It might make me sound old, but I played Klonoa when it was came out on the original Playstation waaaaaaaaaay back in the 90s. While I liked the game enough, it wasn’t really that good, especially when you have the Tomba and Pandemonium series on the Playstation. Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series wasn’t even a blip on my radar this year.
I’ve not thought of Klonoa for years to be honest. I was vaguely aware that the first two games were going to be remastered and compiled into a collection, but it was something I didn’t really pay attention to.
Well, now both games are here in all their remastered glory.
Does that mean that you should be playing these oldies?
Here are my thoughts.
What is Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series?
Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is a remastered compilation of the first two Klonoa games, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (Playstation) and Klonoa: Lunatea’s Veil (Playstation 2). Both games are 2.5D platformers, meaning you play the game on a 2D axis but can move in and out of the background in certain sections.
Both games have been remastered, which means visual upgrades have been done but the core gameplay’s still remained the same. That means the game’s still a simplistic platformer at heart, great for beginners or kids.
Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is available right now on pretty much everything; PC, Nintendo Switch, Playstation and Xbox consoles.
Our copy was kindly gifted to us by the great folks at Bandai Namco Asia. Always appreciate it guys and gals!
As mentioned, I played the original Klonoa as a teen. I remembered it as being a cool looking platformer with bright colorful sprites and decent animation.
The Klonoa that’s been remastered trounces that mental image without mercy.
Where the old Klonoa had 3D backgrounds with 2D sprites, this remake is all 3D. It is a TREMENDOUS visual overhaul and it is most impressive.
Here’s the old game being speedrun at SQDQ 2022.
Got your fill?
Here’s the game as it looks on the Playstation 5.
HUGE difference right?
Yeah, I think so too! The game looks simplistic but it’s astounding how much the new visuals pop. Everything’s brighter and more colorful than it ever ways and runs at a speedy clip too! I’ve not encountered slowdown (which was present on the Playstation version if I remember right) on 4K at all, which is damn awesome.
Gameplay is still the same, with Klonoa mangling enemies and then using their bodies to propel himself for a jumping boost or to chuck the carcasses at items in the background or foreground. Klonoa isn’t Sonic or Mario, so you can’t jump on top of enemies to K.O. them, which I found out the hard way.
While two games are included in this compilation, Klonoa 2 is pretty much the same game as the original, but expanded as it was launched on the PS2. With the new console’s more powerful hardware, Klonoa 2 built upon the original’s platforming but didn’t really add much to the formula other than bigger stages, more interaction with the background plane and some new on-rails sections. It’s still a platformer at its heart.
There’s really not much depth to the platforming but that’s exactly the point.
Klonoa comes from an age of simplistic platformers, where all you really need to do are just nab the collectibles in the stage (6 of them), grab the gems (150 total) and then vamoose to the stage’s exit. At the end of the area, you fight a boss and get a cutscene to propel the plot onwards.
Rinse and repeat till you finish the game.
As a teen, I found the gameplay loop boring. It was a solid one, but I needed more to keep me playing.
As an adult, I found the gameplay loop charming.
It might be the nostalgia speaking but the simplistic gameplay reminds me of a bygone era, where games didn’t need fancy visuals, just solid gameplay. Ironically, the enhanced visuals of the remaster means now Klonoa is decent to play and looks good.
Included in the collection (as a separate download) are some artwork and the games’ soundtrack. I applaud Bandai Namco for going the extra mile, but it just feels like a missed opportunity.
There are only 30 included artworks for example.
15 pieces per title is nowhere near enough.
No designer commentary either, so what you see is what you get. The soundtracks are cool and with over 140 tracks, a sizeable addition. Unfortunately, you can’t download them off the PS5 so unless you want to use your console as a virtual jukebox, there’s really not much point.
The Bottom Line.
Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is a charming time portal to an era long past. The newly remastered visuals breathe new life into both games, and the simplistic gameplay has aged well despite the years.
It’s not going to blow your socks off, but the games are still great platformers that require a decent amount of skill to play, which makes them enjoyable for all ages. The newly implement Support Mode is cool too, though it being local only means any use you will get out of it will vary.
The shallow gameplay might turn off those looking for more depth but if you switch your brain off and just enjoy the ride, you’ll have a damn good time guaranteed.
Pretty visuals, smooth frame rate and decent gameplay. What else do you need?
- Great visual update.
- Solid gameplay.
- Support mode is fun.
- Simplistic gameplay.
- Not enough extras.
- Support mode is local only.