In the end, Klonoa is a fantastic game that unfortunately suffers from a high degree of difficulty
- 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.
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Nothing Worth Having...
And yet, Klonoa is still a good game. I'd even go so far as to call it one of the better platform games ever produced. However, it's a tricky game to recommend because its kid-friendly vibe belies its insane difficulty. That's not to say younger gamers won't like it nor does it mean they won't be able to conquer it; Previews Editor Andy Burt pointed out to me that when we were kids, we had to contend with games like Mega Man and we turned out just fine (relatively speaking, of course). But my fear is that parents will see the cute box art and buy it for their kids who'll be left frustrated by the difficulty. Adults can and should appreciate the game as well but the Wii is a family oriented console (please spare me the "hardcore vs casual" rhetoric -- I'm not interested) so it's an important consideration.
In the end, Klonoa is a fantastic game that unfortunately suffers from a high degree of difficulty. It's the video game equivalent of chess: it's easy to learn but difficult to master. Hardcore gamers and people looking for a challenge will want to definitely check it out; you can safely give it to younger gamers but be prepared for the possibility that they'll come running to you for help in the later stages. And if you let someone who's impatient and prone to throwing things play it, make sure they pull the wrist strap on tight, no matter how old they are.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Tae thought he was done with Klonoa after finishing his review but he realized that he had a few more things to say about the game. Here are some more thoughts on this tough but awesome platform game.
First, I wanted to mention that the boss fights in the game are rather easy, especially compared to what you'll experience just getting there. All the bosses have set patterns and once you figure it out, they're fairly easy to take out. But again, getting there is half (or most of) the battle. The level design borders on the sadistic keep track of the number of times you fall to your death and you'll see what I mean.
I was also glad that they didn't go overboard with the Wii motion controls. I liked that you had a choice of control schemes (I ultimately settled on using the Wii Remote by itself after experimenting) and it was good to see that they didn't try to force you to use some silly waggle-scheme that just didn't work.
The last thing I wanted to say is this: after you beat the game, you unlock a bunch of extra content (I can't remember if this stuff was in the original or not) including a reverse mode that mirrors all the level layouts. There are also these weird puzzle rooms where you try to reach the finish line as quickly as you can; let me just tell you this: I only played on of those rooms but they're nigh impossible. If you can clear them, you're a better platform gamer than me. Congrats.
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