Platform Presentation Controls Variety Audio Depth Value & FunOVERALL
Wii 8.00 8.00 7.00 9.00 7.00 7.007.42
General Information
Television set-up: 19" Sylvania CRT, SDTV 480i, composite cables.
Gameplay Description
Klonoa is a 2D platformer with 3D elements.  Collision with enemies drains your health, and if you lose all your health or fall down a pit, you lose a life and go back to the last check point.  You can attack enemies with a short range attack that will stun them, and you can then pick enemies up to either use as weapons, or use as a springboard for an extra jump.
Dedication Meter 1.00
The gameplay is as straight-forward as it gets.
Presentation 8.00
The visuals in Klonoa, while relatively simple, are very nicely done with vivid colours and sharp character designs.  The graphics are consistent and appropriate, with the animation fairly well done, if not a bit oversimplified.  While progression through the level is 2-dimensional, everything is rendered in full 3D, and there are 3D elements to the gameplay.  Because of this, depth-perception and distinguishing the background from the foreground can be a little problematic at times.

In terms of the story, it's a relatively simplistic save-the-world scenario.  For the most part the way everything is presented is bright and cheery, and very much what you'd consider child-oriented, but there are a couple spots where the game becomes suddenly and surprisingly dark and emotional, which rather than making for an engaging story, moreso blindsides the player and feels entirely out-of-place.
Controls 8.00
There's not a whole lot you have to do in the game.  You can play with pretty much any controller option you want, and I used the classic controller.  There are no motion controls regardless, so any option will do.  You can jump, attack, or perfort a useless elemental thing that makes it a bit windy for a short period.  There isn't a run button, nor acceleration, so movement is always at the same speed, making things a bit slippery and less precise than you'd like for a platformer.
Variety 7.00
There are 6 worlds, with 2 levels in each, and a boss at the end of every second level.  There's a final area with some normal platforming stuff and the final boss, which the game seems to count as 2 more levels because it advertises 14.  The bosses are pretty much all defeated by launching enemies at the weak point, which is fine, and they are engaging enough.

In terms of the platforming side of the gameplay, they mix up the enemies enough for the brief few levels there are, and the environments change with them.  Ultimately, though, there's not enough here and moreso too few levels that try to make it interesting.
Audio 9.00
Solid voice-acting backing great music is a good combination.  The voices are cutesy, befitting the aethetic.  Meanwhile the music manages to stand out in areas, which is an unfortunately rare occurance.  It can go to blending back into the background as well, but overall there are few complaints.
Depth 7.00
The key mechanic to the gameplay's depth is the ability for you to use enemies to make an extra jump while in mid-air.  Unfortunately, it goes criminally underused, leaving somewhat a dearth of interesting gameplay.  The rest is standard fair that holds up well-enough, but doesn't do much to stand out.
Value & Fun 7.00
Klonoa stands as a reasonably entertaining, short venture into 2D platforming on consoles.  Perhaps a little weird on the presentation-side, the gameplay is enjoyable if a little unimaginative.  There are several ways the game makes use of the 3D landscape that fits the game well; for example, you can throw enemies toward or away from the screen, making it possible to interact with the environment despite only moving on a 2D plane.  As well, as previously mentioned, the ability to use enemies as springboards is a very neat mechanic.  This all work well, and all could have been used to much better effect in the end.

Overall, ultimately, the game comes across as being afraid of making things too complicated.  It isn't until the later stages of 5 or perhaps even 6 that the game pushes any of the concepts to much degree.  The cutesy design and the level design as such seems as though the developers felt a need to keep the game very accessible to younger gamers.
Overall 7.42
Klonoa is a diversion of a game.  Brief fun with some nice ideas, but ultimately forgettable.  Perhaps if the developers felt more free to play with ideas and makes things more difficult it could have been more, but it is what it is, and it does manage to be fun.
Posted by Yodariquo Sun, 22 Nov 2009 07:55:00
Thu, 26 Nov 2009 04:39:39

"Overall, ultimately, the game comes across as being afraid of making things too complicated. "

I wonder if the original was the same or if this was changed to make it more accessible to newer players.

I only have the Wii version, so I can't compare, but I enjoyed the PS2 sequel (less so the GBA game).

Fri, 27 Nov 2009 15:50:28

19" Sylvania CRT, SDTV 480i, composite cables.

What the fuck?

Mon, 30 Nov 2009 06:37:13
^that's how he rolls man.
Wed, 02 Dec 2009 21:33:38
My current setup isn't much different: 20" Toshiba CRT flat-screen, SDTV 480i, s-video cable (Wii), component cable (Xbox 360), RF (Atari 2600). Happy
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