A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Both games involve the timeless, heroic goal of saving worlds from falling into darkness. You not only save multiple side characters from being corrupted, but also restore environments from being polluted and plundered so their inhabitants aren't displaced. Teamwork and trust are highlighted with the help of friends being crucial to victory. The second game's key theme is particularly powerful, which teaches that people should be able to express negative emotions like sadness among loved ones without shame so they can process them properly.
Positive Role Models
Klonoa's elders mostly serve to guide you on your journey, but even though they aren't integral to the story, they do encourage and remind him of his reasons for fighting. The second game has side characters who model healthy expressions of friendship by being there for each other whenever someone feels dispirited.
Both games mostly feature anthropomorphic characters among others who are vaguely human. While the first game is largely centered on Klonoa, the second has more female side characters—two of which are arguably more developed and important to the story's themes than Klonoa himself. One of these female characters has dark skin.
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Ease of Play
Gameplay is kept to a small and consistent set of mechanics. The default controls are solid, but players can customize their button configurations. There are a couple minor difficulty spikes toward the ends of both games with tricky platforming that requires overly precise accuracy and button mashes, but the majority of the experience is balanced well with difficulty. Players can select a new difficulty option with limitless lives and more health. Another player can join in to add boosts to the main player's jumps.
Violence & Scariness
The main character uses a magic ring with "wind bullets" to take out enemies and navigate environments. This weapon inflates creatures into balloon versions of themselves that can be flung in different directions, which pop in explosions of confetti. One character dies peacefully in Klonoa's arms, and all boss characters are defeated in explosions of light.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There's a cutscene where a cat puppet villain is being held by Klonoa and calls him a "perv" as he searches for an artifact on her person. The visuals suggest nothing of the sort, and since this character is mischievous, she's likely toying with Klonoa.
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"Damn" is used twice in a single line of dialogue near the end of the second game.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One character smokes a tobacco pipe in the first game, but no particular attention is drawn to this.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is a downloadable collection of two action-platformer games (originally released in the late 1990s) with updated graphics on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox One X|S, and Windows PCs. Both games feature an anthropomorphic black cat named Klonoa who must save two "dream worlds." His first adventure finds him aligned with a spirit tied to a special golden ring, which he must use the powers of to stop the villain Ghadius from enveloping the world in nightmares. In his second adventure, he meets Lolo: a priestess in training who asks for your aid as she travels around the world to save it and prove herself. Players use a ring weapon to comically inflate enemies, which results in pops of light and confetti when they hit objects. One side character is shown idly smoking a tobacco pipe in some cutscenes. "Damn" is uttered twice toward the end of the second game.
Is It Any Good?
This title brings two classic action games together for new players and fans of the original to enjoy. Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is comprised of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil. Your character's basic abilities boil down to jumping and shooting, but don't be deceived by the simple controls. The challenge rests not in your skills, but in how you harness enemies as tools to progress with a golden ring that shoots magical wind bullets. These allow you to hold onto and turn foes into balloons, which are used to jump higher, attack other enemies, and activate switches. The first game uses these mechanics to great effect with a pleasingly challenging experience that smoothly transitions into its hardest sections to test your puzzle-solving and timing skills. Both games have some annoying moments where a shocking amount of accuracy is required to hit some things, but these are manageable, rare frustrations. The sequel builds on its predecessor with more enemy types that introduce new abilities. Along with a series of interesting design gimmicks for levels (such as one where you can reverse gravity), the sequel dreams bigger with its gameplay.
While both games involves movement on a 2D plane, both games are presented in 3D with unconventional levels that twist and turn on each other, sometimes involving collecting items or completing puzzles by transitioning between the foreground and background. It helps that the HD upgrades give more clarity to the colorful, imaginative environments and characters. In particular, the sequel can be a wonder to behold with the camera panning out to show off cities and castles as you literally fly across levels to different sections. Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is a charming, engaging set of games with a spunky cast of characters suited for young kids, and since a second player can join in to help the main player, parents can join in on the fun, too.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.