I’m a sucker for character-action platformers. When I was growing up, they were all that was popular in gaming. Crash Bandicoot, Super Mario 64, Spyro the Dragon… on and on. Klonoa I suppose is originally from that same era, but never gained the popularity of the aforementioned titles. I played the Wii remake.
The action is pretty simple. You can jump, as well as hover jump like in Yoshi’s Island. You can also pick up enemies, hurl them at other enemies, hurl them at things in the environment, or use them to get a higher jump. That pretty much sums up the gameplay. The game takes place on a 2D plane, but at times, you switch directions and enter into the third dimension. The game never becomes truly 3D, but it’s a nice change of pace to sometimes go on a branching path. Occasionally you’re given two paths, and forced to ask yourself “Will I miss something important if I choose path A over path B?”
Visually, the game is very colorful, but it’s missing something. A lack of it’s own personality, perhaps. Of course, this is a Wii game, so we should expect graphics to be somewhat dated, but just look at the mileage they got out of Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2! I understand the original game has been praised for it’s aesthetics, so it’s a little disappointing that this version on more powerful hardware looks a bit bland.
The game has gizmos to collect if you’re the type who likes to 100% games. The latter half of the game features more elaborate puzzle solving than the beginning. In fact, the first half of the game is a cakewalk in comparison. Boss fights get progressively more challenging but aren’t overly difficult. Finally, the end of the game gets a little deep, story-wise. For what was probably marketed as a kids game, I wasn’t expecting it to go in that direction.
Klonoa is a solid platformer that really gets it’s wings in the latter half of the game. Unfortunately, the game is a somewhat short. It’s a cult classic on PS1, but it probably doesn’t bear the same status on the Wii. If you’re die-hard about the PlayStation original, give this a look. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be missing much if you skipped Klonoa.