Klonoa: Empire of Dreams has possibly the worst North American release date of any game ever. It came out on 9/11/2001, and I’m pretty sure that the last thing on anyone’s mind that day was checking the new release racks.
So I certainly didn’t get it when it came out.
It’s far more likely that I picked it up in 2002, and I remember liking it a LOT but getting stymied on a level quite near the end and putting it aside for later. It has been QUITE a few “laters” since then and I finally figured that I should really get down to it, which led to quite an embarrassing epiphany.
When I picked up the game again a few days ago and started playing it, I realized that some of the levels in the game are actually optional. You can play them if you want extra lives or score, but you are perfectly able to just ignore them if your goal is just to get to the end boss, slap him silly, and enjoy some well-earned ending credits.
I didn’t realize this back in 2002.
It also turns out that the level I got stuck on, when I got back to it, was one of these optional levels. I decided to opt out, and only a couple of levels later was nose-to-nose with the final boss. Who was, yes, a multi-stage pain in the arse, but not really THAT difficult once I’d died a few times and learned all of his tells.
Sooooo… long story short, that’s one more game off the backlog and just a teensy bit of abject humiliation at how dumb I was 15 years ago.
I have four more Klonoa games in the backlog. At this pace I will be um, quite old by the time I get to the last one, so I will try to play them with somewhat more alacrity.