Not the best Klonoa by far, but works as an introduction

User Rating: 7 | Klonoa: Empire of Dreams GBA

For those not in the know, the Klonoa series has been around since 1997, starting with Klonoa: Door to Phantomile on the Playstation, since then it has spread to the Playstation 2, Wii and Gameboy Advance systems. Empire of Dreams was Klonoa's debut on a Nintendo system, though not his debut on a handheld, him having a game for the Namco Wonderswan under the title Moonlight Museum a few years prior. The best way Klonoa Empire of Dreams can be described is a cheap spinoff, as it contains little of the charm and storytelling excellence that made the first few Klonoa games so good. The gameplay itself is spot on; people going into Klonoa expecting a typical fast paced action platformer will be bitterly disappointed, as Klonoa isn't trying to test your reaction timing or precision platforming, but rather your brains. Think of Klonoa as Portal crossed with Super Mario Brothers, except instead of using portals to solve lateral thinking puzzles, you are using Klonoa's ability to pick up and throw enemies. Pressing the B button causes Klonoa to fire a wind bullet, this pumps an enemy full of air and causes Klonoa to pick it up, after which he can throw the enemy forward (enemies are unaffected by gravity and continue on a straight horizontal path until they hit something and explode) or jump off of an enemy to gain extra height, which also causes the enemy to fly on a straight downward vertical path. This mechanic seems simple at first, but as the game goes on it expects you to use these abilities in increasingly complex ways, and occasionally the action varies with enemies that are used as time bombs, or enemies giving Klonoa flight temporarily. People looking for fun puzzling gameplay will take to Empire of Dreams immediately, everyone else will be bitterly disappointed, as the story is forgettable aside from a few scenes at the end, the music and graphics are below par with backgrounds with scarcely any detail and music that when it isn't forgettable is extremely annoying. Its a real shame that this is the first Klonoa game to be available for download off the Wii U eshop, as chances are Namco are likely to rely on the success of this title as a deciding factor as to whether the Klonoa series will continue or not. For those looking for a game to remember Klonoa by, look to Klonoa Door to Phantomile on the Playstation 3 store or try and find Klonoa 2 for Playstation 2, don't look here.