You remember Kao the Kangaroo? If you are over thirty, probably inside some of your boundless drawers in the depths of memory, an image of a kangaroo with boxing gloves will jump out in search of coins in a very colorful low definition world. Made over twenty years ago by the Polish Tate Multimedia, Kao the Kangaroo returns with a remake for the current generation consoles trying to relaunch a series that has fallen into oblivion. Did it turn out to be a winning choice?
Kao the Kangaroo and the mascot war
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, software houses challenged each other to the sound of mascots to try to unseat Super Mario from the platforming throne in 3D. While Sonic followed the nefarious fate of the Sega consoles, PlayStation churned out a series of successful platformers such as to get to excel with the masterpiece Super Mario 64. First of all it was Crash Bandicoot to defeat the competition, a creature before it Naughty Dog then destined to mark the history of the consoles Sony to come. Others tried to replicate the same success of the peramele, but more or less all ended up failing, some more and some less sensationally. Among these, the Polish Tate Multimedia he managed to carve out a small space among the myriad clones of Mario and Crash with his Kao the Kangarooa platform of a completely different caliber than its cousins, but capable of entertaining young and old with its simplicity.
Despite this, the Kao the Kangaroo series was short-lived, literally disappearing from the radar after a handful of sequels. Twenty years later, Tate Multimedia extracts a remake completely unexpected, but which aroused the curiosity of many, nostalgic and not. Given the recent successes of the Crash Bandicoot revival, Spyro and company it was logical to expect something from this return as well. Kao the Kangaroo, the new one, retains much of its classic spirit, a fundamentally simple and intuitive platform aimed also and above all at an audience of very young. After obtaining the boxing gloves magic once belonged to his father, Kao will leave in search of his sister and the same father, apparently disappeared into thin air.
I am jumping a kangaroo
Drawing from both the Spyro the Dragon trilogy and the Banjo-Kazooiethe world of Kao the Kangaroo is structured in worlds-hubs control panels from which it is possible to unlock bring them which lead to the different levels of the game, after collecting a certain amount of runes. The gameplay Kao the Kangaroo revolves around his ability to deliver powerful punches thanks to his father’s magic gloves. Compared to a “jump and dodge” approach in the manner of Crash Bandicoot, Kao the Kangaroo instead prefers a more focused style of play. combatalthough the actions available are rather limited and the enemies are not very aggressive.
The limitations of Kao the Kangaroo also extend to the level designall too basic and uninspired compared to the size of platform released in the last period. So don’t expect puzzles or paths with deadly traps, Kao the Kangaroo offers a much more relaxed yet fun gaming experience. A good dose of challenge is guaranteed instead by the search of the very numerous collectibles scattered in all levels, from the aforementioned runes, to the diamonds and the letters “K”, “A” and “O” hidden in each stage, a sort of quotation to the historical series of Donkey Kong developed by Rare.
Cartoon atmospheres and settings colorful they are certainly a boon for both the nostalgic of the golden age of PlayStation 1, both for the very young who discover for the first time the adventures of the boxer kangaroo. The initial amazement, however, passes in a short time when the multiple problems begin and emerge bug that plague the title of Tate Multimedia. You know, the budget is not necessarily everything, but in Kao the Kangaroo there is a general approximation that results in frequent cases of graphic and sound bugs, glitchcrash (and let’s not talk about the Bandicoot), annoying polygonal interpenetrations, crazy camera and other phenomena that will undermine your gaming experience.
Despite the effort by Tate Multimedia to package a title that can at least give a few moments of joy since dubbing English got it right up to fun cutscene who will tell you the story of the young kangaroo, it is appropriate to say that haste is never a good counselor. Kao the Kangaroo is a title incompletewith too many smudges, which would have needed a longer gestation to be considered as good as other productions of the same genre.