Review: Kao the Kangaroo (Nintendo Switch)

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Kao the Kangaroo takes me back a couple of console generations. There was a time period in the late ’90s to mid 2000s where every video game console got a dozen or more 3D platformers. They featured all sorts of mascots and their quality varied from top-tier to semi-broken and unplayable. Kao the Kangaroo fell into the happy medium– not fantastic, but certainly not bad.

The initial Kao initially came out on the Sega Dreamcast. While this variation didn’t rather stick for me, 20 years later the designers behind the franchise chose to provide it a complete reboot. It may not be perfect or truly similar to that era of 3D platformers, but Kao the Kangaroo does enough to be an enjoyable recommendation.

The very first thing that pops out when you play Kao the Kangaroo is its art style. This game does not attempt to conceal its motivation at all. If you play the most recent video game in the Crash Bandicoot series, then whatever about the visuals of this video game will look familiar. That’s not a bad thing, as the art design actually does a great task at not just making the video game feel contemporary however also fresh. Few video games have actually utilized this art style because Crash Bandicoot 4, so it’s nice to see another 3D platformer utilize it.

Another feature of Kao the Kangaroo is that it’s easy. Unlike the formerly mentioned Crash Bandicoot series, which prides itself on hard obstacles and even tougher platforming, Kao the Kangaroo takes a simpler approach. No 3D platforming section feels impossible or even that difficult. I handled to play through a large section of the game, consisting of several managers, prior to ever passing away (and that was only due to the fact that I wasn’t paying attention during a particular section of the game). It’s a somewhat refreshing modification; I do not require every 3D platformer to attempt to be the next Dark Souls.

In general, what you leave Kao the Kangaroo is a rather prolonged and fun experience. I did not 100% the game, however I managed to finish the main story in about 10 hours. Each of the various worlds you visit has special landscapes that alters things up and stops the game from feeling dull.

That said, Kao the Kangaroo does have a number of problems. Like I pointed out above, Kao the Kangaroo is not hard. This isn’t always a bad thing, nevertheless it will impact replayability. It’s simple to see and gather every single thing on offer during your first play through, implying that when you finish the video game there’s no reason for you to go back and play it once again. It also suggests you’ll never ever feel really challenged while playing. It’s not a huge unfavorable, it’s just something that may impact your general feeling of the title.

Another problem relates to the general quality. As I mentioned, Kao the Kangaroo harkens back to the magnificence days of platforming. Those video games could be a lot of enjoyable however more than likely the quality and polish you were looking for wasn’t there. This variation of Kao the Kangaroo has that exact same problem. For example, it’s not uncommon for enemies, once they’ve been killed, to simply drop and pop out of presence like there’s animations that are missing. It’s also not unusual for you to punch a cage full of coins and that cage does not open. It’s not game-breaking by any ways, however it’s these details that separate it from other much better titles. Plus do not get me started on the voice acting in this video game. It’s truly, truly, truly bad and yet I can’t tell if that was deliberate or unexpected.

One last thing that needs to be mentioned is the entirely broken save system. In short, the video game never conserves. Despite boasting an autosave feature, there seems to be a problem that prevents the game from ever conserving as soon as you reach the first area. This means that no matter how far you advance or what you do, if you exit the video game you lose all of your development. The developer said that this was an unintended concern and would be repaired in a patch, nevertheless that patch has yet to come and the developers have not offered an update on its arrival.

Incredibly this problem didn’t affect me but just due to the fact that I put my game in sleep mode while playing it through for evaluation. After my evaluation was done, I closed the game and went to revisit it a few days later on just to discover all my saved progress had been lost. Eventually, this issue will affect you if you pick to stop while playing, so be prepared for that problem.

In the end, Kao the Kangaroo is a fun reboot that must get your attention. The save-system bug aside, Kao the Kangaroo is a basic and fun 3D platformer that anybody can delight in. Yes, it doesn’t offer much of a challenge and as soon as you’ve played through you will have seen everything available. You’re not getting the next Mario Odyssey-like game in regards to quality; it’s clearly a designer attempting to punch greater than it can truly go. That said, the game itself is a great deal of fun and a refreshingly easy take on the genre. If you’re looking for your next relaxed platformer or simply something that anyone in the household can delight in, you need to have a look at Kao the Kangaroo.

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