Klonoa: Door To Phantomile is a cute 2.5D platformer that excels in it’s simplicity.
You play as Klonoa and his sidekick Huepow who are on a quest to save the land of Phantomile from evil Ghadius, the games villain.
You traverse 2.5D levels where you use Huepow to grab enemies, either throwing them at targets or using them to propel Klonoa upwards to reach platforms or items.
On the surface it’s quite basic, but later in the game grab jumps must be chained to reach higher places which can involve tricky timing, especially in the games true final level.
Graphically the game is quite charming, with kawaii aesthetics and bright colors. Levels will often show other paths in the background, and occasionally you can travel between them. The combination of 2D sprites and early 3D effects looked incredible on my Sony PVM.
Where the game really impressed me though was the soundtrack. It’s absolutely gorgeous and has been stuck in my head since I started playing. The theme from the forest level in p articular is my favorite.
As I mentioned at the beginning, Klonoa: Door To Phantomile excels in it’s simplicity. The game lasts around five hours, levels and boss fights progress at a steady rate rising in difficulty but never feeling frustrating or unfair.
There is only one type of collectible, which is easily tracked and upon completion unlocks a challenging extra level that will test your skills and is satisfying to complete.
Everything about this game is concise and well executed, which may be to it’s detriment in the eyes of some gamers, but for me, it’s something sorely lacking in the medium.
My only complaint, which isn’t really a complaint at all is the ending, which sucker punched me with it’s bitter sweet plot twist.