Review by End of Days

"It's a kiddy game...meant for older people."

Just let me clarify my tagline - on the outside, yes, this game does look like it's made for new, young gamers. But, younger kids just won't be able to figure out 90% of the game, to be honest. It's puzzle heavy, but they aren't that hard to figure out - still too hard for your son or 8 year old nephew to figure out though.

The story of Kameo seems sort of familiar - I'm not sure where from, but here's the jist of it. Kameo's evil sister has defected to the Troll King, Thorn. By capturing her parents - the King and Queen of the Enchanted Kingdom, and offering them to Thorn, she has gained something. But, you don't find this out until later. While trying to rescue her family, Kameo loses her elemental warriors, and becomes effectively useless without them. Kameo now has to chase down her warriors, trapped by Shadow Trolls and rescue them - and then ultimately rescuing her family, and the Elvish race.

The Elemental Warriors add some spice to a dying platform genre. Where are the old days of side-scrolling, simple platformers? Where are the once thriving 3D platformers - ala Jak and Daxter? These have been replaced by Action Platformers - ala Jak 2 etc. This game is different - it fuses the two genres together - Action Platformers and simple Platforming elements. But mainly, again, the game relies on repetitive combat - my only real jive with the game - but this soon sorts itself out midway through the game when you gain so many of the 10 Elemental Warriors, who each specify in their own specialist area.

Some examples of the Warriors? Okay, lets take the first one Kameo regains - Pummel Weed. This guy is your basic melee combatant - a boxing weed. Great fun at first, but his fighting gets extremely boring. He's used mainly for Stealth and the likes. Some variation next, as the slow but quite powerful and ever useful Rubble comes along. While not the guy you want by your side while running from mass Hordes of Trolls, he's essential to puzzles, and is extremely strong.

They're just a couple of the ten Warriors - I'll let you find out about the rest, and they're all special. The basic platforming sections are shown off to their extent in the first tutorial mission - and it's GREAT fun. Using Major Ruin to charge up and fly off a ramp, change into a large Ice Gorilla named Chilla to hang to the walls, climb up and then use Pummel Weed to kill the enemy on the top - or even have Chilla use him as a club? Pure genius, and very, very fun.

It starts off fast and furious, gets a bit boring and then becomes very fun when you regain a few new Warriors...it's good, overall.

Controls are my MAJOR gripe with this game - knocking the point off the score. Accessing your Warriors can sometimes be a hassle - outside of the three you have planted to your B/X/Y buttons, while A changes you back into Kameo. Controlling some Warriors is a major pain - Pummel Weed and Deep Blue spring to mind instantly. It takes a while to get used to them, but some of the controls flat out suck.

The game looks extremely nice - if you forgive the very...average character models. The warriors look nice, as you'd expect, but the Elvish models and the Trolls look very...last gen. Textures etc look lovely - have a look at the walls in Thorn's Castle, it just oozes power. I haven't noticed any slowdown - even in the Badlands section, where you and your steed charge through a massive area - through at least 500 Trolls. It just looks...amazing, to say the least. Kameo's model is quite pathetic, though - even in the cutscenes.

Sound? Another letdown, imo. The voice acting is quite below par - this Kameo sounds like the would've suited Jo Dark much better, and Jo Dark/Kameo. Poor judgement by RARE there, me thinks.

Otherwise, this game is a good start for the Xbox360 Platforming genre...let's hope it continues in this vain!


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/28/05


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