Kameo: Elements of Power is one of the first games released for Xbox 360 and it was actually originally supposed to be released on GameCube before Rare, the developers, were bought by Microsoft. Then it was supposed to be released on Xbox, but never made it and it has finally arrive on Xbox 360 as one of the flagship launch titles. In Kameo: Elements of Power you take on the role of Kameo as she adventures through the game trying to rescue her family, elemental warriors, and defeat the evil Dark Troll King, Thorn. On your adventure you will find and unlock the power of 10 elemental warriors that you can transform into to use their powers to help you get past different situations.Transform into the sasquatch/yeti named Chilla to climb ice walls and throw ice spears or turn into the plant named Pummel Weed to unleashing some fierce boxing moves. You can also transform into an armadillo named Major Ruin and turn into a ball to blast through enemies and launch off ramps or change into Deep Blue, a water elemental that excels in underwater areas. This is just a sample of some of the characters you can transform into in Kameo: Elements of Power and there are 6 more that you can become, but I will let you discover those for yourself.
All of the elementals are very well animated and you can actually still see Kameo inside them while she controls their powers. The level designs are also nicely done and you will adventure through areas that have beautiful flowers, detailed foliage, snow, dark shadows, water, and more. The graphics in general in Kameo: Elements of Power are impress and some of the best you will see in any action adventure platforming game, but that is to be expected, since this is Xbox 360 we are talking about. Xbox 360 is using the latest and greatest gaming hardware that surpasses even what the most powerful PCs can do currently, so anything less and we would all be disappointed.
This doesn’t mean that the graphics and gameplay are perfect in Kameo: Elements of Power for Xbox 360. You would think that after being in development for multiple years for multiple systems that they would’ve had any camera problems all worked out by now, but they still exist. Whenever you are in tight spaces it is hard to see which way to go without using the right analog stick to continuously adjust the camera angle. Also, when fighting enemies it is easy to lose track of them because you are looking one way and they are attacking from another. When playing the game in two-player split-screen cooperative mode this problem is magnified even more, since you don’t have that much screen real estate to begin with.
The gameplay is fun and should entertain anyone that likes games like Super Mario Sunshine for GameCube, Ratchet & Clank and Jak and Daxter for PlayStation 2 or any other 3D platforming games on the market. I also don’t mind putting Kameo: Elements of Power for Xbox 360 in the same league with the above mentioned games, since I feel that the quality of this game matches those above. I think that we would all have been disappointed if Rare gave us another Grab by Ghoulies and I am happy to report that Kameo: Elements of Power is definitely better than that game.
The controls except for the problem with the camera angle are also good and you will feel in control of the on-screen character at all times. The game feels really well polished and that is why the camera angle problem threw me for a loop. The camera angle can be adjusted manually to fix your view, but this is sometimes hard to do while battling enemies or trying to negotiate a jump. All-in-all, the controls are well executed and will feel intuitive after an hour or so of play time.
There are not that many game modes to choose from, but that is to be expect in a 3D platforming game. You basically get to play either the story mode, a time trail mode or cooperatively through levels you have beaten in the single-player game with a friend via split-screen. The game box has the Xbox Live logo on it, but that is just because it allows you to access Xbox Live through it for Xbox Live Marketplace items and to see your Xbox Live Achievements online. This is a little misleading and I wouldn’t be surprised if every game for Xbox 360 has an Xbox Live logo on it even if you don’t actually get to play the game online against or with other people.
I will admit that the Xbox Live Achievements option is pretty cool and allows you to compare how far you have gotten in the game with other Xbox Live members for bragging rights. All Xbox 360 titles are supposed to have some form of an Achievement system. This is a neat feature that Xbox 360 brings to the table that none of the current generation and maybe even future generation consoles from other companies can compete with.
The music and sound effects in Kameo: Elements of Power are also very well done and definitely on par with the graphics the game delivers. The music is instrumental and monumental in the grand scheme of things bringing a rich background to the action that is happening on the screen. The sound effects are also well done and expect to hear all sorts of sounds that will fill your ears while playing the game. Kameo: Elements of Power has ambient noises that will add to the realism of the levels and all the action sound effects of you beating up different characters and proceeding through the levels are well done and entertaining. The voice-acting is also decent but I don’t think any of the actors will be winning an Emmy for their parts in the game.
Kameo: Elements of Power is a good first effort for an action platforming game on the Xbox 360 and if you like games in this genre you should enjoy it, if you can find a Xbox 360 this holiday season to play it on. It is not without its faults, the biggest being the camera angle problems, but all-in-all it is an enjoyable game that will keep you busy as you try to beat the game and unlock all the Achievements to display under your Gamertag profile on Xbox Live.
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