The big-eared feline double jumps onto the small screen
Although it wasn't Klonoa's first foray onto a handheld (the WonderSwan game predates it), Klonoa debuted on the Game Boy Advance with Klonoa: Empire of Dreams, a puzzle platformer with some ingenious design and plenty of brain-busting challenges. It's quite unlike its big brother console iterations, as those games have a higher focus on action rather than puzzles in their platforming. Not only was it a pleasure to see the series reach the Game Boy Advance back in the day, it's a pleasure for gamers and Wii U owners particularly to be able to get to play the series on the Virtual Console in digital form.
|Anyone have some Pepto Bismol?|
My friend's bloating up in here!
Instead of locking Klonoa away and tossing the key, the Emperor gives him a task: defeat four turmoil-inducing monsters within the kingdom and his freedom will be honored. Given no real choice, Klonoa and his helpful bud Huepow head off to the first land posthaste.
Empire of Dreams tells its playful tale through still-frame scenes, brightly colored and full of character and charm. The brunt of the story bookends the meat of the game, its platforming and puzzling fun.
|Kitty can't swim, so hit the button on the left |
to raise and lower this body of water.
|Thanks for the lift, pal!|
There's a multitude of different objects and obstacles in the various levels that Klonoa comes across. For instance, there's wind channels that will blow Klonoa high up into the air. However, he is unable to cross through them. Instead, he needs to grab a large block that will weigh him down, enabling Klonoa to either stop the flow of air completely or pass through.
|I wasn''t going to play this level,|
but then I "caved." Phil: master of bad puns.
Five lands make up Empire of Dreams, and each possesses around eight levels each, not including the ending boss fight that caps off each land. Not all stages are pure puzzle platforming. Two bonus levels appear in each land, one of which being a fast-paced hoverboard level and the other being an auto-scrolling pure-platforming affair. Both of these bonus levels are not needed to complete to beat the game, but they do offer a heavy twitch-based type of platforming that one doesn't get through the typical puzzle-based levels. Also, they are great to boost the longevity of the game!
|This hoverboard would make|
Marty McFly proud!
[SPC Says: 8.0/10]