So, Amazon.com ships at lightning speed and I got my Klonoa Wii game already! I'm in a bit of an odd situation here in that I've already played the PS1 game before this (as well as both of the GBA ones and the Klonoa 2 PS2 game) so I didn't enter this without knowing. So, I'm going to have a Klonoa vs Klonoa here!
So, here are the two games, let's start with the cover! The first thing I noticed was the logo change, the Phantomile logo is what all the other ones look like, but the new one seems like it's to appeal to whoever's parents small kids rely on to buy Wii games for them. Still, I'll let it slide, I can always just print out the Japanese cover version. But you might also notice that Huepow had Rayman-like hands and a ring below him originally, and I don't really see why that needed to go away. And the last major thing to notice is Klonoa himself, who now has a jacket in the remake, but just a strange red collar in the original and had more yellow eyes initially. The gloves are a bit different too, new Klonoa has white on the bottom of the gloves and yellow on the top while old Klonoa's gloves are completely yellow (although you can't tell from the cover).
Now, let's move onto to the first scene: Original game. The original game had special made cutscenes a few times in the game. It also had an intro that played before you turned it on that also disappeared for the Wiimake. There are normally words there, not sure why they're not. Wii opener The words and audio are in Japanese, but Klonoa has the same voice actor that he did from the very first game for the Japanese and Phantomile language versions. But more notable is that all the cutscenes in the Wii game are made using the graphics engine present throughout the game and not a new one just for those scenes. While this helped scenes that were previously done with sprites, it hurt scenes that were done with graphics similar to the original's first scene.
When I played the Wii game, I played it with the Phantomile language soundtrack, simply because all the other Klonoa games have this and I'm used to it. I would have to say that the Phantomile soundtrack is the weakest between Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil, the original, and the wiimake. The first thing I noticed was that very few lines felt like they were spoken long enough to match the text appearing on the screen, something that rarely happened in either of the other two games. I'd often question why the dialogue stopped less than halfway through the text appearing on the screen. I'm pretty sure this would've been fixed in the English language track, but this didn't happen in any other game, why now? While you're never sure what they're saying in the Phantomile, you can always feel the emotion, and that was something that wasn't quite here either, in part due to the short lines. I think Klonoa 2 probably hit this the best, but the finale scene for the original was very good as well.
Some of the major dialogue also changed. For the most part, this worked to the benefit of bit scenes, like when Klonoa meets with the guard, but worked against the game during the major scenes in which I feel the original worded things more clearly. I also purposely hit Grannie during the one boss fight due to her original line complaining that you hit her with a Moo (if you did), but that line was gone here. Another thing that I rather missed was the Forlock greeting of "Yipee!" that got some new thing I'm not really sure what it was, but "Yipee!" was more ridiculous and sucked me in quite a bit more. Another major thing is that they changed the names of two of the major characters, Huepow -->Hewpoe and Joka-->Joker. I'd have to question why they did that, considering that both characters appear with the original spellings on the GBA games, unless they got a new localization team that had never played a Klonoa game before, but that would be one of the things that you'd think they should leave well enough alone, the original names weren't hard to pronounce.
Onto the character designs: I'd say Klonoa himself depends on personal taste, considering that they ripped the new Klonoa's model straight off of Klonoa 2, which is probably why I switched to that character model when I could, it feels more right. Original klonoa was much shorter and different, which made some people not like K2's Klonoa as much either. I think Huepow's design was better in the original, namely his second, slightly spoiler design, it was just more elegant looking and didn't look as...chunky. Joka originally had Rayman like hands and legs that weren't connected to him, but now he's got thin black arms and legs. I'd prefer for them to not be there, but it's not a big deal. Ghadius is much improved in the Wiimake, he probably had the best design change of any of them. Lephise is a mixed bag, not really sure how to feel about her, I personally liked the original one better, and new Lephise looks better in motion than in screen shots, but her eyes don't sit well with me. All bit characters look better in the Wiimake, mostly because some of them were barely legible sprites in the original.
The level designs were largely the same, but the Wiimake has some very worthy extras, the reverse stages mess with your mind a bit and also have extra near impossible challenges within them and certainly add some replay value to the game. The new levels look a lot better for the most part, everything is much crisper and prettier without being overly pretty and I'd say the level graphics are much better. Needless to say, I noticed a few small things here and there which mostly annoyed me, but didn't really take away from the level either. My one problem was the collision detection, which took me some getting used to because it worked neither like the original nor like Klonoa 2's. Someone new to the series through this game wouldn't notice it, but it sure annoyed me and it's the main reason why I think the original is still better. It's actually how I lost most of my health, trying to grab something but running into it by mistake.
Boss fights were made easier here, originally, most of the bosses took 6 hits, now they took 4. One boss took 9 hits, now it took 6. Except for the final boss (which even got a new attack which I liked), all of the bosses were made way too easy.
The music is the same in both games, but it sounded a little softer in the new game. Music is still the same goodness, and they're both pretty much equal. I did notice in the new game, which make me give it the edge, is that it looped better, in some cases much more similarly to the 2nd game (which I'd say still has the best sound design of the three console ones).
So, which one do I think you should get? The original if you can, but if you can't, you should still pick up the Wii version without a doubt. It's a great game and most of the complainers are likely to be people like me who find the original to be better still. Also, they might make a Klonoa 3 if the Wii version sells enough, that alone is worth supporting the Woo version for.