Thursday, 23 February 2012

Klonoa Empire of Dreams: Game Design Review

Klonoa Empire of Dreams is Gameboy Advance game and one of the spin-off sequels featuring Klonoa. I played and finished the original Klonoa: Door to Phantomile on the original Playstation. Overall my impressions of PS One game was a game of bright coloruful 2D and 3D graphics and simplistic but challenging gameplay. It wasn't the best action game out there but it was harmless and charming enough with its combination of 2D gameplay with 3D graphics.

Klonoa as a character in bothe the playstation and GBA game has a fairly simple abilities. He has a wind ring which allows you to snag enemies, boxes or cling onto special rings. Once snagged, enemies can either be throw or be used to double jump. When jumping, Klonoa can also float for a second or two in mid-air allowing you to extend your jump a little bit. As expected Most of klonoa's gameplay both in the Playstation and the GBA is centred around puzzle solving.

Unfortunately unlike some other action games, the simplistic gameplay combined with very sedate levels make the Gameboy Advance game very boring. The puzzles that you need to solve are over quickly over and puzzle elements such as exploding enemies aren't introduced quickly enough. The game is simply drawn out way longer than it should be and just lacks variety. The only really challenge for me were the boss fights which isn't anything you haven't seen before in other action games. The saving grace of the Playstation One game was the 3D graphics and 2.5 levels, the Gameboy Advance version has none of that.

As a puzzle game the puzzles lack variety. As an action game, the game lacks action. The resultant action-puzzle game is therefore mediocre. It's a technically competent but unassuming package so I'm curious as to how it got an average of 80% in reviews. I wouldn't waste your time on this as there are other more fun or interesting games out there on the Gameboy Advance to play.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Jolly Rover - Game Review

Good game and nearly all of my comments are exactly the problems raised in this article by the Adventure Gamer's review so this is more of a short game review than a game design review.

There really only two issues I have with the game that I would like to add:

Artwork palette is dull - It needs brighter colours or a more unique artstyle and direction. Any screenshot of the game just lacks punch which is unfortunately.

Spot highlighting system doesn't quite work sometimes - Highlighting hotspots is a good idea unfortunatly some of the larger items have one or more part to them so you might click on one part of it without realising you can actually click on another part of it. There aren't that many items which have this problem but it is worth mentioning because there are some items you need to interact with to advance the game.

Overall I enjoyed the game despite its short length. It's well put together and fun.