Klonoa, a series that hasn’t seen the light of day since a 2008 Wii release, has made a grand return with not just one, but two remasters. I’m a big platformer fan, especially for games from this era, so yeah, I was a bit excited.
Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is a remaster of two games: Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil. The former is actually based on the 2008 Wii remake simply named Klonoa, so technically this is the second time that game has been remastered.
The games themselves play as 2.5D platformers, being in 3D, but mostly played in a 2D fashion – although the second game does feature a lot more 3D stuff. Both are good at what they set out to do: straightforward, yet fun platforming. The game mechanics are introduced at a steady rate, the environments are easily some of the best I have seen in this genre in years, and I was a really big fan of the dual purpose that enemies serve. One one hand, they are enemies and can cause you damage, but on the other, most have some sort of unique ability that can be activated only after you grab them. Some will float you up a little bit, some will blow up when thrown, there’s one that is even a puzzle in itself and requires careful planning as to how, when, and where to throw it.
It’s a lot like Kirby in this way and it works really well with the level design, hiding just enough secrets to keep exploration interesting, but without going overboard to the point of tedium. There’s always something new to find, some new boss to take down, some new environment to explore – it’s pretty good at keeping up the variety, although it is also important to note that both games combined take roughly eight hours to clear. Sounds short, but honestly, it’s perfectly fine and might even be a bit longer than it needs to.
I say that because the second game – unlike the first – does resort to a bit of backtracking with some of its levels. You’ll complete a level and then head back there a few levels later with an altered layout and aesthetic. A bit disappointing to see in place of entirely new stuff, but again, it doesn’t go overboard there.
What it does go overboard on – at least in the second game’s case – is the story. There is easily like six or seven times more dialogue in the second game compared to the first and honestly, a lot of it is not necessary. Not to say that the story is bad – I mean, it is very basic and obviously meant for a much younger audience – but maybe half of it could have been done away with and nothing of value would be lost.
The second game is also notable for being maybe twice as difficult as the first, with more involved boss fights and more precise platforming required. That latter part is not helped by the fact that the controls can feel a little off at times. Sometimes I’ll try to jump off the very edge of a platform and run right off instead because of what feels like a collision box that is smaller than it appears and sometimes I will straight up miss grabbing on to a floating grapple point for seemingly no reason.
These little things were hardly noticeable in the first game, but became much more so once I was well into the second. So while the second game may be a massive upgrade in terms of general gameplay and level design, it does have some faults of its own and I’m still struggling to decide which of the two was my favorite with this in mind. Regardless, I had a great time with both and the good vastly outweighs the bad in both games.
Then there’s the remaster stuff, including all the usuals like updated graphics, high resolution support, uncapped frame rates, customizable controls, and some new additions like difficulty options and a local co-op mode. Granted, that local co-op mode is one of those where the second player just gets to control an extra jump to help out the first player – so really only useful if you want like a really young sibling to help you out or something.
On the remaster front, the game is solid. I played it without any sort of technical issues at 4k 144fps and the controls are simple enough that it’s fine on both controller and keyboard and mouse. Of course, I still prefer a controller for platformers like this.
A few things to note though. The anti-aliasing option appears to be broken as switching it between off and 16x does not produce any noticeable difference, even when zoomed in. I was also not a fan of how aggressive the bloom setting was and ended up keeping that toggled off. Otherwise, the settings are fine.
Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is a great remaster of two fun games. Solid platforming, fantastic level design, great music, and the remaster does a nice job touching things up for modern platforms. It’s a nostalgic experience for sure – even as a newcomer to the series – and one I would recommend to platforming fans.
Quote: Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is a great remaster of two fun games. Solid platforming, fantastic level design, great music, and the remaster does a nice job touching things up for modern platforms.
Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series retails for $40 USD on Steam, but you can get an official Steam key for 15% off using my Gamesplanet partner link. This also applies to the Special Bundle DLC. It is also available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Switch.
I was provided a review copy of the game in order to write this review. Read more about how I do my game reviews here.