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The Klonoa series began in late 1997 in Japan and was critically well received by numerous gaming publications and magazines. Klonoa: Door to Phantomile was not only Klonoa's first adventure, but also one of the first PlayStation platformers to feature two-dimensional character artwork on a rendered, three-dimensional backdrop. This led to the creation of the phrase 2.5D to distinguish it between other games that either relied totally on one or the other. Since Door to Phantomile, several other games have employed this method. A remake of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile by the same name was released December 4th in Japan for the Wii console. It features completely revised graphics and voice acting, as well as many unlockable bonuses that were not in the original. These include new costumes, Mirrored Visions, and challenge areas.

180px-Klonoa Heroes screen

Klonoa fighting an enemy in Klonoa Heroes.

Klonoa's second appearance, Klonoa: Moonlight Museum was released solely in Japan for the Japanese-only WonderSwan handheld system in 1999. It is noteworthy for being Klonoa's first handheld appearance and his first fully two-dimensional one. Despite lacking the artful style of the first game, Moonlight Museum set the standard for the approaching Game Boy Advance titles like Klonoa: Empire of Dreams the following year. Though it was very similar in style and execution to the previous game, it was developed for the more sophisticated Game Boy Advance hardware and was also available in North America and Europe.

Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil was released for the PlayStation 2 with moderate success in 2001. It returned to the series' roots and had more in common with the original game than the other titles in the series. This game used a cel-shading method for the characters and also marked the first appearances of several prominent Klonoa characters, such as Lolo, Popka, Leorina and Tat. It has been stated in many game magazines that it is "The most underrated game of all time" and that it did not get as popular as it deserved. It is a very child friendly game, with a story line that they could easily understand, but at the same time had a lot more powerful message going through various points of the game which the older gamers would understand and enjoy. It's different types of gameplay includes a standard set of plat-former levels in the "2.5D" style, hover-boarding down snowy mountains and water-parks, time-attack challenges, puzzle solving, and epic boss fights, introducing the "360 degrees" system.

A third handheld title, Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament was released for the Game Boy Advance in Japan in 2002 with a heavily belated release in North America three years later. Utilizing the same game engine as Empire of Dreams, Dream Champ Tournament was a similar gaming experience that benefited from more sophisticated puzzles and featured a newer cast of supporting characters.

A Klonoa: Door to Phantomile is due to be released in the UK only for Wii. The game has already been released in Japan and the release date for the UK has not yet been confirmed.

His sole sports title, Klonoa Beach Volleyball released for the PlayStation in Japan and later Europe, featured Klonoa and his friends in a unique version of volleyball. A North American version was never made.

Klonoa Heroes: Legend of the Star Medal was released solely in Japan in late 2002. Taking a unique twist on the series, the game is an Action RPG, rather than a platformer and is played from a top-down perspective.

Klonoa: Door to Phantomile (Wii) is a Wii remake of the first game. It is for one-player, and supports 4 different controls; Wiimote, Wiimote and Nunchuk, Classic Controller and the Gamecube Controller.


References

  • Klonoa and Guntz appear as a playable duo in Namco's cross-over RPG, Namco x Capcom. They retain similar moves from Klonoa Heroes. Joka, Janga & various varieties of Moos also appear as a part of the game's enemies while Lolo & The High Priestess of La-Lakoosha appear as non-playable characters.

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