Sunday, 7 June 2009

Klonoa - Wii

Despite the fact the Klonoa series offers colourful, solid and brilliant platform fun, our long-eared cat-like chum has been criminally overlooked by large sections of the gaming public in the past.

Now, 12 years after Klonoa made his debut on PS1, Namco have resurrected his original adventure and brought it to Wii.

Despite being more than a decade old, Klonoa puts the majority of recent platform games to shame, with games such as the recent Sonic titles failing to come close to matching Klonoa's brilliance.

The game is played across pseudo 3D levels, which twist and turn, giving the game a real sense of depth. Although Klonoa can travel 'into' the screen from time to time, most of the action plays out like a familiar left to right platformer.

The one thing which sets the series apart from games such as Mario and Sonic, is Klonoa's ability to grab enemies to either use as projectiles, or to launch himself high into the air.

Although the game is a strict platform romp, the ability to use enemies to aid Klonoa adds a strategic element to the game. Nothing is ever too taxing, but sometimes you'll have to engage the old grey matter when tackling some sections.

Visually, the game is beautiful. Namco have lavished a lot of love on Klonoa and by incorporating progressive scan and widescreen features, the game looks simply gorgeous running on a HD TV.

Sweeping pastoral levels, giant clockwork treehouses, spooky ruins, ice caverns and rusting temples are all gloriously rendered, with a depth of field filter used to make foreground objects look even sharper. Special mention goes to the lovely water effects, especially in level 2-2, Over the Rising Waterfall.

Aside from Klonoa's traditional run and jump gameplay, other elements creep in occasionally, and riding a wooden mine cart and being swept down a river make a nice change of pace.

The one downside to the plethora of platform fun is the length of the game. Klonoa isn't the longest or the most challenging game on the Wii, although it does have its moments - the last few levels are tricky - but with optional collectables peppered throughout every level, there's plenty of reason to go back and explore.

Namco have also included the option to just use the Wiimote to control Klonoa, although adding the nunchuk is advisable for the tricky leaps towards the end of the game, while Gamecube pad support is also included.

All in all, Klonoa is a top notch game. It's packed with charm, good looks, a memorable soundtrack and is a title that all platform fans should check out. It might not be quite as good as Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil on PlayStation 2, but with a price point around £20, there's enough here to keep platform fans more than happy.

1 comment:

ICandee said...

Holy crap, I LOVED this game on the PS2. Is this game a redo of the PS2 version or is it a new game? I had a lot of fun playing the original but I did end up with some teeth marks in my controller. lol