[Getting It Right is a monthly series in which I take a look at the elements that make up a classic game. What were the key ingredients that set it apart and make it hold up to this day? Read on to find out.]
Did the 2D platformer achieve all it was capable of in the 16-bit era or did developers just run out of ideas?
Of course, we have the answer to that question now. The answer is Klonoa. It was a near-perfect platformer that merged polygonal environments within the perspective of a 2D sidescroller (“2.5D,” some endearingly called it). More importantly, it delivered on the growing demand for nuanced storytelling and variety that the PlayStation crowd demanded. In more ways than one, it made players look at the genre in a new light.
The original Klonoa is my favorite 2D platformer and each replay only makes this sentiment grow stronger. However, I’m tired of replaying it so why not turn my attention to its PlayStation 2 sequel? Another critically lauded but forgotten 2D platformer in the age of 3D shooters, Klonoa 2 gave fans of the original more of what they wanted. At the same time, it made the most of the improved hardware with some of the best art direction and design to ever grace the genre that Nintendo finds so difficult to innovate within these days.