Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series PS5 Review – The Klonoa franchise started on the original PlayStation, and since its inception, has garnered a cult following and numerous titles spreading across multiple platforms. Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series bundles the original two titles into one package, and is an excellent, true-to-form remaster that should satisfy fans and newcomers alike.
Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series PS5 Review
A Great Return For A Classic Franchise
Although the franchise has over six games in its catalogue, only the original two are packaged in the Phantasy Reverie Series. Although this is the first time Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil is being remastered, the original Klonoa: Door to Phantomile is getting a second remaster.
The first Klonoa game received a remaster on the Nintendo Wii, and it appears that this remaster is the same one included in the Reverie Series, along with a few more updates.
Both games follow Klonoa, a cat-like creature with large ears that allow him to hover for a few seconds. Klonoa discovers a mysterious ring that has fallen from the sky. As Klonoa pulls the ring out of the ground, a mysterious creature appears from the ring, giving Klonoa wind abilities allowing him to shoot wind bullets and inflate his enemies.
The two set out on a journey to stop an evil man from turning the world’s happy dreams into nightmares. It’s a simple story we’ve seen many times before, but it worked back in 1997.
Simple Storytelling And Simple Platforming For Better Or Worse
Klonoa 2 takes place right as the original ends and sees Klonoa in a different world once again, trying to help the various life forms stop an evil pirate from collecting elemental stones and ruling over the planet by subjecting everyone to sorrow and sadness.
Klonoa 2 has a bigger story to tell with more animated cutscenes and, at points, a lot of dialogue which is surprising for a platformer of this type. It’s one of the reasons I consider this collection a remaster rather than a remake. The collection is almost identical to the original with a new coat of paint.
Klonoa is a 2.5D platformer. The world is 3D, but Klonoa moves around on a 2D plane. The first game is very by the books, but the sequel opens up some more options and features some on-rails moments with Klonoa surfing on a hoverboard through some stages.
Combining Combat And Platforming For One Great Experience
Klonoa uses its ring tool not only for combat but also to help him get around each stage. Both games play identical, with Klonoa using his ring to grab enemies and inflate them carrying them around with him.
Klonoa can use these captured enemies to throw them are opponents or use them to gain a double jump as he uses them as a jumping step in midair. That’s all there is to the game, making it one of the most straightforward platformer you’ll likely play. That’s not to say it gets boring and repetitive; the game interweaves these two mechanics to solve puzzles and take down some unique bosses.
Puzzles are one of the best aspects of Klonoa. Using your double jump ability along with your ring, there are moments where you’ll have to constantly move from enemy to enemy midair, constantly grabbing each enemy and using them as a jumping platform.
Fun Puzzles Add A Lot To The Games Experience
Other puzzles come in the form of using your enemies to throw at switches, which requires precision timing to hit each switch before time runs out. In the second game, there are crystals you have to destroy by using a golden butterfly.
Each time you lob something at an enemy, it absorbs and changes colours. Multiple puzzles require you to turn the butterfly to a specific colour by absorbing a set amount of enemies while trying to figure out just how to do it when obstacles and platforming sections are involved.
The puzzles are just the right difficulty to get you to think about how to solve them but not tricky enough to have you pulling your hair out. My main issue with the platforming is that sometimes I feel like the wind bullet is inaccurate.
I would often miss grabbing an enemy in midair because it felt like a half-second delay between a button press and the execution. Many times, I fell to my death when it was clear I should have made the connection needed to survive.
Each Boss Is Unique And Fun To Battle
Boss battles are a joy in Klonoa, especially in the second title. Utilizing the simplicity of the combat and platforming. The patterns of the boss fights and the various stages they go through make them entertaining. One boss requires you to use a rocket-boosted enemy in a double jump that points you upward like a rocket to hit the boss’s belly weak point as it leaps into the air to jump on you.
The same boss fight then has the boss crawling beneath you, forcing you to propel a captured enemy downward to push parts of the platform down and knock the boss off the platform. Each boss utilizes unique tactics, which are entirely different from the other.
A Visual Upgrade And Not Much More
Klonoa is a charming franchise, and even though the writing is essentially unchanged, the game’s visuals and character design ooze charm. Even as a remaster, the visuals are dated by today’s standards. Klonoa offers some likeable character and monster designs reminiscent of classic Kerby titles.
The game’s soundtrack is ripped right out of the originals, for better or worse. There are a lot of tracks that I thought were bad and some that were great. In particular, the boss music feels pretty epic. The games have voice acting, but it’s not in actual language. Characters speak in their own dialect, which sounds like the voice work in Okami and Animal Crossing.
As far as any real updates for current-gen consoles outside of Trophies, there isn’t anything significant. Difficulty options have been added that make the game a joy.
Suppose you find the game too difficult, believing that later stages will test your patience. In that case, you can play the games on easy mode, providing you with infinite lives, making the experience much more enjoyable, at least it did for me. Those looking for a challenge can unlock harder difficulty modes and test their skills.
Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is an elegant revamp that faithfully preserves the gameplay of the originals. With that said, fans of the originals will remember every moment of these two classic platformers, and newcomers will get to experience games from a simpler time.
Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is now available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5
Review code provided by PR