Klonoa
Review By: Joe

Okay, I know platformers (the games where you jump around a lot and try not to fall or get killed by something) aren't the biggest sellers in the world. I know that most people past the fifth grade wouldn't be caught dead playing these suckers because they have a bit of a childish feel to them and they are never exactly deep on storyline or violence or anything like that. However, I feel that if you still laugh when people fart, you can suck it up (ew, not the fart, sick dude!) and indulge in some mindless, eye-hand coordination fun. And if you don't laugh when people fart, I believe you are made of equal parts of shit, poo, and crap and you shoot whole lizards out of your ass. That's right, whole fucking lizards!! Now, on to the game.

In Klonoa we follow the adventures of a boy (named Klonoa oddly enough!) as he saves the land of Phantomile from this evil guy named Ghadius who wants to make everything a nightmare forever. What bugs me about the game is that in the manual they refer to Klonoa just as I have, as a boy. I did that because I didn't know what else to call the bastard. He's like some crazy black and white dog that wears a hat and fat pants. He also has really long ears that he uses to glide short distances. OH YES HE IS A BOY. A BOY WHAT!? THANK YOU SO MUCH, MANUAL OF LIES. Anyway, the story is pretty much incidental. I mean, it's a platformer. However, for all it's worth Namco (the developers) did try to make the story rather deep for a platformer. There are a surprising amount of cutscenes (most done with the in-game engine but there is some really nice FMV). The story never gets incredibly convoluted or anything but sometimes it attempts to be complicated and just comes out stupid, nonsensical, really wacky, and Japanese (because the game is Japanese, yes? Hmm, yes!). Although the story isn't all that important, there are some surprising emotional events in it. One is the actual death of one of the good characters and the ending FMV is so fucking sad you're gonna cry like a stupid baby with a dumb head! If you don't you are not human! YOU ARE JUST NOT HUMAN YOU INHUMAN NOT HUMAN BEAST!!!

As for the actual game, it basically plays like this. There are two buttons. You hit one button to jump and the other to shoot a wind bullet (yes) which grabs enemies. You can also hold the jump button while in the air to glide for a short period of time. That's it. There are two alternate buttons that do the exact same thing if you don't care for the first two you are given but I don't see why you wouldn't, you penis. Pretty basic, eh? Certainly is but that's what makes this game so durn good. I personally rejoice every time I see a game that doesn't completely use every button on the controller because that means I don't have to learn a bunch of annoying, convoluted controls and I can just whack a few buttons and have fun fun in the pants (!). Now this game only uses two buttons (and the directional pad of course, doofus) so I smile like dumbfuck! NOW, you will wonder the following, YOU WILL WONDER!!!! Your wondering will look like this: "Golly gosh Bobby Johansen, with only two buttons just how long can this game be entertaining for?". Well listen up, dick, because I will tell your face (the rest of you must leave the room).

Yes, all you really do is jump and grab enemies. HOWEVER, once you grab the enemy, you have a world (well a couple) of possibilities open to you. You can either hit the shoot button again and throw the enemy at another enemy, a switch, some sort of blockade, the wall, whatever OR you can jump and then hit jump again to stick the enemy underneath you and use them to do a double jump. This all leads to quite a bit of strategy (not that it's horribly difficult to figure out or anything) like when you get up to a ledge that is just out of reach and you must go grab an enemy and use them to jump up there. Throwing enemies comes into play as you will encounter certain things like large enemies that can only be destroyed with another enemy. Sometimes, there are enemies that can only be killed from above so you have to use a double jump as you throw the enemy downward when you jump up. I know that as I talk about this, it still doesn't really sound like all that much can be done but the developers have worked so many different ideas and events into the environment that this never gets old. I didn't get tired of the game at all and enjoyed how the simplicity of it could be used to such a great extent. Trust me, it's fun. TRUST ME, GOD DAMMIT!

