Klonoa was Namco’s take on the mascot platformer genre that was king in the late 90s and early 2000s. Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series neatly bundles Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil into one package, complete with remastered graphics and new features like adjustable difficulty and a multiplayer mode. The game released July 8th, 2022, for PC, Switch, PS4/5, and Xbox One/Series X/S.
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, along with its sequel, is a 2.5D platformer which tasks you with exploring the levels as Klonoa travels across the world of Phantomile to put a stop to Ghadius’ evil plan to turn the world into nightmares. The visual style of the game is fantastic with the world being full of charm with a great soundtrack to match it. A simple enough story premise lets the games characters take center stage. Klonoa in particular is a lovable character. The gameplay itself is a simple get from point A to B platformer but the levels themselves aren’t as straightforward as running from left to right, especially later on in the game where you’re tasked with finding keys or switches to progress. Klonoa is armed with the Wind Ring which lets him grab enemies to use as a projectile or as a double jump to reach higher up areas.
There is also 6 collectibles and 150 gems in each level to collect which adds a little more challenge to the game. The game also has boss fights at the end of each chapter which each bring something fresh to the game with unique mechanics that can pose a real threat if you aren’t careful. The platforming itself can be fairly precise later in the game which is where the game truly shines except for a few sections in the last few levels which can prove frustrating. The game is fairly short, clocking in at around 4 or so hours with 14 levels (each level also has a reverse version which can add a few extra hours to your gametime). Overall, Door to Phantomile is a great platformer that really becomes a standout of the genre in some sections.
Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil follows up on the original while keeping the games main mechanics by scaling the game up. This time around, Klonoa travels through the four kingdoms of Lunatea to ring an elemental bell in each kingdom. Klonoa 2 adds a few more mechanics such as enemies that shoot you up into the sky when you grab them or cannons that can send you into the foreground or background of the level.
These additions make the game feel a lot more expansive than its predecessor which makes for what feels like a mechanically better game. The addition of bigger set pieces like being chased through a city by a robot add to this feeling too. The game is also significantly longer than its predecessor, with 24 levels in the main game to get through. Overall, I feel Klonoa 2 is an improvement over the original due to it feeling like a more ambitious title and really stands out as one of the best platformers of the PS2 era.
This remastered collection of the game comes with some notable improvements. From when you first load up the game, you’ll notice how good the game looks visually. Both games got a complete visual overhaul to bring them more in line with todays standards. The games levels are full of vibrant colors which really adds to the games charm and makes the worlds fit the series theme of dreams well. It also includes a filter that makes the games look a lot more like their original counterparts if you want to take a more nostalgic approach to the game. The games sound was also improved which makes the games excellent soundtrack even better.
However, the games voice acting unfortunately does not feel as modern as the rest of the game’s improvements do. The game also targets 60fps which makes the game feel exceptionally smooth. This collection also includes a few extra features like adjustable difficulty that can give you infinite lives and reduced damage if you are struggling with some of the more difficult levels or just want a more relaxed experience. Another addition to the game is multiplayer support. However, this mode is extremely limited as the second player is only able to assist the main player by helping Klonoa jump higher rather than being a true second player. The game also has a digital artbook and soundtrack alongside a few outfits for Klonoa but sadly this is locked behind either the games deluxe version or a pricey DLC pack which is a shame.
Overall, Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is a fantastic way to experience the often overlooked Klonoa series. With updated visuals and sound combined with some extra features, it is the definitive version of these two classic games and is definitely worth playing for fans of the platforming genre.
A great bundle of two fantastic platformers that have aged incredibly well and are definitely worth playing