After 22 years, Kao the kangaroo is back and in great shape! The protagonist of the early 2000s platforming series makes a leap (it happens ?!) into the present with a sparkling new chapter that will allow us once again to put on Kao’s gloves. The Polish software house Tate Multimedia has decided after many years to revive the franchise and, hopefully, the world of platformwhich has remained on the sidelines in recent years. But is renewed graphics enough to do this? Let’s find out in this Kao The Kangaroo review!
Our review of Kao The Kangaroo
In this new chapter of Kao The Kangaroo, our kangaroo in shorts will embark on a new adventure at search for father and sister, mysteriously disappeared. The discovery of his father’s old boxing gloves has in fact rekindled in him the flame of research for family members, but something is not working. Boxing gloves appear to be possessed by a strange entity who, however, with their own very personal moral, want to help the young Kao in his business.
The gloves are imbued with a dark energy that allows a Kao to interact with elements and objects from another dimension. In doing so, he has the opportunity to see beyond, discover other ways and exploit new powers with his mega punches. The challenges are in fact not lacking, the enemies are many and varied and Kao will have to go a long way before he finds out the truth about his family.
A leap in 2022
As anticipated Kao The Kangaroo is an old-fashioned platformer, no more, no less. Here we find all the elements that make this genre such: mobile platforms, various and colorful levels, enemies to defeat, bosses, many collectibles, etc.
Kao’s world structure is divided into levels with a central area for each “biome” serving as a central explorable hub from which to interface with the other levels. The central area is also a level in itself that although it does not contain enemies, it offers us many objects to collect as well as coins. That of collectibles is definitely one of the main mechanics. These range from the classics coinswith here buy aesthetic accessories or hearts of life, diamonds, map pieces, the mythical letters that make up the name KAO and le Rune. These are perhaps the most important as you will need them to progress through the story and unlock new levels.
Also in terms of gameplay, the classic predominates. Kao can jump, double jump, roll and of course, throw punches. The boxing gloves will be your weapon that, as you progress with the game, will be able to absorb new incredible powers, such as the ability to ignite and burn enemies as well as some elements such as cobwebs, etc. These are flanked by small innovations in the franchise such as the ability to cling to grids using the ears, cling to the protruding or sliding along pipes or lianas. As you may have understood, the pace of the game is quite frenetic but never too complicated. On the contrary, the degree of challenge is far too low and most of the enemies can be eliminated in a few hits, except i boss.
Here return the beloved “turn-based” battles where each series of blows given to the enemy will infuriate him and unleash a new series of attacks on us, some unpredictable.
The unmistakable style of the Platforms
Pthe level design is particularly interesting which never presents maps that are too complex or difficult to explore but is characterized by a particular and successful style. It should be borne in mind, however, that we are not talking about a Triple A video game like the remake of Spyro or Ratchet & Clank therefore some technical and graphic imperfections are essential. The grass will not bend softly as we pass and not all objects in the level can be destroyed. But the general glance is really pleasant and the pace of play makes certain details go unnoticed.
In particular, we really liked the variant of the “parallel reality”Which is activated in certain areas by hitting some totems that make visible what was not before. Added to this are the mini-levels inside the eternal wells. These are secondary areas that present platform challenges of slightly above average difficulty full of treasures, necessary to complete the game 100%
The graphics? a leap into the future
From a technical point of view, the development made is truly remarkable. As anticipated, the flaws are not lacking but Kao’s style has given a nice refresh to the market, with vivid and vibrant colors, well-defined characters and enemies and a level design, we repeat, more than apt. The version on PlayStation 5, used to write this review of Kao The Kangaroo, was flawless in terms of stability. The possibilities were there, given the nature of the game, but we never encountered any bugs or graphical glitches of any kind.
A separate discussion, unfortunately, must be made for the soundtrack and audio in general, not always at the top. Kao The Kangaroo uses the typical mechanics of platformers from repeat short musical motifs in a loop for any level, area or situation. Usually this is a good choice given the great variety present, but this is not the case with Kao. The music is often repetitive and pounding and we found ourselves several times to lower the volume of the TV. To make matters worse, they think about it the only glitches we encountered, right in the sound. Very often the audio was interrupted suddenly preventing us from listening to music or other ambient sounds. Did he want to protect our ears?
On the other hand, the dubbing of the various characters (in English with Italian subtitles) is well chosen which, although it does not reach a high level in terms of acting, manages to win over the humor typical of the Kao franchise that we adore!
The Kao The Kangaroo review in brief
Kao The Kangaroo is a beautiful old-school platformer that makes up for the lack of particularly important new features with fresh and never boring gameplay. There are some bugs, especially from the audio point of view, but overall it is a very pleasant game that will be able to keep you glued to the screen, a screen full of colors and joy.
- An old-fashioned platformer
- Exceptional level design
- Lots of collectibles to collect
- Sense of exhilarating humor
- Audio effects and music not always at the top
- Too easy
- We would not be sorry for a few more gampeplay news