosses separately from their levels.

Though short, Klonoa makes for a fantastic addition to the Wii library. With its beautiful new visuals, additional modes, and extremely challenging bonus rooms, Klonoa veterans as well as platformer fans would do well to pick up this budget-priced title.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
9 7 9 9 8 8
Graphics
9

For its time, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile on the PlayStation was a fantastic looking game. The Wii remake continues that tradition with its gorgeous new visuals that trump even the beautiful cel-shaded style of the PS2 sequel.

Sound
7

The music and sound effects have remained mostly static across the entire Klonoa series. That being said, it is light, whimsical, and mostly enjoyable, but far from memorable.

Control
9

Klonoa offers players the full range of Wii control options, all of which work just fine.. Due to the unconventional nature of Klonoa's controls, there is a slight learning curve, but after one or two levels, players will easily be navigating around Phantomile.

Gameplay
9

Though the core experience is on the easier side, the game is enjoyable from beginning to end. Boss battles are unique, fun, and thought provoking, and the levels prove far more interesting when tracking down all of the various collectibles. The new Reverse mode and challenge rooms add difficulty seemingly absent from the Normal adventure.

Lastability
8

Being a shorter game, players will most likely tackle all of the games modes and try to find all of the level's collectibles to extend their play experience.

Final
8

This generation has been surprisingly barren of platformers, much less good ones. Thankfully, Klonoa is a fine platformer, one that fans of the genre won't want to miss. Those familiar with the series will undoubtedly want to revisit Phantomile in this remake, as it proves much easier on the eyes and is more robust than the original title.

Summary

Pros
  • Bevy of new, challenging material
  • Gorgeous new visuals
  • Solid, enjoyable platforming
Cons
  • Not too challenging
  • On the short side
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusMay 18, 2009

I agree with this review, good job Mr. DiMola!

I'm definitely picking it up soon.  Loved the PSone game back in the day.

I still haven't finished this short game. I enjoy it, but for some reason don't feel the need to plow through it.

vuduMay 19, 2009

Which control scheme did you prefer?  The review states that there are several options, but you didn't mention which you favored.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusMay 19, 2009

I typically used the Classic Controller, but tried all of them and liked them equally. I just happened to have it out when I started playing and stuck with it.

NovaQMay 20, 2009

Quote from: Flames_of_chaos

I agree with this review, good job Mr. DiMola!

I do, too - except for the sound score. I think the music is great and most definitely memorable. Then again, there may be some nostalgia flavoring that opinion of mine. And speaking of sound, I found the English voice-overs to be obnoxious. As long as you can handle the super-cute Phantomile-speak from the original game, I recommend switching over to that.

Quote from: Mr.

Those who finish the relatively short game will notice that a Reverse mode has been added, along with a mid-level challenge room in the reversed levels.

Nice, I didn't know about that! (I unlocked Reverse mode this weekend but haven't tried it out yet.)

TJ SpykeMay 20, 2009

How much is the game? It looks nice from the videos i've seen and reviews, but I don't think I would pay $50+tax. $30 maybe.

Mop it upMay 20, 2009

Yep, it's $30.

TJ SpykeMay 20, 2009

Cool, when I get some money I might check it out (there are a lot of other games I want to get too).

As I mentioned in my impressions, I found the super-cute voices in the Japanese version, gibberish or Japanese, to be detrimental, but I like the game.

PeachylalaMay 20, 2009

I was disappointed they didn't arrange the music for the Wiimake. Oh well, it's still good.

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Klonoa Box Art

Genre Action
Developer
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Klonoa
Release Q2 2009
PublisherNamco Bandai
RatingEveryone 10+
jpn: Klonoa: Door to Phantomile
Release Dec 04, 2008
PublisherNamco Bandai

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