When I was young I had a strange fascination with Klonoa: Door to Phantomile which had my poor parents scurrying away in a frenzy to get hold of a copy of the elusive title in time for Christmas. They managed to find it but sadly my childish platformer skills were so poor that they need hardly have bothered. So it was that I whooped with delight to discover that the game was to be granted a re-release on the Wii (a wii-release if you will). It was slightly disconcerting to find out just how difficult this game that I had found such a challenge truly was but a happy second-chance nostalgia trip nonetheless.
ShopTo are currently offering Klonoa for just £9.99, a good £8 off the next best price from a retailer with the title in stock.
Klonoa is a curious “2.5D” game which runs on 2D tracks through beautifully rendered 3D environments, making for an intricate and arresting experience. Virtually identical to the original Playstation version in all other areas, the game's graphics have been lovingly updated and it has been given a (optional) Wii motion control makeover.
You play as Klonoa who lives with his grandfather, the village Elder, in the land of Phantomile. Your adventure begins when you and your friend Hewpoe the ring spirit head out of your village to investigate an airship that has mysteriously crashed into a nearby mountain.
It's not hard to think that, looking as it does, Klonoa will feature an irritating and cloying story but actually the narrative is rather touching and not at all saccharine. That said is does get rather convoluted and slightly tiresome at times.
Aside from the 2D/3D features, the gameplay is pretty much platforming-by-numbers with precise jumping, end of level bosses and jewels to be collected. However you also have the fun little mechanic of being able to grab hold of enemies then chuck them wherever you wish, which opens up new possibilities such as double-jumping or using a tornado style ability. The new graphics are lively, colourful and very visually pleasing, though, of course, not quite up to the standard set by Super Mario Galaxy.
The main issue with Klonoa is that, despite my fruitless efforts as a wee thing, it turns out that it is just too easy. You'll be able to race through the game in just a few hours and if you look carefully then you should be able to uncover all the secrets in that first playthrough, giving you little to return for. Completion will open up a Mirror world which sounds good but really doesn't offer enough variation to warrant playing the game through again any time soon.
That said, Klonoa is still a rather lovely title with plenty to recommend it. Decent full-on platformers are very thin on the ground these days and, while this is a straightforward remake, this game offers a lively, refreshing and very enjoyable dip into the genre.
Thanks to QenTox from Hotukdeals!