Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Klonoa (Wii) Review

Review for Klonoa on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Much like the insanely popular First Person Shooter genre of today, the staplemark of the early battles of Sega and Nintendo consisted primarily of platform games. Of course, the two kings of this game style were Sonic, the super speedy hedgehog and Mario, the leaping, turtle-stomping plumber, and in their wake they left many pretenders and imitators. By the time Sony entered the battle arena with their 3D pioneering system, the new audiences they brought in took a shine to other genres, and from this time the First-Person Shooters, fighters and Role-Playing Games gained newfound status. 2D platformers were not entirely forgotten after this new dimension commenced, though, and a new gem, Klonoa, was brought to the PSOne, critical acclaim in tow. Years later, Namco have revived the game for a new generation and a new system - but can it live up to the masterful original?

The game stars a floppy eared cat-like creature named Klonoa, and his companion Kewpoe, a Ring Spirit that grants the hero his power. Ghadius, an entity of malicious intent, has broken free of a seal to turn the peaceful world of Pantomime into a dominion of nightmares, and it is up to you to stop him. Through exploring the stages within the five main kingdoms of the world, and beating the bosses contained in each, you will find out Ghadius' goals, and the true origins of your heroes. What may sound like standard story fare does turn into something substantially more, and thanks to the well-depicted cutscenes, and the emotion and development present in the characters, the plot and gameplay go hand in hand throughout.

Klonoa takes place on a 2D plane, with primary movement from left to right. The excellent 3D visuals mesh with this manner of play to create the effect referred to as 2.5D, which the game takes full advantage of throughout. Klonoa is controlled in almost any way you choose, with full button configuration available in the options menu, for any pad you desire - Classic Controller and GameCube pad included. The only actions you will definitely need to map are moving, jumping, and shooting. Moving and jumping - a temporary hover by holding down the button in the air - are self-explanatory, but shooting is where the real differentiating factor of Klonoa lies.

Screenshot for Klonoa on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Many enemies litter the levels, and by hitting the shoot button you can fire out a wind bullet to stun or allow you to grab these enemies. From here, you can either throw them in one of four directions (background and foreground included), run around with them to use as a barrier for above hazards, or do a double jump to use them for extra height. This mechanic provides the catalyst for a large quantity of Klonoa's level structures, as large enemies block your progress, that ledge is just too high, or there is a switch out of reach in the background. General control is never a hindrance, and although some health hits and deaths feel cheap, the generous helping of checkpoint clocks and extra lives keep frustration away, if making things a bit too easy in general.

Screenshot for Klonoa on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Considering its status as a world of fantastical dreams, you would expect Phantomile to contain a wide array of unexpected and varying locale types to play through, and on this Namco have you covered. Together with the cheery happy home town of Breezegale, you will have a decaying forest to restore back to beauty, the vibrant Moon Kingdom to explore, and a watery land of waterfalls and fountains to liberate. Each area is split into levels, or 'visions' as they are called here, and each vision setup provides a visual spectacle you won’t expect to see from a regular Wii game, much less a remake of a PSone title.

Sound is another area where Klonoa will not disappoint either, with backing tracks blending in for wherever you may be, from chirpy upbeat tunes whizzing around your eardrums when looking around Breezegale, or the hollow melodramatic track for exploring in the Moon Kingdom.

Screenshot for Klonoa on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Voice work is a thing of love or hate in this game; the gibberish/Japanese utterings of the Phantomile option adds undeniable charm to an already stellar game, yet the English option takes the Sonic the Hedgehog approach. Make of that what you will. Door to Phantomile on PlayStation was a single player game, and this remake is no different. Around a dozen or so levels stand between you and the final boss, and when excusing some of those cheaper 'enemy-out-of-nowhere' and 'not-quite-there-ledge' moments, Klonoa is a relatively easy game, so it will most likely average out at half a dozen hours of playtime. At first anyway, because each level has six captives for you to find and save. These open up bonuses for repeat play at the end, such as reversed levels and new costumes. What you put into Klonoa is what you will get out; feverish play may yield a game not offering much above a WiiWare game's length, but none-the-less it is one heck of a game.

