We are in the mid-1990s. At the time, with the arrival of the PS1 and the Nintendo 64, platform games took over 3D. Two camps are emerging: those who put both feet in the dish, like the pioneer Jumping Flash or the essential Super Mario 64; while others opt for a smoother transition, such as Crash Bandicoot and – the one that interests us today – Klonoa. A discreet license, even at the time, back in the form of a compilation of the first two episodes. A relevant comeback? Our opinion !
Find above, in auto-play, a homemade gameplay video of the Klonoa 1 remaster.
- Tested on PS5. Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One | Series, Switch.
He is not as cult as Mario or Crash Bandicoot but his return is a pleasure! Today, we’re talking about Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series, a compilation that includes the first two episodes of the license: Klonoa Door to Phantomile (1997, PS1) | Klonoa 2 Lunatea’s Veil (2001, PS2). Of course, the famous rabbit-cat took advantage of this time to freshen up. Both opuses now benefit froman updated game engineoffering – apart from a few details – the same visual rendering on each pane. A good thing for Klonoa’s PS1 adventure, which at the time used a mixture of 2D and 3D. For the PS2 chapter, it is so far thinner and more colorful than ever. Come on, let’s jump into this bath of nostalgia. We tell you what it’s worth!
One ring to rule them all
We told you above, Klonoa is one of the first platform games to have integrated 3D into its approach to the genre. Even though the player moves here on a 2D axis, all the other elements (the decor in particular) are in three dimensions. The franchise thus plays with the first and the second plandepth effects and the angle taken by the main road. There are also quite a few branch lines and alternate routes, especially on Door to Phantomile. Often, it will take a teleporter to access a road that can be seen in the distance or grab an opponent to swing on a switch in the background of the scene. Because Klonoa can count on a magic ring that allows him to catch | launch almost all enemies, a bit like suction | Kirby spit. The rabbit-cat can in this way perform a double jump, attack or destroy objects forward / down / at the bottom, but also exploit the abilities of creatures (such as flying). A last point much more developed in Klonoa 2.
Moreover, know that this compilation embeds two new difficulty modes : “Easy” (five hearts instead of three, less enemy damage, unlimited lives) and “Hard”, which unlocks on each episode after completing the adventure – just like another mode against the – show. While “Normal” restores the same challenge as the original games. Above all, “Easy” extends the range of the magic ring to capture monsters without being stuck tight. A very good point: this aspect of Klonoa’s gameplay often seemed flawed to us, especially in the first game. This one offers more floating sensations, generally less successful than its big brother, with a level design that is sometimes quite labyrinthine. We therefore advise you to start with Door to Phantomile to feel better and not “less good” on the rest of the game!
Two-player mode, fast forward:
In addition to a new engine and difficulty modes, Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series offers other small bonuses: first, the possibility of playing two. We’re not talking about two players cooperating on the same screen, but aboutsupport for the hero to make a big leap (probably equivalent to a double-jump). Your friend will then have to press a key to activate this ability, and that’s it! We therefore imagine the parents accompanying their child. Klonoa becomes much simpler, since there is no need to catch a monster to jump twice and cross an obstacle. Finally, note that you can now speed up cutscenes (x5 playback speed) or simply skip them altogether if you like.
Klonoa 2 – A Level in Troubled Waters (Gameplay)
A dive into the depths
As you will have understood, Klonoa relies on a fairly original gameplay. Here, you should not rely on the hero’s abilities but on those offered by the enemies. On this point, the second episode does better than its predecessor, with new creatures regularly introduced and at the service ofa real diversity of play (much like Sonic Colors). In Lunatea’s Veil’s, you can for example rush through the air in rocket mode, trigger a lightning bolt, fly for a few seconds thanks to a propeller. A beautiful picture completed by other qualities: themes of the levels well exploited, pleasant phases in snowboarding, more successful bosses, better integrated and tied up narration. Let’s agree: Door to Phantomile has qualities, but looks a little too much – and this is obviously logical – to a draft of the second opus.
Even though Klonoa 2 is a cut above the first episode, the two parts are still quite pleasant to browse. On this point, we must salute the beautiful redesign work of the Monkey Craft studio (Katamari Damacy Reroll) especially on the founding game of 1997. In direct comparison, the result is immediate: we see a strong balance between fidelity | modernitynot necessarily having to blush in the face of more recent platform games. Regarding Klonoa 2 – as mentioned above – the rendering is necessarily less hair-raising because it is much closer to the basic material, but proves to be more than satisfactory. In short, a setting of choice to go through levels against the backdrop of a haunting soundtrack, find hidden objects and 150 jewels. All in all, a very pleasant journey through time, even if weighed down by old-school game design.
- 2 games in 1 (10-12h in a straight line)
- A solid visual overhaul
- Original gameplay still relevant
- The new “Easy” difficulty mode
- Klonoa 1 clearly below
- A design that is sometimes too old-school
Are you looking for a platform game that is both colorful and original? Then Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is probably for you! On this compilation which brings together the first two opuses of the Klonoa series, Bandai Namco and the Monkey Craft studio deliver a solid redesign work, especially notable on the founding part. Despite a simple technique, the levels are colorful and very pleasant to navigate. Of course, the level design remains that of a title from the end of 1990 and beginning of 2000, which is felt in particular on Klonoa 1. Despite everything, the epic is enchanting and finds its climax during the second episode. In short, a nice nostalgic parenthesis!
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