Klonoa: Empire of Dreams

-Namco (2001)

 

 

Summary

The evil Empire has scheduled the rabbit-thing's execution unless he can return the king's ability to sleep.

My Thoughts

“Damn, not again!” What the…? Did cute floppy-eared Klonoa just swear? Awe, my little Klonoa. He’s growing up so fast. Damn is not a word of much severity, but when you’re playing a game rated “E” for everyone, it’s not something you expect. Maybe this is a sign that Klonoa will take the same career path as Conker and will be getting more mature dreams in the future. Perhaps the next game will be Klonoa: Furious Dream Emissions or Klonoa: Gateway to Nocturnal Vengeance. But seriously, Klonoa: Empire of Dreams is every bit as good as the PS One and PS2 games. 

For those unfamiliar with the rabbit-thing mascot's adventures, Klonoa games are action-platformers, this one having a larger emphasis on puzzles. Klonoa uses his little Imp friend in his ring, Huepow, to capture the cute menacing creatures bent on the mission of killing Klonoa in his sleep. Klonoa uses these creatures to help him reach platforms, unlock doors, and traverse spiky pits and watery graves. The colorful graphics and smooth animation retains the high standards of the series.

The previous Klonoa games were made of long continuous stages, but Empire’s levels are constructed as a series of rooms. Klonoa must figure out how to pass through one room to get to another, or how to affect any changes in other rooms. The Klonoa games are pretty easy when it comes to figuring out how to get through the stages and Empire isn’t much different, except for the bosses. The bosses of the other games were fairly easy, but Empire’s bosses are insultingly easy. With the exception of the final boss, the player is even told how to defeat the boss during the cinema scene that leads into the battle.

Also, like the previous games, the hardest part about them is collecting every last gem. The two new types of Action Stages (Hover Board and Athletic Challenge) present in the game make that task more difficult. These stages continuously scroll, meaning if Klonoa passes by a gem, he’ll have to start the stage over if he wants to collect them all. The Hover Board stages were also in Klonoa 2, but since Empire is on the GBA these stages are side-scrolling instead of like an actual snowboarding game.

If you have played through the first game, you’ll wonder how Huepow is the one inside the ring. It’s never explained, but since it is only a dream, it doesn’t really need to be. Empire of Dreams is another worthy puzzle platformer in the Klonoa series. We still need the Klonoa RPG, cart racing, and beach volleyball games to grace our shores.

Score: 8.0

-Shawn

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