Kao The Kangaroo Review

Introduction

Kao The Kangaroo is a 3D Platformer that is developed and published by Tate Multimedia. It was released on PC and Consoles in May 2022.

Review

When Kao’s sister Kaia goes missing looking for their father, Kao takes it upon himself to find both of them. With his mother’s permission of course. So he goes to find his father’s boxing master and ends up finding a possessed pair of boxing gloves that he puts on without thinking, then off he goes!

What I didn’t know when I started this game, is that Kao is actually an old series. It started all the way back on the Sega Dreamcast. But this story is self-contained and requires no prior knowledge to the series. But honestly the story is very lacklustre. The story felt like it moved super fast all of a sudden. One second Kao is begging to be able to go find his sister and father, and the next second he’s suddenly powerful enough to find them? I felt there was no build up whatsoever.

The boxing gloves being a big part of the game, have a mind of their own, so they talk to Kao throughout his entire journey. The only issue was that the voice acting for them sounds like a grumble as opposed to real words, so luckily there were subtitles so I knew what was actually being said. There were a decent amount of characters in the story as well, but most of them were only on screen for a few minutes. It was “hey you’re a fighting master and suddenly I beat you. Where’s my sister? No idea, alright I’ll try somewhere else.”. The fun thing about the bosses at least, was they all had many phases with different attacks, and you had to find out how to defeat them during each phase!

The game definitely relies more on its gameplay over its story. As a 3D Platformer collectathon, you definitely have a lot to see and collect at all times. From coins so you can buy outfits at the store or health upgrades, to blue crystals, that I had no idea what they did, to runes that you had to get to progress, there’s always something. The one thing that annoyed me though is that the runes you needed to advance, you were required to collect every single one. You miss even one, you have to go back to get it. Luckily in the levels, they’re basically unmissable, but most games in this vein let you at least miss a good chunk of these kinds of collectibles.

As you platform around the levels, you’ll find yourself in combat with enemies. The combat breaks down into mashing square to punch the enemies. Most of them due in a few hits. As you hit enemies, you build up a special bar that can be activated anytime you want, but if you get hit, it does decrease. I barely used this special bar, because I was never sure if it would kill the enemies around me. Most of the time, they would just get stunned for a short time, so I’d have to run around and smack them still. But it also depended on whether you had fire on your gloves or not. It seemed the fire would kill enemies more often than any other element.

When it comes to the elements, as you progress you end up finding ice, fire, and wind elements that you can gather up to help you progress through puzzles. There was a point where you had to use more than one element in a few puzzles. They were never anything hard. With the fire element, you were usually burning webs or lighting fire to move platforms, the ice required you to usually just freeze water to push blocks. It was the wind element that was really buggy and made no sense. You use the wind element to pull platforms to you. Sometimes they have boomerangs on them. This is where the bugs happened. You have to punch weird totems to open up the boomerang holder, thus getting you a boomerang, but when you punch, you use the wind element to pull platforms towards you. I would be punching at the holder, but not getting anything from it, because even though the platform was in front of me, and it wasn’t lit up to show I was trying to drag it, it would still try and drag it. Leading me to try and get these boomerangs for a good dozen attempts.

The visuals in the game were awesomely pleasing. A fun and vibrant colour that made me cheery and think back to all the old platformers. This game takes a good amount of inspiration from a lot of old ones and that’s good. But it clearly takes most of it from Crash. For some reason though I couldn’t play the game for more than an hour at a time, even though it had my name written all over it. Awesome visuals, check. 3D platformer, check. Silly character that you play as? Check. There was something that just wasn’t clicking. It doesn’t help that my biggest issue in the game was the checkpoint system. If you fall off an edge, full health or not, you don’t just get put back at the edge of the platform you just fell off of, you get put back at the most recent checkpoint, with EVERYTHING respawned as if you fully died! Why they chose that design, I’ll never know, but it was the biggest annoyance of all.

Rating

Rating: 4 out of 10.

Pros:

  • Amazing Visuals
  • Play As A Kangaroo
  • Fun Variety Of Outfits To Buy And Wear

Cons:

  • Needing To Get All Level Progressing Runes
  • Blue Crystals Are Collectibles That Don’t Seem To Have A Purpose
  • Checkpoint System!

Summary

I was super excited for this game. It had potential, but it didn’t feel like it had a lot of soul. Some collectibles didn’t have a purpose, unless I just didn’t find the purpose, the checkpoint system was infuriating, the ultimate combat skills felt pointless. I just walked away incredibly disappointed. But I did have a tiny amount of fun. So it’s worth a try on sale!

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Game & Developer Information

Developer/Publisher Website: Tate Multimedia
Developer/Publisher Socials: Twitter
PSN Store Links: £24.99/€29.99 Europe / $29.99 North America
Trophy Information: 16. 40-platinum 1 / Gold 9 / Silver 4 / Bronze 2

Kao the Kangaroo – Release the Power of the Gloves!

Published by oniwalker

Co-owner of NodeGamers(dot)com. Reviewer and Guide Writer. I'll play just about anything as I cry about my backlog!

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