We are in the mid-90s. At the time, with the arrival of the PS1 and the Nintendo 64, platform games took over 3D. Two camps are emerging: those that put both feet on the plate, such as the pioneer Jumping Flash or the indispensable Super Mario 64; while others opt for a smoother transition, such as Crash Bandicoot and – what interests us today – Klonoa. A decent license, even at the time, back in the form of a compilation of the first two episodes. A major comeback? Our opinion!
Find above, in autoplay mode, a homemade gameplay video from the Klonoa 1 remaster.
- Tested on PS5. Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is available on PC, PS4, Xbox One | Series, Switch.
It is not a cult like Mario or Crash Bandicoot but its return is a pleasure! Today we talk about Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series, a compilation that includes the first two episodes of the license: Klonoa Door to Phantomile (1997, PS1) | Klonoa 2 The veil of Lunatea (2001, PS2). Naturally, the famous cat-rabbit took advantage of this period to cool off. Both works now take advantage of itan updated game engine, offering – apart from some details – the same visual rendering on each square. A good thing for Klonoa’s PS1 adventure, which used a mixture of 2D and 3D at the time. For the PS2 chapter, it’s so far more subtle and colorful than ever. Come on, let’s dive into this bath of nostalgia. We tell you how much it is 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 here moves on a 2D axis, all the other elements (the decor in particular) are in three dimensions. The franchise therefore plays with the first and second floors, depth effects and the angle taken from the main road. There are also some alternative branches and routes, especially on Door to Phantomile. Often times, 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 capture | throws almost all enemies, kind of like aspiration | Kirby spat. In this way, the cat-rabbit can double jump, attack or destroy objects forward / down / down, but also exploit the abilities of creatures (such as flying). A last point much more developed in Klonoa 2.
Also, know that this compilation incorporates two new difficulty modes : “Easy” (cinq coeurs au lieu de trois, moins de dégâts des ennemis, nombre de vies illimité) and “Difficult”, qui se débloque sur chaque épisode après avoir terminé aventure – tout comme un autre mode contre-la- clock. While “Normal” restores the same challenge as the original games. Most importantly, “Easy” extends the reach of the magic ring to catch monsters without getting stuck. One great point: this aspect of Klonoa’s gameplay often seemed flawed to us, especially in the first game. This offers more fluctuating sensations, generally less successful than her older brother, with a sometimes rather labyrinthine level design. We therefore recommend that you start with Door to Phantomile to feel better and not “less good” about the rest of the game!
Two player mode, fast forward:
In addition to a new engine and difficulty mode, Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series offers other small bonuses: first, the ability to play 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 button to activate this skill, and that’s it! So let’s imagine the parents accompanying their child. Klonoa becomes much simpler, as it is not necessary to capture a monster to jump twice and overcome an obstacle. Finally, note that you can now speed up movies (x5 playback speed) or just skip them altogether if you wish.
Klonoa 2 – A level in troubled waters (gameplay)
A dive into the depths
As you may have understood, Klonoa focuses on quite original gameplay. Here, you shouldn’t 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 servinga true game diversity (very similar to Sonic Colors). In Lunatea’s Veil’s, for example, you can run through the air in rocket mode, trigger lightning, fly for a few seconds thanks to a propeller. A beautiful picture complemented by other qualities: well-exploited level themes, pleasant phases in snowboarding, more successful bosses, better integrated and linked storytelling. We agree: Door to Phantomile has some qualities, but it seems a little too much – and this is obviously logical – for a draft of the second opus.
Even though Klonoa 2 is a step above the first episode, the two parts are still quite enjoyable to browse. On this point we must greet 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 | modernity, not necessarily having to blush in the face of the latest platform games. As for Klonoa 2 – as mentioned earlier – the rendering is necessarily less hair-raising because it is much closer to the base material, but it turns out to be more than satisfying. In short, a setting chosen to cross the levels against the backdrop of a creepy soundtrack, find hidden objects and 150 jewels. In short, a very pleasant journey through time, even if weighed down by the old-fashioned game design.
- 2 games in 1 (10-12 hours 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-fashioned
Are you looking for a platform game that is colorful and original? Then Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is probably for you! In this compilation that brings together the first two works of the Klonoa series, Bandai Namco and the Monkey Craft studio offer a solid work of redesign, particularly noteworthy in 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 late 1990s and early 2000s, which is particularly noticeable on Klonoa 1. Despite everything, the epic is enchanting and finds its climax during the second episode. In short, a nice nostalgic parenthesis!
Readers’ Opinions (1)
Read reader reviewsGive your opinion on the game!