Klonoa is a remake of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile released for the Wii in 2008 in Japan and in 2009 in North America and Europe.
Differences from Door to Phantomile
- Completely revised graphics
- New voice acting
- New unlockable costumes
- Mirrored Visions
- Challenge areas
Klonoa was developed by Paon for the Wii as a remake to the PlayStation game. The game's development began after the merge of Namco and Bandai, when vice president Shin Unozawa expressed a desire to "revive the Klonoa series". Namco Bandai developers decided that a remake of the original game, in acknowledgement of its 10th anniversary, would be the best approach. The Wii was chosen to develop for because Namco Bandai felt that the console had a wide appeal, one which fulfilled the original game's premise of appealing to both younger players and adults.
The game was produced by Hideo Yoshizawa, who directed the original game. Other key members of the original development team - such as chief planner Tsuyoshi Kobayashi, visual chief Yoshihiko Arai, and sound designer Kanako Kakino - contributed to the remake to surpass the standards of the original game. The remake features a graphical upgrade, redesigned characters, updated gameplay, and remade cutscenes using cel-shaded animation.The original game features voices in a fictional language unique to each character, but these have been re-acted in Japanese - although the player has the option of hearing either. The voice actors include Kumiko Watanabe as Klonoa, Bin Shimada as Joka, Akemi Kanda as Huepow, and Yuko Minaguchi as Lephise. Many small modifications were made to the gameplay to make it "much more intuitive and easier to control", according to producer Yoshizawa. These include the speed at which Klonoa runs, the length of his shot, and adjusting the hit range of the enemies. Additions to the gameplay are centered around unlockable features, such as additional costumes and reversible levels designed for "the hardcore fans".Namco Bandai considered a special redesign of the Klonoa character for North America, and surveyed audiences on the qualities of a potential redesign. The appearance of the redesign was panned by critics, who considered it "depressing" and compared it to "Poochie", a parody character from The Simpsons who was designed as an unnecessary change to a television show, and who embodies the idea of "jumping the shark". Due to strong support for the original design in the survey, Namco Bandai abandoned the redesign. The subtitle, Door to Phantomile, was also omitted for the North American/European release.
Promotion, release and merchandise
The Wii remake of Klonoa: Door to Phantomile was announced at Nintendo Conference Fall 2008 on October 2, 2008, where a software lineup video for the Wii contained footage of the game. The game received coverage in articles by Japanese magazines and websites, such as Weekly Famitsu and Dengeki DS & Wii. An official website for Klonoa was created and periodically updated. Namco Bandai dedicated three kiosks to Klonoa at Tokyo Game Show, with one located in a children's area. The advertising campaign for Klonoa consisted of two television commercials and a radio commercial, and posters and videos for stores to display.
Klonoa was received positively by critics. The gameplay was typically considered enjoyable, but too easy, and the appearance was praised for its colors and the level of upgrade from the original Door to Phantomile. The game was commercially unsuccessful, selling 5,800 copies in its first week, debuting at 33rd place.
Reviews of the gameplay have been mixed. Video game magazine Weekly Famitsu felt that the game was enjoyable, but criticized it for a lack of freshness. Game news website GameSpot also felt the game was enjoyable, but criticized the game for being linear and easy. Video game blog Kotaku also criticized the simplicity of the game, calling it a "fairly stock platformer", but overall praised the gameplay for the amount of possibilities generated from it.
In general, the appearance of Klonoa was praised by critics. Reviewers from Weekly Famitsu felt that the graphics had "evolved significantly", sentiments echoed by Kotaku. GameSpot praised the game for a large amount of detail, and called the environment "bright and colorful". IGN similarly praised the colors of the game, calling it "visually impressive" due to its "lush water palette" and "great water effects". 1UP.com compared the graphics to those of the original game's successor, Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil.
- In the Japanese version of the game, a portion of the cutscene before the Rongo Lango boss fight is shown at a different camera angle than in the Western versions.