Screenshot for Klonoa on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Pure in every sense of the word, Klonoa is a textbook example of how to make a stellar 2D-plane platformer. Can be too easy at times, and some parts of the game do feel a tad flukey, but complete custom control and good stage design keep things aloft.

Graphics

Beautiful more often than not, with imaginative characters and locales to visit and explore. Not a judder or framerate hiccup in sight.

Sound

English voicework has questionable choice and quality, consequently the Phantomile language option fits its hosts far better. Background music mixes in with the stages superbly, though it is not the game's highlight.

Value

For the single player enthusiast only. A short level lifespan may indicate a low playtime as a whole, but extras after completion pad out the hours a little.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

Klonoa doesn't make amazing nor innovative use of the Wii's control capabilities, yet it is a shining example of how the bare minimum of pad usage can still create an excellent game. Longevity and difficulty issues aside, Klonoa's visual splendour and imaginative interior ensures it worthy of being tracked down for your collection.

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19.01.2010

12

5853

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Also known as

Kaze no Klonoa: Door to Phantomile

Developer

Bandai Namco

Publisher

Namco Bandai

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

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Staff Member

Man, this looks outstanding on an HDTV. Smilie


A nice game, but very little to it. It's extremely simple and easy, the only tricky bit is some small platforms in the last level. The boss battles were a joke.

It really feels like a children's game in difficulty, story and design.
It does look nice, very clean visuals but again not much to it in terms of detail. That's to be expected from a playstation game though.

( Edited 20.01.2010 10:03 by Bastardman )

A good game, but I thought it lacked some overall quality.

I found the voice acting grating and although the Phantomile language was better, it sounded a bit quite. I often felt the game was a bit slow, as well. I think Bart is right about most of the other problems with it, although I did find some of the bosses difficult.

It's a simple game and a good one, but it never felt anything better, it was just good, in my opinion.

Excellent review Shane. Smilie

( Edited 20.01.2010 11:34 by Marzy )

Klonoa IS a great game, but it's also very short. You're looking at 6-8 hours total depending on how good you are at the game, but those are some pretty solid 6-8 hours. It isn't a full-priced retail game, so that makes up in part for it.

Well I completed it in 4 hours and 20 minutes on my first go. I found the whole experience very shallow as well. I think I'd rather play Kirby even.

found the whole experience very shallow as well. I think I'd rather play Kirby even.

Lolz...yep I can see the people in the distance with their pitchforks and burning torches already.

I better hide for now.Smilie

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I'm more insulted by the insinuation that Kirby isn't a top tier platformer.

Twitter | C3 Writer/Moderator | Backloggery

You're insulted?
Yer a strange man sometimes mr Superlink!

To relieve the stress my comment brought upon you, let me just say I like the music in Kirby platformers, and that victory tune combined with the victory dance is very Great.

Bastardman said:
A nice game, but very little to it. It's extremely simple and easy, the only tricky bit is some small platforms in the last level. The boss battles were a joke.

It really feels like a children's game in difficulty, story and design.
It does look nice, very clean visuals but again not much to it in terms of detail. That's to be expected from a playstation game though.


That's because IT IS A CHILDRENS GAME!

Marzy- Thank you.Smilie


I wonder whats up with Klonoa anyway? He kind of reminds me of a wannabe Sonic.

Diablo II
"I'll make weapons from your bones!" - The Smith Paladin: I will cleanse this wilderness. Deckard Cain: Stay a while and listen!

edracon said:
Bastardman said:
A nice game, but very little to it. It's extremely simple and easy, the only tricky bit is some small platforms in the last level. The boss battles were a joke.

It really feels like a children's game in difficulty, story and design.
It does look nice, very clean visuals but again not much to it in terms of detail. That's to be expected from a playstation game though.


That's because IT IS A CHILDRENS GAME!

Yep, I shouldn't have bought it SO HASTILY!

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