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Author Topic: What would it take to make a new Klonoa game replayable long term?  (Read 278 times)

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Offline RAYDEN

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There have been some criticisms from our peers of Klonoa's gameplay not holding up after playing it at least twice, apparently the gameplay needs a bit more depth to open up more ways to play them. Even just doing time trials on them doesn't cut it.

I personally can see this as an issue, as Klonoa's stronger points in storytelling have not translated into an equally memorable gameplay style. While I like the level design of the games they don't seem to expand beyond their required set paths.

Sure, sometimes there are these forks in the roads to collect extra Prisoners/Mommett Dolls and Dream Stones, but they quickly loop back to the main path of the Vision anyway.

I do adore the puzzles we find along the way, but they are still technically one obstacle that blocks a direct path into the Vision's exit. Of course The Legendary Kingdom is at least one good example of at least trying to bring some progression variety but it is still the same basic goal.

And because we rely on the two button philosophy it can be as much as a blessing as it may be a curse, we trade potential move set variety for simplicity. But that very simplicity may be detrimental if there aren't some kinds of augmenting features like power ups to expand Klonoa's default move set, that of which in term, could be applied to reach new heights in level design.

What if we brought some mechanics inspired by other games into the mix? What if we sidestep the two button gameplay philosophy in favor of movement variety? What if say, just like Metroid or Super Mario World, there is more than one way to progress through a Vision? Opening the door to shortcuts and secret Visions perhaps? Before I elaborate on this, I'd like to hear your opinions!
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Offline rapappa the pepper

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Re: What would it take to make a new Klonoa game replayable long term?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2024, 11:26:16 am »
Take some Tomba 1 to 2 cues for how multiple planes / layers has to expand. As i have said many times here... Klonoa has, kinda forgotten about the foreground and background mechanic, the game utilizing it the most, being the very first.  :embarassed:

I also think a level should be more loose. Something about Klonoa, is too tight in design, so designed, it`s always the same. Take the old Sonic games for instance, they were essentially physics playgrounds and if you knew how to play around with them, it'd be for your benefit, taking you to greater paths and such. (i know i hate to compare Sonic and Klonoa together, again, Kirby and NiGHTS are more like Klonoa than Sonic...)
Speaking of Kirby...  :unsure: I think all monsters, except for moos, should have an unique throw or effect for when you hold them, like those little copters from 1-1's first bridge from Door to Phantomile, with this, Haggis said if there was to be a 3rd button in Klonoa... It could be to store an enemy, so it could have multiple loses, that the player can decide what to do with it how ever, when ever he feels like it.
Have a time limit for levels?  :embarassed: I know this is arcade design philosophy, but it ensures a faster pace and the will of wanting to do better next time, which... Again, i feel like most games after Door to Phantomile, also aren't nearly as fun to play as Door to Phantomile because of their slower pace, and how they are less agressive and such, change 3 hearts to 6 hearts back and you can do more with the levels, and makes you actually feel like getting hit means something, rather than "stop playing stupid!" meter.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2024, 11:29:17 am by rapappa the pepper »
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Hello, pleased to meet you. Uhhhhh, i guess i like to draw traditionally a lot of Klonoa things, specifically for Whispers of Wind project, i make music for that too! As well as 3D models, not low poly Playstation fashioned tho, i like 90s Virtua Fighter 3 type models, any ways. You can know more about me at my Neo Cities: https://rapthepep.neocities.org/

Offline RAYDEN

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Re: What would it take to make a new Klonoa game replayable long term?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2024, 09:25:02 pm »
Take some Tomba 1 to 2 cues for how multiple planes / layers has to expand. As i have said many times here... Klonoa has, kinda forgotten about the foreground and background mechanic, the game utilizing it the most, being the very first.  :embarassed:
I've not played the Tomba! games yet, perhaps I could give the first game a go once it releases on PC supposedly later this year. "Background and foreground mechanic", hmm, that depends. I assume it is like switching back and forth between two different plains on the same viewport, though to make sense a level would have to be built around it to be fun.

I figured Klonoa already uses a similar system of alternating paths which can converge in forks and join again into one point. I think the railway turntable-like puzzle found in Maze of Memories was a fun way to experiment with a choice of pathways, that got me to think if Klonoa could use a form of rail switches to make complex, chose-your-own-patch level design possible.

I also think a level should be more loose. Something about Klonoa, is too tight in design, so designed, it`s always the same. Take the old Sonic games for instance, they were essentially physics playgrounds and if you knew how to play around with them, it'd be for your benefit, taking you to greater paths and such. (i know i hate to compare Sonic and Klonoa together, again, Kirby and NiGHTS are more like Klonoa than Sonic...)
I'd definitely like to see some kind of experimentation with physics, although Klonoa himsef does carry a tiny bit of momentum just so the platforming doesn't feel too stiff! What if he entered some kind of jelly ball which he can control and bounce towards any direction at will (or y'know...use the wind ring on himself somehow  :confused:) and you could use that to have a way to bounce to new heights, using the walls or even rolling down the hill at speed.

