Klonoa review

  • Clean, simple and pretty visuals
  • Throwing idea is really well done
  • Demands masterful command of a simple ability
  • Levels don't last long enough
  • Has 1997 written all over it
  • Overall, disappointingly underwhelming

From his first appearance in 1997, there’s always been that feeling that Klonoa would have better suited a Nintendo platform – after all, giant flapping ears and whimsical rainbow vistas sit uncomfortably alongside the Tekkens and Metal Gear Solids. As a simple bit of franchise/console matchmaking, Namco’s remake is to be applauded.

But why stem the clapping there? This is no slapdash port but a facelift that plays to the Wii’s strengths: color and solidity. The 2.5D levels (2D paths that bend and twist to give the illusion of depth) are some of the most vibrant on Wii. Whether you find yourself among rolling hills, in misted mansions or shimmering crystal palaces, the level designers play fast and funky with the surroundings, throwing in mine-carts, water chutes and blustering windmills as they see fit. Water is lusciously handled, showcased as you climb a reversed waterfall – a sight that wouldn’t be out of place in Mario Galaxy.

Not that Klonoa himself has the same energy. Namco claimed to have tweaked the character for modern times – speeding him up and tidying up some jumping issues – but he does feel a little long in the tooth. Mario Galaxy showed us how the energy of a 3D character could work in 2D confines – Mario was just as loose and limber with one dimension less to be loose and limber in. Klonoa plods a little and, while we like Namco’s confidence in sticking with D-pad controls, it really does hammer home just how far platformers have evolved in the last 10 years.

But that’s not to say that this fogey can’t teach our young upstarts a thing or two about platforming basics; Klonoa goes beyond mere run and jump. Borrowing from the Nintendo school of design, this game’s developers take a simple ability – grabbing and throwing enemies – and show how to use it a hundred different ways.

More Info

Release date: May 05 2009 - Wii (US)
Available Platforms: Wii
Genre: Action
Published by: Namco Bandai
Developed by: Namco Bandai
ESRB Rating:
Everyone 10+: Tobacco Reference, Mild Cartoon Violence
PEGI Rating:
Rating Pending


  • Grenade - May 5, 2009 9:33 p.m.

    I like how you make your reviews look longer by adding screenshots, when in reality they're extremely short. On topic of the game: Meh, I was never that interested in it anyway, and its reviews aren't convincing me any further.
  • garnsr - May 6, 2009 4:24 a.m.

    Are you saying you'd like a long review about a game you never had any interest in anyway? ReCaptcha: $515,000 lacunae
  • iluvmyDS - May 6, 2009 5:26 a.m.

    Hmm, there used to be another I thought, anyway still not in-house.
  • jddillon_187 - May 9, 2009 6:38 a.m.

    "Demands masterful command of a simple ability" That kind of seems like a negative aspect...
  • garnsr - May 12, 2009 3:35 a.m.

    Castlevania demands masterful command of a simple ability: the jump. So did Super Mario, almost exclusively, in fact.
  • scbyfn4evr - May 19, 2009 3:42 p.m.

    Grenade: I like how.....fuck you. ahuh.
  • iluvmyDS - May 6, 2009 5:25 a.m.

    You mean you like to complain about reviews that aren't in-house? This is their second Klonoa review.
  • Sash - May 8, 2009 7:51 a.m.

    "When clown-faced demons invade his town, Klonoa goes to work with his windy ring." I lol'd

Showing 1-8 of 8 comments

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