Review by Diasta_
Light and fluffy on the outside, pure gold on the inside...
Klonoa:Door to Phantomile, was the little fluffy cat/dog/man's debut into the cruel late nineties game industry, where games were growing up fast, and little childish platformers were not appreciated the same as they were just three years before. The game was a flop sales-wise, and therefore became extremely rare to find about three years after it's initial release. Not a strong debut for the cuddly little guy, but looking back at it now I realize it stands out to me as maybe the finest platform game ever created by man.
The graphics are cute yes, but quite beautiful and ingenius at times, and they fit with the Playstation hardware flawlessly. You hardly ever see misplaced lines and the polygons are solid as rocks(except that a rock can break and these polygons wouldn't). The use of colour is absolutely perfect, using bright, cheerful, aswell as dark, muddy tones, the pallette juicies up the game wonderfully. Klonoa himself is a 2-D sprite, but he's animated so well, that I never remember that he's not 3-D like the rest of the game. He never really stands out as 2-D and if he did it would probably take away from the overall quality of the graphics, but Namco played it cool in creating a sprite that blends into 3-D polygonal worlds without even making it noticable. Amazing job on everything you see on screen.
The way you play is just like an oldschool side scrolling platformer, but the difference is that the levels are in three dimensions, so what you get is a beautiful method of playing an old style platformer, with some of the perks of 3-D, such as camera sweeps, and other spectacular effects. Instead of killing the enemies that dance around in your path, you grab then, blow them up like balloons, and use them as trampolines to get to hard to reach areas, or throw them around like beachballs in order to hit switches. Talk about abuse and humiliation for foes of Klonoa, Mario had the mercy to end his enemies quickly. Not Klonoa, he's a cold blooded menace to all who oppose him(and they thought this game was childish). There's also this really cool little hand propeller, which Klonoa grabs onto and it propels him wherever he needs to go free of charge. yaHOO!* The first half of the game is quite easy, but I wouldn't have wanted it harder, as I may never have stuck with it that way. The last few levels however, create some severe challenges for you to break your head over, and that's what really makes the game memorable to me. It was those puzzles I spent more than 20 minutes trying to solve. Some of the platform action towards the end was tough to pull off aswell, but practice always seems to make perfect in Klonoa games. The boss battles that are at the end of each level, are tricky too. Some of them will have you doing them over and over again, cursing yourself hoarse all the while. Perfect gameplay, so fun and so addicting, no doubt in my mind, it's world class platforming.
The music is yet ANOTHER high point to this game that has nothing but high points. The music isn't like good, it's like catatonically good. It drives the entire essense behind the games adventurous, overly theatrical atmosphere, and I just ate it up and went back for seconds. It's not like most soundtracks where you listen and it sounds nice. No, I was actually gettin up off my seat and feelin' the funk oldschool with these beats, before falling down laughing. The songs are just so irresistible and catchy, they should be banned from society. I don't know who the composers are, but I just want to tell them that they're amazing beyond my coherence.
No it's not mario and it'll never be mario, get over it. But here's the kicker, it's better than mario in every way imaginable. How's that for a bold statement. It appears like this little twinkle toes kinda deal, but when compared with mario, kirby or Sonic, Klonoa is the mature one of the bunch. It has more sophistication, and I almost think that only older gamers would appreciate it's true genius.Honestly folks, don't talk trash about Klonoa, it'll make fun of you behind your back, and there's a likely chance the game is even better than you.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
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