To say that Namco’s Klonoa is a throwback would be an understatement. Sure, we first saw Klonoa in 1997 for the PlayStation, but the remake for the Wii is more than just a reboot. It’s a throwback to the golden age of gaming circa 1985. It reminds me of classic side scrolling action that’s since been supplanted by 3D shooters and other abominations that I find myself mildly addicted to. And, no, it’s not a game for kids. In fact, Klonoa gets to an absurd level of difficulty that it makes me want to throw the remote at the TV and stomp out of the room knocking everything down in my path. In other words, I love it and hate it all the same.
Everything you loved about games from the NES era are present in Klonoa with the added twist of 3D levels. I loathe any sort of dialog in games and the same goes for Klonoa and his little pal Hewpoe, but you can skip the dialog unlike Mario Galaxy, which would have been an awesome game if I didn’t have to sit through 100 hours of chitchat.
Gameplay is smooth, graphics are vibrant and the combination of 2D and 3D play is top notch. The only thing I can fault Namco for is the level of difficulty. It’s downright atrocious as you progress through the game. It’s ridiculously hard. As you trudge through the levels, however, the boss battles can be quite easy and rather simple. That’s not to say the game is horrible and as I said before, I have a love/hate relationship with this game.
You must be precise with your jumps and be on your toes at all times or you’ll fall to your death and want to break your Wiimote. Speaking of which, I play this game with the Nyko Wing rather than the Wii Remote or Wand from Nyko. It’s much easier with a controller than a stick of butter (aka Wiimote).
I won’t bore you with details of the story as I’ve given up on trying to recount minute details about this and that for any game I review for CG. But I will say that Klonoa is a classic platformer and the story could have revolved around making a sandwich and I’d still love it. I may have been nilly-willy about Wii games in the past, but pubs are finally releasing worthwhile games for the platform this year. Klonoa happens to be at the top of my list of most games played on the Wii. Everything about it is fun and exciting and I can’t stop playing it. Kudos to Namco for rebooting a classic in a non-janky manner. Looks can be deceiving, but put all of that aside and you’ll quickly realize how challenging Klonoa can actually be despite the kiddie aesthetics.
Klonoa [Official Site]