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Submitted by Derek dela Fuente on March 23 2005 - 17:05

Kao returns in an enticing prospect for extremely young gamers...

Ha, another endearing looking, fun, action, jump, avoid, whack, and use the vehicle, if itâ??s on offer at your disposal, adventure shindig of a game. Now the dichotomy here is although this is one of the most popular genre of games, a huge seller if you get it right, it is also one of the most competitive and so it must not only look the part, play like a dream, but the challenge should be perfectly finger tapping balanced and brain teasing with a smidgeon of originality.

On offer there are 5 environments, beautifully crafted and lovingly designed to explore which include a forest, a snowy region, a jungle encampment and some lush settings with water â?“ lakes and plenty of creature comforts. Yes the usual variant scenery to delight the arcade fan who wants eye candy as well as a diverse looking game. Itâ??s further broken down into 20 levels of slapstick fun and mayhem topped with 30 diverse enemies and, not to forget, 10 plus vehicles to help our cute looking pouched animal along his long and fruitful adventure.

Yes Kao the Kangaroo is a sort of punch crazy, short-wearing, marsupial with boxing gloves grafted on the end of his arms, err.., maybe upper limbs and with a face that you will have empathy for from the moment you see him. Now what better intro could you have? A cute character, nice locations, a big set of enemies, loads of vehicles and a quest â?“ which sees Kao on a search for the terrifying hunter, Barnaba, and his motley bunch of henchmen who are causing nothing but trouble wherever they appear. Now before you can get to the real villain, Barnaba who is kidnapping all the animals, you must first have to get past the gang of baddies which as you will guess is not easy task.

Now as they say, letâ??s get ready to rumble in the jungle.

Kao is incarcerated on board a ship but the purveyor of a very important message by sheer fluke gets him out and informs him of the quest that he must complete. The first easy steps, or should we say bounces, move you out into a dark and ominous village where the action begins. Looking around, with some easy to manipulate camera views, imparts the kind of panoramic vantage points that will have you at a good advantage when you are surrounded. Juggling with the controls, moving left to right, jumping up and down on ledges, crates, feels very fluid and zapping on another button sees Kao splay his gloves out so anyone coming in close range will get a leather sandwich!

Moving quickly into Beaver forest, traversing planks to get you across an open expanse of water, nabbing gold coins and generally feeling allâ??s well, leaves you will the sentiment of seen this before but nevertheless it is playing well and letâ??s hope the first real surprise is worth the wait.

Some nice interaction with the â??goodâ?? cast gives you more insight into what you must face and the scenic forest if full of ramps and jump points disguised as inanimate objects in the surroundings.

It is only a short time before you start comparing this with a whole host of games - Jak 3, Crash Bandicoot and all number of other similar games, even Croc. Some will say comparison is good whilst others will want something new and innovative.

The action or interaction is incessant throughout and if there is a spot where there is nothing much going on then you can wander around, stray off the open path and just mess around â?“ not much point but hey, the graphic artists have spent time creating a world so why not see ever pixel. Chat with this dude, try getting up to the impossible crevice but the real route to success is always pretty much in front of your nose!

Digressing, Kao has some nice moves and one of the early ones you learn is how to chuck nuts and rocks and the testers, to ensure you understand the rudiments, are seamlessly implemented. Some basic hand to eye coordination with only a modicum of skill is required but this idea is nicely implemented into the game. Early on itâ??s a real case of some multiple jumps, some chucking and basic collecting of goodies is all that is essentially required. Kao isnâ??t too keen on water but he can swim and if you try to swim across a lake you will find you canâ??t get onto the ledge which will mean you have to complete a task before you can! Sometimes the logical things really frustrate, hey, why canâ??t you jump onto a ledge when normally you can jump 6 feet and itâ??s only 2 feet! Thing is logic never plays a part in a number of videogames, moreâ??s the pity!

Cavorting around, doing some nice flips, bashing anything that is well, â??bashableâ??, which in some cases present more goodies, is fun and then you have your speed trials, moving along at breakneck speed, well letâ??s say fast, collecting objects as they whiz past without doing too much damage. The other real factor you learn early on is that at some points you may find it harder than other sections but you are given lots of time and chances and donâ??t lose much energy or lives throughout and the bottom line is this game is pretty easy! Yes there is a progression to the game and enemies get smarter and the going becomes more frantic and even more precise movements are required but there is a leisurely pace to everything â?“ to the ardent gamer they would say itâ??s too easy but we will leave this aspect to the final part of the review.

Yes the enemy cast is the standard issue, running at you, stinging you, snapping at you with their jaws and donâ??t go near the porcupineâ?¦ Yes, itâ??s all very predictable and you just know what is coming next, bears, boomerangs and all kinds of gruff, rough baddies or instruments of hurt are hurled your way but with a pick up or two or help from a friend you will survive one battle to move on to another bigger warring confrontation.

Powerups are nothing new either with being able to fly, run at breakneck speed, plus you can nab icons to make you stronger, live longer, etc. etc. and not forgetting there is a collection of objects to aid your task which include catapult, torpedoes, motorboat, etc...

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  • Graphics: 71%
     
  • Sound: 65%
     
  • Gameplay: 64%
     
  • Originality: 48%
     
  • Longevity: 57%
     
Overall Score: 6/10
Kao has all the ingredients you could wish for in a game and basically it is a fun jaunt into a very endearing world. The real problem is that it has been done so many times before that at some stages in the game you get that déjà vu feeling you played the same location, executed the exact move and experienced the same sequence of events but this time it’s a Kangaroo you are sharing it with and not another endearing character. Even the cast is familiar.

Depending on who this is for, who will be playing the game, is the deciding factor.
First time or the less experienced gamers will certainly find this a very pleasing game and being able to get into it, play it for many hours and get a long way will give value for money. The real whiz player will move through this game like a hot knife through butter!

Nice game… shame about what’s on offer!

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User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Wed 03rd Jan 2007 17:53, Post No: 2

I like this game alot and olny there was more kao games but every boss is too hard!!


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Tue 21st Nov 2006 21:39, Post No: 1

I like this game and i want to full