April 26, 2006 · Print This Article

KameoThe quality of launch titles tends to vary quite immensely. There are always some games which have obviously been rushed in order to meet the deadline to try and feed off the potential sales from the fact there is so little competition in games at the launch, while at other times there are truly quality games that really define what the system will be. Hyped up to be the best set of launch games ever, the Xbox 360 definitely had its work cut out for it to meet such a high declaration. In its launch arsenal it had such games as Project Gotham Racing 3, Perfect Dark Zero, and Kameo: Elements of Power.

Kameo had a knock against it from the start: it was originally meant to be on the Xbox. For this reason, Kameo still carries over certain effects and sequences that were obviously designed for the Xbox and don’t take advantage of what the new Xbox 360 has to offer. A game such as Kameo is more like a next-gen port for a current-gen game, and developers have their work cut out for them to make such a game truly successful. Thankfully, Rare has done just that with Elements of Power.


Kameo: Elements of Power starts out by tossing the player right into a rather difficult combat sequence that basically serves as a crash course and is a sink or swim situation if gamers want to progress further in the game. Gamers must learn how to control Kameo very quickly if they plan to survive. In addition, there is only a brief introduction to the game prior to this moment, and this serves as the game’s first failure: a weak storyline. Indeed, the storyline gets better as the game goes on, but Kameo simply does not draw gamers in from the start as it should.

Kameo, however, does thrive in its originality and the developers reinforced all of the unique aspects of the game, making Kameo a new, refreshing experience that highlights a new next-gen console. The main gameplay aspect of Kameo is her arsenal of transformations that can be called upon with the click of a button. Each transformation, such as a powerful Yeti, has its own advantages and its own set of attacks which the player can use to dispatch large amounts of enemies. While transformation isn’t overly new to the gaming industry, Kameo implements this feature extremely well and it is definitely one of the highlights of Kameo: Elements of Power.

The gameplay offers quite a bit of variety. The combat, which mostly involves transformations and then using a couple of attack buttons to form devastating combos, is easy to catch on to and quite entertaining. When players aren’t engaged in battle, they will be able to roam other areas of the game where Kameo can solve little puzzles, find hidden items, and talk to various, interesting characters in the game. Arguably the best aspect of the gameplay, at least for certain gamers, is that all of this can be undertaken with a friend in a solid cooperative mode.

The game is actually quite varied in what it has the player doing. There are peaceful situations to be found in the Enchanted Kingdom where players can stroll around talking and searching, there are massive battles to be found in the Badlands where enemy troops are attempting to get into the Enchanted Kingdom, and solving puzzles to unlock additional forms that Kameo can turn into. All of this is done seamlessly and fits well into Kameo’s storyline as the game progresses further.


The best thing about Kameo, arguably, is the way this fairly simple yet satisfying gameplay is presented so well. There were many doubts about how Kameo would look since it was originally intended for Xbox, however those doubts have been quickly dispelled. Kameo looks absolutely fantastic. The worlds are vibrant and booming with color, drawing the gamer deeper into them with their well laid out and gorgeously animated environments. These worlds are interactive enough to keep players on their toes as they travel through the gorgeous scenery.

The characters are also highly detailed and well animated. Kameo was expertly drawn and has plenty of seamless movements and animations that bring her truly to life. Other characters were also given good consideration in their design and their detail represents this. However, it is the way everything flows so smoothly and the final reward of amazing special effects that give the game its sparkly touch. Really, Kameo is just an excellent looking game.


Kameo may not be able to be enjoyed for overly long, since the game ways in at only a modest ten hours or so in length, however, while it lasts, Kameo is an amazing game that is quite satisfying indeed. It is highly recommended for every proud Xbox 360 owner and Kameo: Elements of Power truly accentuates a strong Xbox 360 launch group that gives much hope for the future of games on this aspiring new system.

Gameplay: 9.2 – Kameo’s originality is what earns it extra points. It is rare for a gaming to be truly original and fun, and it is good that Rare put out such a game after such a long wait.

Graphics: 9.5 – Kameo simply looks amazing. It was expected that being moved from the Xbox to the Xbox 360 would result in poor graphics but that simply isn’t the case. Kameo shines in every graphical area.

Sound: 8.6 – The sound isn’t overly extraordinary, but the F/X are solid and the voice-overs were done very well.

Lasting Appeal: 8.2 – Although the single player campaign is fairly short, it can be replayed and is still enjoyable. The cooperative mode also adds some additional life to the game.

Overall: 8.9 – Kameo still has some things that could have been improved or changed, but on the whole it is an extremely fun and engaging game that Xbox 360 owners will enjoy.


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