Friday, May 22, 2009

QuickBlog: Kameo: Elements of Power

7.5 [Great]

Gameplay: 7
Visuals: 9
Music: 8
Sound: 7
Value: 7

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Rare Ltd.
Multiplayer: Offline co-op
Console(s): Xbox 360
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
ESRB rating: T (Animated Blood, Violence)
TGG rating: E10+ (Animated Blood, Fantasy Violence)

Good Points:

Beautiful graphics - Wonderful soundtrack - Varied and well-crafted gameplay - Surprisingly deep combat

Not So Good Points:

Some frustrating moments - A slight missed opportunity in terms of story - Lame final boss

Kameo: Elements of Power has the honor of being the first game for the Xbox 360, both of which were releaesed in 2005. The 360 sure got off on the right foot, as Kameo is a fun, enjoyable, and wholly charming romp through a mystical world of fantasy. The tale takes place in a land of of trolls, magic, and elves, and you play as Kameo, an elf who is naturally tasked with saving the world or some such thing. The story is nice, and the characters are decent, but nothing stands out as particularilly memorable. But make no mistake; the game is filled with imagination, despite the lack of a gripping narrative. The major "gimmick" of the game consists of Kameo's ability to morph into a variety of monsters, which you unlock throughout the game. Each of these beasts has a plethora of special moves, a unique look and feel, and a load of personality. You'll solve puzzles, traverse tricky platforming situations, and engage in a surprisingly deep and satisfying combat system. In true Rare spirit, these creatures, as well as the rest of the game, look fantastic: sparkling water, beautiful scenery, and impressive character models are all rendered with impressive results. I often find myself stopping in the middle of everything and just staring at the magical surroundings. The game really does look good. Also true to Rare, the music is excellent. I'm still not sure how, but the score manages to make everything feel epic and silly at the same time, almost as if it's a parody, but not enough to take you out of the exciting moments. Great stuff. There's also a stripped down co-op mode to play through if you have a friend in the room, which can make for some good fun. There are occasionally dull or frustrating moments (the final boss comes to mind), but Kameo is overall a very fun and very colorful ride, and certainly deserves a look.