Namco is known for fighting games, racing games, rail shooters, and even RPGs. Namco is not well known for side-scroller platformers, and it's a damn shame because Klonoa is good enough to stand next to the greats in this genre.
It's not a particularly hard or long game, but what Klonoa lacks in length it makes up for in good old-fashioned Japanese charm. Klonoa's worlds are vibrant, animated, and just plain fun to play in. The story is surprisingly mature (not mature in a gratuitous violence bloody way, but mature in a dramatic, adult way), especially given the cartoon-like setting and character design.
The way you deal with enemies is brilliantly original. They're not a threat so much as a puzzle piece in your quest to either get through the level or get to that hard-to-reach secret corner. Klonoa's ability to grab an enemy and use it as a weapon or as a double jump is both reminiscent of Kirby and Mario games, but still wholly original.
The problem is, once you're done with Klonoa, that's it. There are few reasons to play it again, since you're likely to see 90% of the game by the end. The secret areas aren't really very secret, so you'll get most of them just by playing through with your eyes open. Considering that this is a remake of the original PlayStation game, I would have expected Namco to put a little more extras in for fans who beat the game. It's nice to have the updated graphics and sound, but the unlocked time attack and reverse mode aren't enough to keep me engaged. And I couldn't care less about costume changes for the main character.
Klonoa is really fun while it lasts and a must-play rental for anyone who likes 2D-style platformers, but don't expect this remake to revolutionize the genre.
Game Title: Klonoa
Publisher: NamcoBandai Games
Release Date: 05th May 2009