September 27, 2022

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Kao the Kangaroo, the experimenter

Tested and tested, Kao the Kangaroo is an old-fashioned platform game that convincingly represents the return of a non-famous character.

3D platformer is a literary genre that had an amazing glow from the second half of the ’90s onwards, right up until the start of the new millennium, only to be pushed aside. It was an age full of quirky characters, often inspired by the animal world, wandering through colorful worlds of platforms and traps, jumping around in search of objects and adventures. Many of these heroes are now forgotten, meaning they didn’t produce a lasting series or were overtaken by other franchises, but they are still part of the medium’s culture. So despite being pushed to the fringes of the industry, it looks like some of these champions are returning for one last shock, hoping for some success.

That’s why we have Try the kangaroo kao With some gloom, happy to see a friend from a bygone era come back to offer us his hand…sorry, gauntlet.

classic approach


Kao the Kangaroo is full of typical 3D platformer situations

Kao The Kangaroo is a 3D platform Very classic in the sense that, other than the updated graphics, it strongly invokes some mid-90s and early 2000s titles for the mechanics and building style of the levels, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing since we’re talking about the golden period like that. Honestly, we didn’t expect anything from the game. The process itself is nice: reclaiming a little-known franchise thanks to the passion shown by its hard-core fans, but apart from that it was hard to have high expectations for the title of Tate Multimedia. Maybe that’s why we liked the beta version more than we expected.

From the very first moments of the game, it is clear that the developers know very well what they are doing and they have a big deal Genre mastery. Of course, the production is not very high, and some limitations are all visible, especially in the accessory elements, but in terms of gameplay, we are faced with a work that is not only interesting, but all 3D gaming platforms should at least pay attention. at. , due to the few releases in recent years.

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Play


The levels are very diverse
The levels are very diverse

there Date And the action backdrop is quite classic: Kao must go in search of his sister Kaya and his father, Kobe, on a seemingly very serene mission, but which will take on unexpected roles in the advanced stages, taking on darker tones. . On a structural level, Kao the Kangaroo is divided into large axes regions, placed within well-defined biomes, from which you can access the different levels, but only after finding the right amount of runes needed to open the relevant magical portals. The starting biome is Hoopaloo Island, practically Kao’s home, where you can encounter an educational level called the dojo of Walt, the little kangaroo master, and then start the real mission, which will take us around different islands, all very different from each other, but they will all be explored from above Down. Each biome offers at least three levels, as well as a boss fight, usually an enemy with more complex attack patterns, which requires a certain spirit of observation to be overcome, as well as decent skill with the console.

We were able to test three out of four biomes in our area, all with unique characteristics. So we visited lava caves, lush jungle, frozen valley and many other typical places of this kind, with all their unique enemies and challenges.

The Play It is in itself a very successful combination of exploration and combat. Kao is not only capable of hitting jumps, but he can also hit enemies with his gloves, using a variety of moves, including straight punches, butt-jumping strikes, vortex strikes, and special attacks that charge them by striking opponents and eliminating enemies instantly. those around. The battles of the first biome, against giant frogs, weren’t very difficult, but the battles of the other two were more difficult, although they never reached an enormous level of complexity. In addition, a variety of enemies appeared, which made the challenge more exciting by dealing with different ways.

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classic style


The combat system is simple, but it works
The combat system is simple, but it works

The levels From Kao, no matter how linear, full of secrets and a pleasure to explore to search for hidden objects, whether it’s coins to buy upgrades in game stores, the three letters that make up Kao’s name, or even parts of the heart that allow you to expand your energy reserve. The degree of interaction is not very high, but it is functional for the type of game: Kao can chat with characters in axis areas, can break barrels and furniture to search for coins and can buy items in stores.

Their levels are built in such a way that they take advantage of all of Kao’s movements, including hanging platforms to hold onto, pushbuttons, bouncing buttons to use to reach remote areas and many other foundations that summon classics of the genre. As the game continues, upgrades for kangaroo gloves, the main element of the entire adventure, are also unlocked, even at the narrative level, which are used to solve some puzzles.


Kao's artwork
Kao’s artwork

For example, it is possible to collect fireballs to burn some barriers, either by catching them punches, both by throwing bouncing balls at him. Nothing too complicated, as you might have guessed. However, as you progress through the levels, the more variety of moves available, the more complex the levels become, following a subtle pattern in difficulty progression, which works really well…sorry he couldn’t finish the game. Of course, we had some problems and we’ll see if they are mitigated in the final version. For example, some scenes are really rudimentary, while at some points we found some issues with the camera. The same control system They are under a certain weight which can be annoying in some cases. However, there seem to be minor issues in general, which can certainly be fixed and which, apart from everything, do not spoil the experience.

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Kao the Kangaroo is a stubborn game in some ways, one that no one seems to want, but it could be better than expected, also because it’s unaccompanied by who knows what the expectations are. After all, Kao is one of the many minor characters who made video game history that no one remembers today, with the difference that he wants to try to get back under the spotlight, even if for a short moment, making it. Method with shots of punches. For now, the effort looks fruitful, but we’ll see if it works.

s

  • A classic 3D platformer that looks well made
  • Levels look well designed

doubts

  • Some production problems