Klonoa: Empire of Dreams
Klonoa: Empire of Dreams for the Game Boy Advance Nintendo handheld game system
Now this was the first Klonoa game I bought. After playing it, I was hooked. This game set a gold standard for GBA games for me, platformers specifically, and this was a definate before-its-time, being one of the first GBA games to be released.
As with all Klonoa games, its a standard platformer. Unlike its earlier relatives, it is full 2D, as a GBA able to emulate 3D would be a miracle. The sprites a well done, they fit together very well, fully articulate design spaing no pixel of Klonoa's character and essence in attacking, jumping, and the other things a game character basically does. The enemies are particularly something, as they reflect the lighting effect that would be present in a 3D game. The background is not as intricately designed, often being a single landscape. The level design is a bit more detailed on most maps, despite the glossy background. Here is a screenshot of ingame play:
While not showing much in foreground, you can plainly see the glossy land-scaped background, but it isn't very noticable during in-game play, despite its obvious nature. Cut-scenes have nicely rounded textures, showing obvious work in detailing most parts of the character and background images, with touch ups to the already nicely drawn and created sprites. Heres another screenshot for the good nature of adding them:
The sound is perfect for the levels...but sometimes the levels are a little too fluffy for their own good, much like in the Kirby game series. This makes some levels music both vexing and calming, which usually makes you tune them out. This doesn't mean the music is bad, its simply not very noticable when indulged within the addicting gameplay. The music in the cutscenes usually fits the scene to the best I would think possible. Again, like in the other Klonoa games, they speak they're own, un-interpretable language. For the music type the GBA is able to chug out, this is a good addition to the game.
The battle system remains the same in this Klonoa game as all others; sucking in enemies with your ring and expounding them to other enemies or into a walls or to gain distance. Although this style has gotton a bit old, hte Klonoa game series is still holding to it strong. With that effort they also make it continue to remain interesting. In this game, like Door to Phantomile, your ring is powered by the spirit which dwells inside it, namely Huepow.
The story begins as you, Klonoa, find yourself in multiple visions where you are not sure where you are, or whether theis place even exists or not. Soon you find out that the King of this land has put a law out which claims that no one may sleep, or dream more importantly as the law states. So now I know what your all thinking: "So what if they dream? Whos gonna stop them?" In answer to that: the guards. They, even though made miserable from this law, go and arrest anyone who they find sleeping, even breaking into homes to perform the arrests. The king's reasoning upon the law? The king is having a sever case of abnormal insomnia. He has not been able to sleep in days, and will not permit others to sleep. So comes Klonoa, the "dream traveller". Not really sure what he's doing, he fights through the visions to find out why the King is having insomnia and to liberate the land from this dreaming deprevation.
Now onto the ratings:
Graphics: 4 out of 5Nicely drawn sprites and eneies, and great front-gound scenerio textures. Now we get to that screwy-looking background. Sheesh...good thing its not very noticable.
Sound: 3.5 out of 5
Very calming music, which fits the levels. Unfortunately, sometimes you just wanna start smashing stuff to some jamming music, but oh well, this is second best!
Replay Value: 4.5 out of 5
Im not sure just what it was about this game that made me want to play it about 3 times over before I got bored. All I know is that it is wicked fun from start to finish and back again.
Gameplay: 4.5 out of 5
Another well done, good-to go platformer. What makes this one special is its the first best I've seen for GBA, AKA handheld.
Overall: 4 out of 5
As GBA games go, this one has held out to me as one of the strongest een since its release at the beginning of the GBA saga of gaming.