PSX Mania – 002 – Klonoa Door To Phantomile (1998)

Completion time: 5:33:59

I’ve always known that this game was held in high regard to many that have played it. For me, it’s something I’ve never played before, and have wanted to for a very long time. Compared to the next two duds after it, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile is the greatest game ever made. On its own merits? I have to say – it kinda blew me away in just about every way possible.

Everything about Klonoa stands out as something charming, whimsical, and engaging as hell. The controls, once you’re used to the nuances of it all, are set in such a way that any mistakes that are made, are solely based off the players failures, not the games. The charming visual package accentuates the experience, making every area a pleasure to explore. The audio fit the world like a glove, with some solid songs, as well as appropriate sound effects.

The biggest shock for me was the fact that the storyline was a heavy presence throughout, and not once did it feel drawn out or overdone. In fact, it was just enough exposition and plot details, making me fall for Klonoa even more. That ending though….I didn’t expect it to end that way, and how emotional the scenes were. Very well done.

The only thing that rubbed me the wrong way about Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, was the final area, with some tricky platforming to be had. But like every discovery and success in the game, it felt so damn gratifying to get past it. It’s rare when a platformer gives that kind of feeling, hell it’s rare for a platformer (a 2.5D platformer at that, something I’m not used to) to offer up enough of a storyline hook that got you to care as much as it makes you care.

I’m absolutely thrilled to have had a chance to go through Klonoa: Door to Phantomile after all these years. I’m sure not every game I’m looking forward to finally playing with be as memorable, but the impact that it left on me is quite substantial. I may go and buy the PS2 version and stream it one day, just to see where Klonoa’s adventures take him this time. Highly recommended for anyone who wants a game with a difficulty that’s just right, solid controls and just an overall charming world to visit.

Rating: 9

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