Let's go into the technicalities now. I actually liked the graphics quite a bit. This game is probably about second generation Playstation so, therefore, you'll have to be prepared for some blocky 3-D graphics. However, if you keep in mind when this game is from as I did, you might realize that these graphics are pretty nice. I never really looked at something in the game and thought "WOW, THAT'S UGLY!!!". In fact, I thought they were surprisingly good for a second generation Playstation title. However, if you are strictly a man/woman of the future, I guess you may not like the graphics much at all. Of course you also drink pee, FUTURE PEE, THE PEE OF THE FUTURE!!! DUN DUN DUH DUNNNNNNNNNN! Fucker.

Oh, here's something I should've addressed earlier but didn't. I do this a lot. I really could go back and edit it in but nahhhhhh. The game is actually a 2-D sidescroller like the days of old with the NES and SNES. This is another reason I like the game so much because I never completely weaned myself off of 2-D and so it still makes me overjoyed like a schoolgirl when someone releases a 2-D game. Now the game is basically a 2-D sidescroller platformer mothafucka (oh oh not the last one!) but it is set in 3-D environments. "HUH WHAT, NICOLA JENKINS?!". I shall explain. Here's a good example. Let's say you see a path that curves to the right in front of you (in front meaning to the right of the screen because this is a sidescroller, right?). Now you just hold to the right and Klonoa (who, along with the other characters, is a 2-D sprite) runs along the path as the camera zooms around the path to compensate. You don't have to navigate the curb, you just hold one direction. The 3-D is really just there to add flare and style to the game I suppose because this sucker really is just a 2-D sidescroller. HOWEVER, the 3-D is used well to some extent! Sometimes, there will be things in the foreground or background that can be interacted with (meaning you can throw enemies at it). Generally it's an egg which will break open and then you get something from it but it can also be a switch or something like that. At any rate, it's a cool idea and it's always nicely implemented.

Cons about this game?! What cons you foolish poopy face?! Okay there are some but they are few and far between. One quick one is that sometimes, due to the crazy 2-D/3-D mishmash extravaganza that you are always presented with, it is difficult to figure out if something is in the foreground or background or on the same plain as you. Instances of this are few and far between, however, and I only really lost a life once because of this so it's not a big complaint.

Other complaints are that the game is really not very difficult. It starts out very easy and does have a nice curve as it gets more challenging but it never really becomes a head-bashing difficulty angerfest. I personally liked it this way because it was challenging to the point where, if you screwed up, you'd want to try again but it wasn't annoying to the point that you fucking hated the game and wanted its family to get crushed by a bus and you aren't even having fun anymore and just wanna get past the one part and you're all like "GRR SHIT FUCK! STUPID GAME! AND YET I PLAY ON?! WHY??!!". You know those parts I'm talking about, right? Sure ya do. Well, anyway, some people might be disappointed by the absence of huge amounts of difficulty but I personally think it gets just challenging enough near the end.

Last thing is that the game ain't that long. Took me about two days of playing to beat it and then, because I was bored, I sat there for about a half hour (so I guess that proves it can be pretty danged short) and essentially played through the entire game again grabbing all 150 gems in each level even though it doesn't really unlock anything else. It just makes all these little dancing monsters appear on your map. Overall, two days for a platformer isn't that bad but I dunno, you people are all whiny bitches so maybe it will make you unhappy. You can shut it.

All in all, this is one of the better platformers I've played in my life. It's a fun little romp that manages to keep the same idea fresh throughout the whole thing (there are parts where you ride mine carts and stuff by the way, so there's a bit of variety, sorry I did not mention, whores!). It's also pretty easy to pick up so most anyone can play it, at least up to a point where it starts getting kinda bitchy. Not a real problem for the gaming community but for your stupid mother, probably. Anyway, they don't make this game anymore and it's actually really rare and hard to find. I personally had to rent it. Your question then is this! Why do I pose this review to you now when there's a good chance you can't even play the sonofabitch!? WELL! Essentially it's this: Klonoa 2 just came out for the Playstation 2. I figured I'd review the first one before reviewing the second one though just because I fucking well felt like it, dammit. Besides, since when does this site involve reviews of things you'll actually experience for yourself? I mean, really, are you honestly planning to go out and see Puppet Master II? Pfff.


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