Kameo: Elements of Power
Game Info
Platform(s)
Xbox 360
Publisher
Microsoft
Developer
Rare, Ltd.
Genre
Adventure
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Animated Blood, Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Great Graphics
• EPIC soundtrack
• Great Fantasy setting

The Bad

• Too short
• Where's the story?
• Controls get tiresome

 
Grade
B-

Kameo stars the young girl of the same name and puts her in an epic quest to release her family members and put a stop to her sister's evil ways. She has released an evil troll that had been banished before and threatens the very land Kameo lives on and thus Kameo is on her way to save the kingdom from complete destruction. The question at hand is, is Kameo as epic as it wants to be?

Playing Kameo can really be summed up quite easily. It's obviously a been-there and done-that adventure/platform game and while Kameo does a lot right it doesn't do a whole lot different. The game opens up with a bang and immediately you are hoping platforms, scaling walls and fighting minions along the way. An impressive attack is launched and Kameo makes her way up to the castle where her sister awaits. She starts by being able to change into three different animals each with there own distinct abilities and it's with those that you will progress through the rest of her great journey. Switching back and forth between the creatures is how you progress and all their moves can be upgraded throughout the course of the adventure. Soon after reaching your sister, an event takes places and Kameo looses all her abilities, thereby starting you from scratch. This is where the game really begins and you are let loose in Kameo's world to explore and recapture your old abilities along with new ones. You start off in her home kingdom but soon have access to the main hub of the game or over world as you would know it. The amount of enemies seen on this screen at times is astonishing and you can really feel at times like you're getting the most bang for your buck with your newly purchased 360. From here you have four different areas to venture to. Once gaining access to these distinct areas, you will then be able to explore what usually consists of a village or town like area which then leads to a dungeon and the finally a epic boss battle. The dungeons have a few switch flips here and little odd ball puzzles but nothing too brain teasing. There are a total of five bosses you encounter in the game but they are each fun and unique in how you fight them. Figuring out how to deal them punishment is half the fun.

This is one of two games released by Rare at launch and it is definitely one of the more beautiful games to come around in a long time. The graphics seem to shine in all environments and each area has a distinct theme and idea. Characters come to life with vivid animations and a certain charm that you can't help but smile when certain characters are on screen. Kameo does a great job with the Xbox 360 for its graphical abilities. One of the better looking launch titles by far. The team behind Kameo had a great visual approach, the environments and designs are really well done and the perfect envision that one might get when thinking of a fantasy setting.

Kameo is easily controlled with the left thumb stick and the left and right triggers being the main button to use for jumping, fighting, etc. Depending on which creature you are using the buttons take on there own abilities which is thankfully displayed on the screen.

Using the triggers so much in one game comes off repetitive at times and you'll be wishing that you could use other buttons instead. It's a little cumbersome just using the triggers all the time. The great thing about them using the trigger buttons for your main actions is that the face buttons are all used for easy and quick switching to different animal forms that Kameo can take. This allows for you to assign 3 different forms to the buttons and quick swapping between Kameo and her other various shape shifting forms. It takes a little while to get used to but stick with it and you will enjoy find yourself enjoying this interesting take on controlling your characters.

EPIC! That is the single word I would use to sum up my thoughts on the sound of this game. The soundtrack was released before the game even hit the streets and I was personally listening to each and every track. This is on a scale of a high caliber fantasy movie and the composer should be commended for such a great job. This is one of the better soundtracks out there and one gives Kameo a step above most. The sounds effects are all done nicely as well. The grunts and screams of trolls, the firing of cannons, and the sound of bugs flying nearby all come off superbly. Voice acting on the other hand is something that's a hit or miss. It's not something that I cringe at and it better then Rare's other launch title Perfect Dark but it could still be improved upon but again the music in the game really makes up for any sound shortcomings you might find.

This brings me to some short comings Kameo has overall. The game is short. Even after completing the entire side quest and upgrading my creatures to the max, my time only left me with about 15 hours. Now this is not short by normal means but I believe that most people would like a good 20 hours at least for these genres of games. It's not a major issue but something some people would take into consideration when looking for a game to purchase. The controls are something of an issue to some as well. Most are easily able to adapt while some folks were just not getting the hang of it. The one major complaint that I'd like to point out is that the game goes for an epic feeling and it just doesn't quite reach it. The over world is huge but only leads to 4 area total and the game just doesn't feel epic level wise. The game starts off with a bang and then story wise just leaves you hanging until you beat the game. The ending was one of the more enjoyable ones I've seen in recent time but I'm not sure if that's because they dished out a twist in the ending when the game was pretty much story free or if it was just really enjoyable. Either way I liked it.

Overall, Kameo is a well done platforming adventure game. It does things a little differently then some adventure games and while it sets out to be a game of epic proportions it just misses a few key ingredients to put it into that top bracket. Even so, Kameo is a game that any adventure loving Xbox 360 owner would do justice playing.

- - Justin Celani

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