Namco's Klonoa series has always been sort of interesting. It started as sort of a cult hit on PS1 and has kind of limped along for decades. There's been random sequels and spinoffs over the years, but it's always remained a slow trickle. And it's always been low key. Klonoa never had the mascot cache that Mario or Sonic or even Crash Bandicoot had. He's the quiet one.
I've played a few Klonoa games over the years. And I've always thought they were GOOD. Nothing mind-blowing, but good. I'll be honest, until recently I'm not even sure I was aware that the GBA had a Klonoa 2, or that it was a completely different game than the PS2 Klonoa 2. But it looked nice enough - I recently read a review of it in an old Nintendo Power - so I figured I'd give it a download on Wii U.
This game is definitely pleasing on the old eyes. And it's a pretty chill experience for the most part. Levels are constructed more like puzzles than anything else. So its' mostly about HOW to complete each level. While I generally hate collecting stuff to proceed, this game does it pretty well. There's three stars per level you need to open the exit. Luckily, holding L or R will let you move the camera thru the level so you can quickly find where they are. Then it just becomes about the puzzle of how to access them.
Klonoa's move set is weird. He can jump and grab enemies. That's it. He can either throw an enemy as an attack, or he can use the enemy to double jump and access higher areas. This is where the strategy comes in. Oh, and he can also kind of float for a short time - almost like Knuckles in the Sonic games but not as pronounced.
So far I like the game. I'm in the second world now, almost done with it. The first boss battle was kind of a pain in the ass, but otherwise I'm having fun.
I'm now in world 3 (of 4?) and it's starting to feel repetitious. Like, it's good. It is. But it just also feels very samey from world to world. Grab a dude, use him to double jump over this thing. Repeat. I don't know. There is some puzzle solving, and there is some action. But none of it feels great. Just... good.
I guess that's why Klonoa never really caught on. I mean, the series has its fans. But for the most part, I feel like these are good, but not quite great games. So while I don't hate playing this one, I can't help but think about better platformers I could be playing instead. Maybe I'll stick with it for a bit longer, though.