Klonoa: Door to Phantomile

released on Dec 11, 1997
by Namco

Klonoa: Door to Phantomile is a side-scrolling platform game viewed from a "2.5D" perspective. The player moves the protagonist, Klonoa, along a path in a two-dimensional fashion, but the game is rendered in three dimensions. This allows the path followed to curve and for the player to interact with objects outside of the path.

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Klonoa: The Door to Phantomile is a fairly breezy game. It took me a while to warm up to it, but after a couple levels I was on board. The style of the game is beautiful, personally I prefer it to any of the later remakes. The 2D sprites look great, and the environments are simple but very evocative when combined with the competent score. It's a game that just feels great to play.
Klonoa really only has one main mechanic, you can grab enemies and use them to double jump or as a projectile. Combine this with a sort of fly/float you can do to maintain height in a jump for a few seconds and that's pretty much all your options. The game explores these mechanics very thoroughly, and whie the difficulty ramps up toward the end I never really found it too difficult even in the bonus level.
For me, the length was about perfect. When credits rolled I was satisfied, and surprisingly even quite invested in story, world and characters. Looking forward to playing the sequel!

After finishing Silent Hill four times in a row I wanted something cuter to cleanse my palate a bit, and did this fully deliver!
The entire world Klonoa was intentionally made to look like a children's fantasy storybook, something that you whould read a kid before sleep to have sweet dreams, this is not only one of the prettiest PS1 games I've seen, but it might be the one with the strongest art direction. Everything from the colors, character and level design, even the way characters talk in cutesy gibberish during cutscenes, but some things like names are clearly heard, like we're listening to some fantasy language, it all oozes that childlike joy that I also relate a lot to some artistic trends from Japan during the late 90's (specifically the movie Catnapped or Little Nemo) and that I also consider very pretty and nostalgic.
I wasn't expecting the game to be a bit sad at times. Of course it is still within what you'll expect from a fairytale where our hero or their world must go through some hardship, it was a surprising touch that added a bit more to what is a simple yet very enjoyable story if you still remember those old childhood fables.
Gameplay is simple, but it takes advantage to every avaliable action that can be performed into a 2.5D space to the max. Making the player able to see platforms on a different plane that you can later explore gives a great sense of depth to the levels, moreso in the cases when we can interact with them by throwing enemies (quick detail here that I forgot to mention, the enemies on their ball forms are adorable, every single one could make great plushies) or just to keep the space consistent. Even the lackluster glide Klonoa does makes all the difference in some late game jumping distance.
A small detail that I notice is that besides map modeling, only the bosses are fully 3D modeled, I don't know if it's just me but I think it may be a way to convey how otherworldy and different these enemies are now that they are influenced by the power of nightmares, Ghadius being in that state constantly adds a bit to his presence...
Overall a very cute and worthwile experience (even if a bit short compared to other platformers), with fantastic visuals, cute and heartfelt vibes, and great music.

My personal favorite game of all time, story is magical if I describe it any other way I'd be spoiling it, the game is gorgeous the music slaps everything about it is just perfect the only bad thing is that it's a short game

Cute little platformer, boiled my blood
A bit stiff for PS1 standards

Klonoa: Door to Phantomile is one of the best Playstation games. It's my favorite game ever so this mayy be a biased review, but I'll point out flaws.
Gameplay & Level design: 4.5/5
It's simple, yet well designed. Klonoa can float and grab enemies and either throw them or use them as a double jump. This is simple but the levels account for a way to make it actually fun. The weakest vision is 4, as it strangely doesn't seem to use any 2.5D elements. Even then, it's not that bad to make you want to cry or whatever. The bosses are the weakest part of the game OVERALL. They're either good at worst or just tedious at worst. A boss fight I can recall is the Vision 5 boss fight. I swear, everytime I launched an enemy, where there weren't any obstacles, it deflected either way.
Story: 5/5
I'm not crying, you are! Klonoa Door to Phantomile talks about a small weird cat rabbit thing called Klonoa meeting up with his Huepow. One day, they hear something crash on top of the bell, just like in his dream where he meets Huepow. Klonoa and Huepow walk over there, while meeting up with Balue who tells them about Lephise, to see two faces, Joka and Ghadius. They plan to take revenge upon Phantomile by summoning Nahatomb. Ghadius and Joka are near an unconcious Lephise which Ghadius leaves with. Joka then hears Klonoa and Huepow and throws out a weird fucking thing called Rongo Lango to defeat them. This is all I can say without spoiling it, DTP's story is absolutley beautiful.
Graphics: 5/5
It has a certain charm and ooze I love. I really like the sprites on top of the 3D enviroment, it's really aged well, actually. Then again, in my opinion most PS1, N64, Dreamcast and etc. games have graphics that have aged well. Some characters are 3D models but it's rare.
Music: 5/5
Klonoa's soundtrack goes from a happy go-lucky high note theme to a dream-like and honestly beautiful theme. If I told you that "The windmill song" and "Untamed heart" were from the same game, you wouldn't believe me. The soundtrack fits the levels like a nice jacket.
Overall: 5/5
wahoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D