Klonoa was originally released for the PlayStation more than a decade ago, but you would be hard-pressed to discern its age at a glance. Even compared to modern releases, the updated visuals look impressive and inviting, crafting a colorful world in which it can be as much fun to marvel at the delightful scenery as it can be to jump across pits. The simple gameplay hasn't received the same overhaul as the visuals, but the tight controls and clever level design give rise to a rewarding adventure that is a pleasure from beginning to end. If only the end didn't come so quickly. Klonoa is over before you realize it, abruptly cueing the ending credits long before you're ready to leave this world. It's short and offers little in the way of challenge, but Klonoa's classic gameplay and enticing visuals make it a satisfying and fun adventure.
6208760Tossing enemies around in Windmill Village.None
Klonoa is one strange-looking protagonist. He resembles a bipedal rabbit with oversized eyes, floppy ears that appear to have hands sprouting from the ends, and a sideways hat with a Pac-Man logo emblazoned on the side. He awakens with a start one night after dreaming of a terrible threat sweeping over his peaceful village. Although darkness enveloping a colorful land is a common theme in games, the tale in Klonoa is more morose than normal. A strong feeling of unease permeates every cutscene, creating a sharp contrast with the cheerful lands that you roam. The voice acting gives weight to the plaintive cries of the distressed citizens, but the plot can be difficult to follow at times. It is long and meandering, destroying much of the impact of the heartfelt revelations. The story ultimately feels out of place, never mixing with the otherwise gleeful experience.
Though Klonoa doesn't have a wide assortment of moves, the action is still fun and engaging. You can jump with pinpoint precision like in any respectable platformer, but the ability to grab on to nearby enemies is a novel mechanic that helps make this adventure feel unique. Once you latch on to your reluctant foes, you can either toss them at other enemies to quickly dispose of them, throw them at faraway switches to open up new paths, or hurl them toward the ground so you can double-jump to higher platforms. These few different moves are presented in a variety of unique ways throughout the game, forcing you to be clever to reach out-of-the-way platforms or dispose of a relentless boss. You can use either the Wii Remote by itself or with the Nunchuk, the Classic Controller, or the GameCube original, and all of them work quite well. Using the Wii Remote lets you toss enemies with a flick of the wrist, though all of the motion controls are optional.
The action in Klonoa is fun and engaging, but the clever level design is what makes this game feel so unique. The levels are a delicate mix of classic 2D platforming combined with twisting 3D paths, and the ability to interact with obstacles not only immediately in front of you but also all around your view creates a thrilling atmosphere that continually keeps you on your toes. Although the effects are often limited to visual trickery--such as when you have to run up a spiraling windmill--there are also branching paths that turn levels into elaborate mazes. For example, in one level, you ride a wooden platform on rails that's circling a mountain. You leap off when you reach tunnel openings and you must navigate intersecting paths to finish the level. It's not always obvious how to reach the roads crossing all around you, and figuring out the way to the level's end is immensely rewarding.