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Nintendo Wii Review: Klonoa

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This single-player platform adventure game launches some exciting action, puzzle solving and dynamic scenarios in an impressive visual palette. The engaging story and action physics place the lead character, a floppy eared…er, handed Klonoa, and his blue ball sidekick Hewpoe, in the typical hero role. Klonoa encounters the standard boss fights while collecting several items, but it’s the little touches that make this well-planned game special.

The four control options include using the Wii remote horizontally, the remote with nunchuck connected, classic controller, and Game Cube controller.

With great continuity from the original 1997 PlayStation game Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and a refresher from the last Klonoa game Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament, released in early 2005 on the GameBoy Advance, the only downfall is the medium replay value.

Klonoa must rescue the dreamland village of Phantomile from the clutches of the villain Ghadius, the King of Darkness, and his tiny sidekick, Joker. Klonoa gets help from Grandpa and songstress Lephise. The 14 levels contain short chapters or visions then expand to bonus stages when conquered and even a reverse mode with even more challenge that has an additional bonus stage.

The storybook-like maps contain all the items you could want including gold coins, keys, silver coins, crystals and hearts. Jump up and pop the bubbles for special items like the helpful mirror fairy and memory clocks that serve as save points. Pop bubbles to rescue captured villages as well.

The simple controls help you focus and enjoy the colorful visuals. Use one button to jump or double jump and one button to attack/launch bad guys to your advantage. The game provides strong control and direction on the jumps, so you can get right where you want easily.

You can also circle around areas, get through openings or portals or catch a ride on moving platforms. The fluid motions continue by sliding through streams of water, floating up air vents, and riding carts. The special wind themed powers can really give you an advantage, especially the Whirlwind, to slow down the baddies…when they’re actually trying to attack you.

Shadows help you find hidden items while the puzzles and elaborate mazes match the fluid controls perfectly. The audio includes English and Phantomile and a solid music score which enhances the dynamic scenarios. On-screen prompts, text, and signs provide simple instructions.

Klonoa is a worthwhile journey that needs a multiplayer/online component in the next installment for a higher replay value. Overall, it's satisfying gameplay that leaves you wanting more.

Klonoa is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB for mild cartoon violence and tobacco reference.


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