Klonoa is a franchise that fans are dying to see revived during the retro renaissance that the industry has enjoyed for the past few years. Speculation of a new entry or compilation began a few months ago when Bandai Namco began registering trademarks tied to the IP. But, of course, this is (more often than not) just something companies do to secure their creative works; we just so happened to get a pleasant surprise during last week’s Nintendo Direct.
Klonoa: Phantasy Reverie Series will contain two of the most important titles in the franchise’s relatively small portfolio. Klonoa: Door to Phantomile and Klonoa: Lunatea’s Veil have been rebuilt from the ground up for this collection with a number of brand new assets and at a smooth 60 frames per second according to the official site. Although a Wii remake of the original game released in 2008, this version of Door To Phantomile appears to be far more authentic to the PS1 masterpiece in terms of character design which is a definite plus.
For those unfamiliar with Namco’s unsung cat-rabbit hybrid, Klonoa debuted in late 1997 on the PS1 with Door To Phantomile. In stark contrast to the video game industry’s direction during this generation, Phantomile was a 2.5D sidescroller with an emphasis on a catching-and-throwing gimmick not dissimilar to the North American Super Mario Bros. 2. Unlike many platformers, the game had a relatively deep plot and some tear-jerking moments before the credits rolled. Although it did well with critics and consumers alike and was successful enough to spawn a full-fledged sequel (Lunatea’s Veil) on top of a smattering of handheld spinoffs, the series ultimately fell into obscurity following the seventh console generation. (Until now, of course).
Although Klonoa never set the world on fire in sales, this reveal and the influx of Klonoa-related content on social media content following have shown that the demand (and love) for the franchise has always been there. There have been some incredible fanart drops commemorating the news, and a quick look at Twitter shows that many are genuinely hyped for this revival.
Klonoa: Phantasy Reverie Series arrives July 8 for all major platforms, making it the first title in the series to be available for PC as well as the Xbox family of consoles. At this time, a retail physical release has been confirmed for Europe, but I’m sure other regions won’t be left out.