|Posted by Brekclub85 on August 6, 2012 at 2:20 PM|
Since now having to use owl talons and wings instead of hands, much to my relief, I've discovered I'm still able to handle a Playstation controller. And, knowing that, I'm gonna review one of my all time favorite PS1 games in greater detail, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile.
Released in December 97 in Japan, March 98 here in the states, Klonoa remains defintely one of the most underrated games of all time IMO. It's a 2.5D platformer, meaning 3d graphics but Klonoa can't move in every direction. However, I feel that this is what gives the game it's charm.
One thing you'll notice about the game right away is that while the dialogue boxes and level names are translated into English, the vocals themselves are not. And the game isn't in Japanese, either. The people at Namco made up a complete fantasy language for this game (However, listen carefully and you'll notice that certain characters speak the same unique gibberish reoeatedly, so I determined that, with a few exceptions, they didn't have planned translations.)
As for the story, Klonoa is rather simple. Klonoa, a "cabbit" as he is called by the makers of the game, finds a magic ring in the ground, where he finds a sprite named Huepow inside it, and they become best friends. One day, they set off to investigate a mysterious crash, where they encounter the dark sorcerer Ghadius, who plans to fill the world of Phantomile with nightmare energy. The two must travel all over Phantomile and stop him before it's too late.
Another thing that makes Klonoa unique for a platformer, is that, technically, there are no powerups. You have one weapon the entire game-the ring, which fires Wind Bullets at your enemies....and your enemies are your ammo in this game. When Klonoa snags a monster with a wind bullet, he can use it to fire at targets and destroy them, or use them as an extra boost for a double jump. Certain enemies later in the game also function differently once Klonoa catches them.
The main Klonoa games are very much puzzle platformers. While the levels and bosses start out fairly easy, they get more challenging as you go along. However, unlike a lot of games from this era, the challenge in Klonoa is fair, and you never feel like it's just a cheap error because of bad programming.
As a kid, even though I only had this game in the form of a demo on a bonus disc with Ridge Racer Type 4 and thus, only two levels and the first boss, I was hooked instantly. (I wasn't able to find a copy of the whole game until 2008.) The graphics are very beautiful, albeit different from the kinds on other PS1 classic platformers like Spyro or Crash. In a way, the game almost looks like a playable pop-up book, but I mean this in a good way.
Also, this was one of the first games where I noticed just how much the music can add to the enjoyment. Klonoas 1 and 2 both have some of my favorite video game soundtracks of all time, from the catchy and nostalgic Windmill song that plays in the first level, to the Song of Rebirth that fits in well with the game's heartbreaking twist ending.
As I've mentioned before, one thing about this game that always made it so special for me is the twist that occurs at the end. I don't want to spoil it, but you better bring some tissues if you're the type who gets affected by sad endings. As a fan of this series, I was always dissappointed that none of the sequels ever really followed up on the ending, but maybe, even though the series became a franchise, the ending was never intended to be followed up, and we're just left with that bittersweet final image.
So there's my review, hope you guys enjoyed it! Next time, I'll review Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil! Share your thoughts!