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A.P.I Review: KLONOA
Developer: Sony OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Sony 1 Player
Game Type: Platform Memory Card
Review Date: June 1998 Digital Pad

Setting the Scene

In the land of lost dreams, the evil Ghadius has kidnapped the 
beautiful Diva who holds the key that will unlock a mystical hidden 
power. Klonoa witnesses this evil act and along with his spherical 
friend "huepow" sets off to rescue her.


If you are sick of solving taxing brain-teasers and in need of 
some stress free gaming, then this colorful 3D platform game from 
Sony may be just what you are looking for. The game is similar 
in style to the Pandemonium series of games, in that you are 
really playing a two-dimensional game with 3D backgrounds.


Klonoa looks like a furry cat who's ears have been stretched 
to the point where they can be used to fly through 
the air. His little friend Huepow is even stranger - looking 
like a hairy floating golf ball on steroids! Many of the enemies 
look like those "space hoppers" that you used to bounce around 
on when you were a kid and when you capture them, they are 
inflated to the point of busting... Who else other than the Japanese 
could of thought of such a wacky set of characters for a game!

While each of these characters are standard sprites, the backgrounds 
are huge complex three dimensional areas, filled with wonderfully 
animated objects. The camera angles sweep in and out of the various 
levels showing off these graphics perfectly and apart form a few 
instances where your character disappears for a moment, they work 
very well to enhance the gameplay.

Sounds and Effects

The sound effects are perfect for this type of game. 
All are crisp, clear and very arcade-like.

The background tunes by contrast are all very uninspired and the 
best that can be said about them is that at least they are not 
annoying and irritating to listen to.


Its looks like the developers of this game took a good hard look 
at Pandemonium and then applied a whole host of Japanese influences 
to bring us something that both looks and plays very differently.

For example, during various points in Klonoa the gameplay is brought 
to a halt while your character talks to various other people within 
the vicinity. This gives it a very story-like feeling that draws you 
further into the game.

While you can't jump on your enemies to kill them, you can use your 
close range weapon to grab and inflate them. Once done, you can either 
pick them up and throw them at other enemies, or bounce on them to 
take you high into the air - allowing you to reach objects and areas 
that are otherwise unreachable. They can also be used to reveal various 
power-ups, such as additional lives.

Many of the enemies are both slow and stupid offering little challenge 
as you progress through the earlier levels. Most of your lives will be 
lost by misjudging jumps and falling off the platforms themselves.

The game also has many of the traditional platform elements. Picking up 
100 of the many jewels scattered around each of the levels rewards you 
with an additional life, while shooting at the icons which are inside 
large bubbles will free them for your use. These icons range from health 
restorers to jewel multipliers.

At the end of each level you will have to face a "boss" of some description. 
Our favorite was on the second world, here's a quick idea of what to expect...
...After freeing a little fish, it offers to carry you on its back to the 
castle on the understanding that you save it's mother who has been put 
under an evil spell by the owner of the castle - 'Sedoph'. No sooner has
the small fish dropped you onto a pair of floating platforms within the 
castle, than all chaos breaks loose! large spiked balls start rolling 
towards you and sedoph himself appears riding on the back of the mother 
fish (Pamela), screaming at her to jump out of the water and knock you off the 

To free Pamela you must grab and inflate Sedoph and then shoot him at 
the mother fish while she jumps out of the water trying to hit you. 
All of this must be done while jumping over the huge spiked balls which
relentlessly roll towards you. While this may sound complicated, its actually 
very straightforward. However its all too easy to get yourself into a mess, 
forget which keys do what and lose a handful of lives in the process. 

To avoid frustration setting in, every level you complete will be saved 
to your memory card. When you finally run out of lives, you only need 
to go back to the start of the furthest level you made it up to. When 
restarting you are only given one life - so don't think that this feature
will make the game much easier to complete.

Value for Money

There are six different worlds to navigate, with each world 
being split into two massive levels. The difficulty level is such 
that most competent gamers will complete it within a few days, however 
if you found the later levels of Pandemonium impossible, or have younger 
kids who love this type of game, then Klonoa would be a perfect purchase.
GRAPHICS: 18/20 Namco have produced a great stress free game here and the inclusion of hidden features and timed bonus stages that will only be unlocked after the game has been completed, helps to enhance the longevity of the game.

Those you who completed the sequels of Tomb Raider and Resident Evil within a few hours will no doubt argue that this game offers little or no challenge, however for the rest of us mere mortals it offers a several days of enjoyable gaming.
SOUND: 4/10
VALUE: 14/20


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