Kao the Kangaroo is a 3D platformer from Tate Multimedia that follows on from the Kao the Kangaroo franchise which last saw a release in 2005. You play as a kangaroo named Kao who sets off on a journey to find his missing sister Kaia and along the way meet some friends to help you on your journey as well as take on some famous fighting masters it’s clear the game takes inspiration from its peers like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and Ratchet and Clank but it never quite reaches the same heights.
Gameplay is similar to a typical 3D platformer, can you jump across numerous obstacles, push yourself up on ledges and tread through shallow water to reach the goal at the end of each level. Kao can double jump and roll underneath fences and other low-lying obstacles to cover distances that his standard jump cannot, health is represented by hearts in the bottom right corner of the screen diminishing any time he gets an injury or falls into deep water, losing all the hearts means losing life and returning to the last checkpoint.
The game took me roughly around five hours to complete, this play time will vary depending on how many collectibles you can be bothered going after. This game features a ton of collectibles hidden throughout the levels. The combat is really well done, it was one of the things I was most worried about when starting this game, usually in platformers combat isn’t the best but Kao the Kangaroo really nails it down, it feels almost like a lesser Batman Arkham game where you’re going from enemy to enemy and as you’re doing that building up your special bar and then able to unleash an ultimate attack, that attack will then change depending on which gloves you have equipped, I never got frustrated or annoyed when fighting an enemy as it always felt super simple and easy to approach. Although one downside is the enemy level, there is no difficulty in this game and I feel like a difficulty setting would have benefited this game greatly because no enemy in this game really posed any sort of challenge, you’re going to be flying through this game pretty easily.
One thing the game does really well from beginning to the end is the locations that you visit. You start off on the Hopolu island, you then travel to a jungle then to a frozen mountain and finally to the Eternal Isle which has a great vibe and theme around it, each hub world had around three levels based around these certain themes and was just enough so you never felt like you were just going through the same level over and over again. The variety in the level was great and are frequently filled by light puzzle elements that are just below the threshold of frustrating. In contrast, one of the weakest parts of this game is the story. Kao is on a journey to find his sister and you meet some characters along the way but I never really felt invested in this story and unfortunately the voice acting for ko at least was pretty bad compared to some of the other characters in this game. it never just quite reaches the same heights as some of the other 3D platformers available on the market in this day and age.
Overall, Kao the Kangaroo is an enjoyable experience that does take other elements from other games and puts them in a nice well-rounded package and I do recommend playing it if you are a fan of 3D platformers