The main thing I learned while
playing Kao was this: I suck at judging games at first glance. I got this and Prehistorik
Man at the same time, and I actually expected Kao to be better. Oh cruel irony, I know ye
youre Kao, the Kangaroo who says "ouch" when he gets hurt. Youre
walking along minding your own business when a hunter starts chasing you. You get caught.
The game starts (riveting plot, no?). As Ive said before, I dont have too much
of an issue with a bad plot in a platformer, but I would like to know what makes Kao
special, how he got his boxing gloves (hes not wearing them in the intro but
suddenly acquires them once the game starts), why when he is caught hes suddenly a
world away from where he got caught, and what happens to the hunter. All unanswered. All
Im asking for is just a little inspiration to trudge on with the game. This would be
easy to overcome if the gameplay were good
its not (come on, if you see a "
" after something you know its going
to end up being the opposite). My main complaint: its far too difficult. Any game
where you need several attempts to hit, not destroy, just hit a regular plant monster has
some serious issues; especially if you consider that the game is intended for children. I
cannot tell you how frustrating this is, and there have been many a level where I would
just try to run through the monsters without engagement. That is possible thanks to the
fact that once youre hit you cant take more damage from an enemy until
youve been away from it for a bit. This was probably intended to reduce the inane
difficulty a tad, but it just makes for some cheap gameplay. Oh, and wouldnt one
think that in a platformer the platform hopping parts would be fun fun for everyone? Hell
no. As if regular jumping wasnt hard enough, if theres an enemy on the next
ledge on the horizon, youre screwed. Since Kao has the tendency to move back a
squinch after getting a beating youll likely fall to your doom. And there are so
many dooms that youll experience. Heres a tip: write down the password
received after each level.
The only time
I actually enjoyed the game were the transport levels, where you use some form of
transportation or another (like in the first one you snowboard) to get to the next world.
The only other bright spot I can see as far as gameplay is concerned is the checkpoint
system. Instead of going to the last computer selected checkpoint you crossed after you
die, you can set one of your own up wherever you want. Other games really should take note
graphics are pretty good, and Kao can really get cruising. It looks about like a mid to
mid-late Genesis game. Multiple layers of scrolling give the game the feeling of depth.
The enemies are decently animated. Still, the graphics can get to be a bit too dark.
As far as
sound is concerned itd be great
(remember what I told you earlier) if it had a
completely different set of sound effects. Kaos "ouch" started to grate my
nerves by level two. The music is forgettable. Really. I have no clue what the music went
like now. I guess that could be considered a good thing for this game, seeing as it
doesnt insult the senses too much.
Kangaroo is just a lackluster game. Bad gameplay, bad sound, and decent graphics equals
bad game. Titus can do wonders in this genre. Prehistorik Man is proof of that. Better
luck next time, guys.