Bandai Namco has filed several new trademarks for unannounced entries in its Japanese “Encore” series of remastered games, including Mr. Driller Encore, Splatterhouse Encore, and Klonoa Encore. Since these titles haven’t been officially announced yet, we don’t know if any of them will come stateside, as Katamari Damacy Encore did when it hit our shores as Katamari Damacy Reroll.
We also don’t know which games in the Mr. Driller, Klonoa, and Splatterhouse lineages are set to receive the Katamari Damacy Reroll treatment. There have been 12 Mr. Driller games, eight Klonoa games (if you count the 2008 Wii remake seen above as its own thing), and five Splatterhouse games, including the 2010 reboot that series fans would rather not talk about.
No one in their right mind would renovate that thing for modern platforms, but what would an Encore version of a 16-bit Splatterhouse game look like? Bandai Namco would have a hard time selling a single one of those for $30, but I can see a world where an upscaled collection of Splatterhouses 1-3 sold for that price. Likewise, Bandai Namco could take a handful of Mr. Driller games and gussy ’em up as its own sorta Mega Man Legacy Collection thing. Alternatively, single games from either series could be sold as eShop exclusives on the Switch for like, $5 a pop I guess? There’s a lot of ways this could shake out.
Klonoa is where the possibilities get really interesting, though. The first game in the series, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, was already remade once as Klonoa for the Wii, which was an excellent beat-for-beat recreation of the original. Bringing that Wii port forward would probably make a lot of fiscal and technical sense, but there’s a perfectly good PlayStation 2 Klonoa game (Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil) just sittin’ there, not getting remade even one single time. Why should one percent of the Klonoa games get to be 99 percent of the remakes? #OccupyPhantomile
Most of the other Klonoa games were 2D side-scrollers for the Game Boy Advance or Bandai’s Wonderswan, save for Klonoa Beach Volleyball, which was a dang volleyball game on the original PlayStation, years before Tecmo started making volleyball games based on non-volleyball franchises, I might add. The chances of Klonoa Beach Volleyball being what Klonoa Encore actually is are slim to none, but hot damn would that be funny.
At this point though, I’ll take whatever Klonoa I can get — that 2008 Wiimake was the last time anyone’s seen hide or hair of the little guy. But unlike to steaming corpse of Splatterhouse, which no one has dared touch since the 2010 incident, Klonoa has always been a well-loved (if second string) mascot whose games are generally regarded as being of a high median quality.
Bandai Namco has no shortage of mascots to make money with, of course, what with it being the publisher responsible for anything One Piece, Naruto, Dragon Ball or Gundam related in the games space. And those are valid properties! All I’m saying is that maybe it’s time for Klonoa to get a mobile suit of his own, you know?