Kao the Kangaroo is a return to the old classic polish platforming games. The last game in the series was released almost 17 years ago back in 2005. Now in 2022 Kao the Kangaroo is back and looks better than ever. However, did it manage to capture its former level of fun? Let’s find out in this Kao the Kangaroo Review.
Kao the Kangaroo – What Is It All About?
Kao the Kangaroo is mostly a 3D platformer with action elements. It is an anthropomorphic world with animals, where our protagonist named Kao is on a quest to find his missing sister. The story is set right from the beginning with Kao’s dream and continues throughout the game. Along the way you will discover the mystery surrounding your lost father.
Kao is a boxing kangaroo with big boxing gloves which allows him to battle enemies that stand in his way. The game is not very complex, and offers a lot of basic moves like attacks, jump attacks, spins, double jumps, rolls and more. If I had to compare it, it is a nice mix of Crash Bandicoot and Spyro, especially the remastered versions. The game also has boss battles which are fought with some harder hitting and tougher enemies. You can also switch between different Glove Charges with R1 and L1 on PS5.
While performing attacks Kao is stacking up his rage meter that allows for a powerful attack after it is filled. You have a limited number of lives that are shown in the top left corner of the screen. After you fall or get defeated in battle the game will restart from the last checkpoint, which is highlighted with lanterns.
There are a lot of collectibles, which is not surprising. You can collect coins (ducats), which is the main thing there, and it has that “collect them all” feel. The game makes it not feel like a chore, especially with some other collectibles like letters, additional lives for Kao, diamonds, scrolls, amulets and more.
Collecting in a game like that is not a bad thing. It might throw off some of the older players, and if you are looking for an ambitions game that is not it. The main focus here is on fighting, collecting, jumping around and just having simple fun which the game definitely does very well. After collecting the required number of runes to open a new level Kao can do so near the corresponding crystal gate.
Presentation of Kao the Kangaroo
The game looks nice at a first glance. Some of the textures are not the highest resolution, but it did not bother me. Its animation style is aimed at younger players, but also satisfies an older audience. The game just looks pretty to look at with a lot of well-made environmental details. Character and monster design can get a little repetitive after a long time, but in a game like that it is nothing groundbreaking. There is fifteen enemy types in the game, and nine allied characters that you can meet. The world is very vibrant and colorful which is a nice change of pace after some of the other big titles this year like Elden Ring. It is just nice to look at something pleasant and full of color.
The soundtrack and audio aspects are awesome. I like this type of cheery vibe, with a lot of rhythm and drumbeats. It is nothing fancy or elaborated, just simple, but memorable beats that make your head bop. Fits this style of game perfectly. The older Kao the Kangaroo games had a great soundtrack as well and this year’s release continues that trend. Music on every level varies, so it fits the events of the game adding up to the experience. All characters are voiced over too, which is a nice addition to the already aesthetically pleasing experience.
Technical Aspects and Settings
During my playthrough on the PlayStation 5, I only had some minor visual glitches. Some cutscenes had weird frames before them, but the game ran smoothly. I did not experience any crashes. The thing lacking the most for me were actually the options. There is not a lot you can change about the game. For example, you cannot make the subtitles bigger or set the background for them. All the sliders for brightness, sound, or camera sensitivity have only a couple of set values. There is a big difference in camera sensitivity or how bright the screen is between two adjacent settings of a slider. It could be much more precise to set up the game to your preferences. For me, bigger subtitles are a must, and I missed that here, even though the game is not filled with tons of dialogue. Most of it happens during the cutscenes.
Controls also cannot be changed, which can be tricky. Triangle, Square and Circle buttons have multiple actions assigned to it, while the d-pad is not utilized at all.
Our Kao the Kangaroo summary
Kao The Kangaroo is a simple and fun platformer, that has some great action, level design and soundtrack. It is fit for players of almost every age, but even adults can have fun with the right expectations. Kao is a simple game, with a simple story and a decent visual presentation. It can be a lot of fun and is a great way to relax after a long day. It is very kid-friendly and colorful. There are a lot of collectibles to collect, and it can be addictive so be careful how much coins you collect! The biggest downside for me was the lack of some needed accessibility options as well as settings in general.
The game cannot avoid its comparisons to Crash and Spyro as I did earlier in the Kao the Kangaroo Review, but the game stands its own ground. The main character Kao is very likeable, and his quest is something you can get invested in. Sadly, the game is very simple and easy, which is both its upside and downside. I think it could use a difficulty setting that would allow some older or more skilled players to have a challenge while playing through Kao’s adventures.
Kao the Kangaroo is out now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One S/X, Xbox Series S/X and Nintendo Switch.
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