Even in the context of its PlayStation release in late 1997, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile looked a bit anachronistic. Coming a year after Super Mario 64‘s wide-open three-dimensional worlds, Klonoa was still confined to a linear, two-dimensional plane, using graphical trickery to evoke a 3-D feel. In a time when games like Final Fantasy VII were changing the way we looked at epic videogame storytelling, Klonoa seemed to revel in a simple narrative that didn’t resort to fancy CGI cut scenes. Even in 1997, Klonoa smacked of a gaming past that was quickly receding — a past where bright, colorful levels and mine-cart excursions and collecting 100 freaking gems for an extra life weren’t just accepted, but expected, parts of what gaming was.

Over a decade later, all those anachronisms still remain in the recent Wii re-release of Klonoa. Rather than dating the game, though, they make it a delightfully charming throwback to a style of gaming that seems quaint and nostalgic.

(full article)