A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is a traditional, Mario-style platform adventure with mild cartoon violence. The player's character can fall into crevasses and get hurt when bumping into enemies or spiky objects. Conversely, he can attack by grabbing enemies and hurling them at other foes. There is no blood, but some characters (mostly bosses) do die. Also, a pipe is seen protruding from an older character's mouth.
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What's it about?
A remake of the original Klonoa, which appeared more than a decade ago on the original PlayStation, KLONOA is a side-scrolling platform adventure game set in a lush, three-dimensional environment. Players follow a set path (or paths) as they leap over crevasses, jump from one floating platform to another, and avoid various health-draining obstacles, such as enemies and spiky balls. You can go on the offensive by grabbing one enemy and throwing it at another, and some areas can only be reached by holding onto a flying foe. Players can also navigate their environments by sliding through streams of water, floating up air vents, and riding carts. Completing the game unlocks bonuses meant to add replay value, such as mirrored environments.
Is it any good?
There's nothing particularly groundbreaking about Klonoa, but that doesn't detract from the fact that this is a beautiful and expertly crafted bit of platforming fun. The side-scrolling 3-D level design is nothing short of brilliant. Players navigate lush environments by running circular paths around buildings, ducking in and out of caves, and leaping through the canopies of forests. What's more, the simple controls, which make use of just three buttons and either the joystick or d-pad (Klonoa works with not only the remote and nunchuk, but also Wii Classic and GameCube controllers), can be learned in minutes, regardless of the player's previous experience with games in this genre.
Klonoa's only downfall is that it runs on the short side -- just six hours or so, by our clock. Even casual players could finish it in a single weekend. And with no multi-player options, there's little reason to come back. A great game, but one that is perhaps better rented than purchased.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about value in interactive entertainment. How many hours do you expect to get out of a game? Do you tend to play through games more than once? Does that factor into your value equation? If a game is lots of fun but lasts only a handful of hours, are you still satisfied?
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