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Played in 2023
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Was feeling nostalgic for the Papa games and wanted to see if there was anything avaliable to scratch that itch.
I personally don't like the artstyle much, it tries to be cute and cozy and a lot of people are gonna see it that way but it's a bit uninspired to me. Is not UGLY, just not my thing.
These games thrive in making an enjoyable and relaxing gameplay loop, then slowly adding more complex steps to the process as to not make you fall asleep. Good Pizza Great Pizza does this pretty well, but very slow, and considering that I felt it even when the ingame days are so short makes the experience get repetitive fast.
There are one or two things that add a bit of quirkiness to the game, like how the only way to get eggplants is if you cultivate them yourself from a plant a customer gave you (also this game made me aware that eggplant pizza exists... to each their own I guess).
And speaking of the costumers, I appreciate them thanking you or saying something funny when you give them the pizza, but I can only take so much of "wow this is the best pizza in the universe I'm gonna marry it and invite you to the wedding". This sounds a bit mean but this is not always the case, sometimes you get people who cannot pay the full price of the pizza or only a part of it and it's up to you wether or not you're willing to waste reisources, the cost of these aren't that much of a problem, and those instances when you help them and they thank you feel nice.
There's a story that seems to be funny and a bit silly, but heartfelt in it's simplicity, I liked it, even though again, it goes pretty slow, so I didn't get very far on it... And Ii kinda don't feel like it at the moment.
It's a cozy game that you might maybe pick up to play for a few minutes once in a while if you feel like it, nothing more, nothing else.
Also I played the mobile version and that of course is full of adds, and daily bonuses, and adds between days that froze the game, and that DID ruin the experience a bit tbh.
After finishing Silent Hill four times in a row I wanted something cuter to cleanse my palate a bit, and did this fully deliver!
The entire world Klonoa was intentionally made to look like a children's fantasy storybook, something that you whould read a kid before sleep to have sweet dreams, this is not only one of the prettiest PS1 games I've seen, but it might be the one with the strongest art direction. Everything from the colors, character and level design, even the way characters talk in cutesy gibberish during cutscenes, but some things like names are clearly heard, like we're listening to some fantasy language, it all oozes that childlike joy that I also relate a lot to some artistic trends from Japan during the late 90's (specifically the movie Catnapped or Little Nemo) and that I also consider very pretty and nostalgic.
I wasn't expecting the game to be a bit sad at times. Of course it is still within what you'll expect from a fairytale where our hero or their world must go through some hardship, it was a surprising touch that added a bit more to what is a simple yet very enjoyable story if you still remember those old childhood fables.
Gameplay is simple, but it takes advantage to every avaliable action that can be performed into a 2.5D space to the max. Making the player able to see platforms on a different plane that you can later explore gives a great sense of depth to the levels, moreso in the cases when we can interact with them by throwing enemies (quick detail here that I forgot to mention, the enemies on their ball forms are adorable, every single one could make great plushies) or just to keep the space consistent. Even the lackluster glide Klonoa does makes all the difference in some late game jumping distance.
A small detail that I notice is that besides map modeling, only the bosses are fully 3D modeled, I don't know if it's just me but I think it may be a way to convey how otherworldy and different these enemies are now that they are influenced by the power of nightmares, Ghadius being in that state constantly adds a bit to his presence...
Overall a very cute and worthwile experience (even if a bit short compared to other platformers), with fantastic visuals, cute and heartfelt vibes, and great music.