On the topic of speed he could even wear a jetpack or something of the like! He could climb or learn to do the famous wall jumps. It depends on how much it can affect the design on top of the fact that Klonoa can use enemies as an extra jump boost or projectile.

Speaking of Kirby...  :unsure: I think all monsters, except for moos, should have an unique throw or effect for when you hold them, like those little copters from 1-1's first bridge from Door to Phantomile, with this, Haggis said if there was to be a 3rd button in Klonoa... It could be to store an enemy, so it could have multiple loses, that the player can decide what to do with it how ever, when ever he feels like it.
I absolutely adored the contextual/elemental monsters in Klonoa 2 and I definitely believe this is something that should be expanded on. Having a storage system like that could open up even more level path or activate some secrets that the game doesn't directly tell you about. It does circle back to the idea that we could take a lot of Super Mario World's intertwined level design can be worked into Klonoa, if not doubled down on thanks to the 2.5D setting.


Have a time limit for levels?  :embarassed: I know this is arcade design philosophy, but it ensures a faster pace and the will of wanting to do better next time, which... Again, i feel like most games after Door to Phantomile, also aren't nearly as fun to play as Door to Phantomile because of their slower pace, and how they are less agressive and such, change 3 hearts to 6 hearts back and you can do more with the levels, and makes you actually feel like getting hit means something, rather than "stop playing stupid!" meter.

Well, I wouldn't totally be opposed to a time limit but it would be awkward to introduce one this late into the series. It would pretty much detract from all the other ideas on expanded level design and some potential exploration in that case, plus if we're bringing back those dumb 150 Dream Stone and bubble prisoner challenges and you may start to see why a time limit may not be wise. That would be on top of whatever new type of collective this hypothetical Klonoa game introduces.

Even then, imagine a time limit on that stupid Ark level  :drowned: .
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Offline HaggisD1

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Re: What would it take to make a new Klonoa game replayable long term?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2024, 12:39:42 pm »
- Levels having (like the Wiimake) hidden entrances to hard challanges, maybe unlockable mini games.

- An extra world like the handheld games, or even multiple.

- Unlockable wiki entries for various enemies, characters, events, places, ect.

- Improved gameplay (there are engough topics to discuss this already)

Offline SerialDreams

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Re: What would it take to make a new Klonoa game replayable long term?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2024, 08:13:40 pm »
Multiple playable characters with their own inter-connected substories that build to the final encounter might be a fun idea.

Mentioned this in another thread, but... proper localization.

I love the in-world Phantomillian language to bits, but, I can't help but feel the games or a new entry would only benefit from being dubbed to different languages. I also get that the reason they didn't dub most of them was probably budgetary, but I tend to think most people enjoy best what's fully in their language. Maybe even give characters some bantering during idle animations or mid-level.

Another thing that comes to mind is giving the levels and environments more life (which would couple well with the kind of gameplay mentioned in other replies)
DtP and LV especially gave their worlds a good amount of living depth to make the 2.5D path following feel more natural, but they both didn't do all that much to make the worlds interactible. The best example I can think of for what a new Klonoa game should do (if it stays 2.5D) is Tomba 2.

DtP did it good, but LV to my recollection only has a handful of moments where you have to throw toward or away from the screen. The only memorable moments I can think of where this happens is with the boomie puzzles in the Volkan Underground Factory and Likuri (fusion) puzzles in Ishra's Ark.

Lastly, fully explore and exploit the setting being a DREAM. Have sections of levels, or even entire levels whose visuals go from peaceful dream to twisted nightmare a-la Vision 5-2 from DtP or even have whole sequences where the level stays in nightmare phase, leaving you no choice but to evade and run to the end or at leas to the next checkpoint.
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Offline MarioNumbers

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Re: What would it take to make a new Klonoa game replayable long term?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2024, 12:58:08 am »
I think the biggest issue is trying to keep things in a reasonable scale and budget without becoming too ambitious. Multiple different story paths or alternate endings depending on your choices is something I suggested a few times, as I feel it'd be the best way for people to get their cake and eat it to when it comes to what fate Klonoa should end up having.

I also think multiple playable characters would be interesting to explore as well, but all of this takes a lot of development resources and money and only bloats the scale if not managed properly. I feel Bamco basically have backed themselves into a corner because a lot of people want Klonoa to just conclude with a satisfactory ending where he doesn't get emotionally screwed again, Some people have their own pairings while folks like me just want it to explore Klonoa's mental state after DTP and LV.

Offline wafumon

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A Mario Maker situation might be fun. The question is how or even *if* they'd allow the 2.5D aspect or restrict it to "2D" like Balue's Tower.