PlayStation 2

Released in 2001 in all regions, Klonoa 2 is the sequel to Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, which appeared on the PS1 in 1997 in Japan, and 1998 in other regions, a remake was also released on the Wii.

I first found out about the game on a demo disc I got with my PS2, and I remember absolutely loving it, and I kept bugging my parents to get me it (I was 8 at the time, shut up!), and they eventually gave in, and got me the game, and I played it for hours on end!

Sadly, nobody I know has even heard of this game, and I think it’s a shame, it’s definetly a hidden gem, in my opinion, and more people should give the game a try!

The story starts with the game’s hero, Klonoa, a cat-rabbit hybrid, floating in an Ocean, and is then swept up on shore in a rocky island, where he is found by 2 supporting characters, Lolo and Popka, who help Klonoa on his quest, which is to ring 4 bells spread throughout Lunatea, the dream world in which the game takes place, in order to maintain harmony throughout the world, which is a far as I’m going to explain the plot, as I don’t want to spoil anything. I’m doing the story a serious injustice right now, and probably doesn’t sound exciting to any of youse, but trust me, the story is a lot more exiting than that. Besides, in a game like this, in my opinion, the story is the least important part.

“Well what kind of game is it?” I hear you ask. Well, Klonoa 2 is a puzzle-platformer rendered in real time 3D but plays like a 2D platformer in the sense that you’re stuck on a 2D path and can only go left and right. The gameplay isn’t entirely 2D, however, as the path you’re stuck on commonly turns and twists, and can even split into several paths, giving an illusion that the game is 3D.

The game is very unique in a sense that you are wielded with a ring, which, if shot at objects or enemies, can pick them up, and can be used to destroy other enemies, or use it to jump higher to get to hard to reach places. Some enemies allow you to fly for a few seconds, and some explode.

The main goal of each level, minus the bosses, is simply going from point A to point B, however, you have to solve puzzles in the levels in order to do so, but never does it feel like the puzzles are shoe-horned in, or get in the way of the experience. The game is split up to 5 sections, and they’re the stereotypical sections you’d expect to see, you get your ice levels, your carnival levels, town levels, etc. All of which are nicely done, and look great!

In each level, you can also collect puzzle pieces, they are 6 in each level, collect all of them in enough levels and you can unlock a “jukebox”, although they don’t seem to do much other than that, not that it stops me from getting out of my way to get them all, that is.

Sadly, the game isn’t very hard, it’s long, with many levels, and the levels themselves are very long (without it ever dragging on, I might add), but you could easily blast through the game and beat it in a matter of hours. It’s a shame, really.

The graphics looked beautiful for the time, and they’ve aged very well since, with it’s vast, colourful environments, which set a nice, light-hearted tone for most of the game. as a kid, I remembered just stopping to have the occasional gaze at the backgrounds.

As for everything else, it all looks nice and sharp, the characters look fantastic, and to top it all off, the game runs are at a silky-smooth 60 frames per second, with no slowdowns what so ever, the only thing missing, is a progressive scan mode, but most PS2 games didn’t have that, so I guess I’ll let it slide.

This music accompanies the game brilliantly, the tracks fit right in with the levels they’re attached to, and they are some very memorable tracks (Stepping Wind, anybody? … No? Aww!), you can get the game’s soundtrack on CD, and I recommend you get that as well, they are usually copies floating around on eBay.

The sound effects do well to give the game that light-hearted, perhaps, “magical” spirit as well, and as for voices, the game is entirely spoken in a fictional, made-up language, with English (or whatever language you set it to) subtitles, I like this, to me, it really makes me believe that the story is truly set in another world.

Overall, I absolutely adore this game, I loved it a child, and I love it now! If you haven’t played this, then I thoroughly recommend you try it, you can get the game fairly cheap these days if you know where to look, and the PS4 is supposed to get on-disc PS2 compatibility in an upcoming update, so there’s no excuse to not get it!

My Score – 8/10