In the end, Klonoa is a fantastic game that unfortunately suffers from a high degree of difficulty
I remember playing Klonoa when it debuted on the original Playstation and my memories were, for the most part, positive. I recalled cute visuals and awesome platforming gameplay. So when the Wii remake floated in for review, I booted it up expecting a smooth trip down memory lane. What I got instead was one hell of a bumpy ride.
- Beautiful visuals, cute voice over work, and compelling gameplay makes for one of the better platforming experiences around.
- High level of difficulty will turn off a large portion of its potential fanbase, definitely not for the impatient or easily frustrated.
Even with its steep difficulty curve and frequent (cute) deaths, Klonoa is a solid platformer breathing life into an all but dead genre.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
That's not because the game is horrible. I actually like it a lot and it's easy to see why my memories of the game were so candy-coated. The animation-quality graphics, which have ported over really well to the Wii, are amazing and the cute voice-over work is exceptional. When the level design is at its best, the game has a great sense of flow; you move along a 2-D plane but the 3-D levels allow you to switch planes and perspectives. The camera does a great job of keeping up, though, so you never get disoriented.
But I was quickly reminded how brutally hard the game is: later levels demand precision timing, dexterous jumps and split-second maneuvering. One tiny little misstep and you're sent plummeting to your death; add in the limited number of lives and you're in for gaming experience that would make Sisyphus shudder. The controls don't help much either because no matter which setup you use-you can use the Wii Remote, the nunchuk combo, a Gamecube controller or the Classic Controller -- the difficulty doesn't go away.
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