The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
When the original Klonoa: Door to Phantomile came out over 10 years ago, the 2.5D mechanic was innovative, the graphics were slick, and anthropomorphic animals with 'tude were so in. But times have changed, and despite a visual overhaul and some meager additions, Klonoa feels behind the times in the modern gaming climate.
The dialogue and story are ridiculous; don't feel guilty about skipping the cutscenes. It's obvious what's going on the whole time except to the idiot characters in the story.
Instead of jumping on enemies' heads, Klonoa picks them up and throws them at each other. The faux 3D mechanic allows for multiple branching paths and other snazzy tricks while maintaining the feel of a 2D platformer. The game consists of only 13 levels, so it's easy to blow through quickly. Most of the stages are tremendously easy, with the challenge focused around late boss battles and cheap bottomless pit deaths.
A few new features appear when you finish the main quest -- boss rush mode, lame costume changes, hidden challenge rooms, and mirror mode. Despite all of these complaints, I can see fans of the original game enjoying this revival. It's faithful to a fault, and I can think of plenty of older niche games that I would love to see get similar treatment. But if you've got no connection to the original, you'll likely wonder what all of the fuss is about.
Email the author Bryan Vore, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.