Kao the Kangaroo | PS4 Review
Kao the Kangaroo is a 3D platform puzzle game which is developed and published by Tate Multimedia. This latest instalment in the series has just been released, and it is currently available on Windows PC, PlayStation, XBox, and Nintendo Switch. For the purpose of my review I was playing the PlayStation 4 version.
Kao the Kangaroo has you take on the role of Kao; a charismatic, cheeky kangaroo, as he sets off on an epic quest to find his sister, who has gone missing and is suspected to be on the trail of their father, who had mysteriously disappeared. Kao won’t need to do this alone though, and is joined by his boxing mentor Walt, beginning his journey equipped with the Eternal Gloves that once belonged to his father. As you progress and get closer to finding out the truth about your dad, you’ll find yourself traversing stunning, vibrant environments. You’ll gather skills along the way and develop abilities allowing you to solve the puzzles ahead of you. Every corner will have secrets and clues towards the secret world that is hiding below the surface.
I grew up in a time when Spyro the Dragon and Crash Bandicoot reigned supreme in gaming, so I very much find platform games to be incredibly nostalgic. Unfortunately they often fall short, however, Kao the Kangaroo is very much the exception to that rule. The bright and vibrant colours instantly grabbed me and transformed me back to being a child on a Saturday afternoon, having just been to Blockbuster to rent the latest Spyro game - these feelings were totally replicated by Kao the Kangaroo. I found it incredibly easy to be charmed by Kao and his comrades with their seemingly endless cheesy jokes and pop-culture references, and the interactions between the characters were consistently great throughout. It might not be to everyone's sense of humour; but for me, it really unlocked a memory and, as previously mentioned, took me back to being a kid again.
Kao the Kangaroo is a classic style 3D platformer in every sense possible. As you traverse your way through the levels you’ll gather coins which you can use to buy things at a market stall, and on each level you can find the letters hidden that spell out KAO. The levels are linear, however, there are plenty of other areas to explore to gather extra coins or hunt down collectibles, so exploring is certainly rewarded in Kao. The progression throughout the game feels natural and fluid, and the difficulty ramps up along the way at just the right pace, meaning that there were very few occasions where I ever felt frustrated or annoyed with Kao.
By and large, the bulk of my love for Kao the Kangaroo very much comes from a place of extreme nostalgia. I grew up on Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, Banjo Kazooie and Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, and since then I really don’t think there has been too many platformers that have really gripped me with nostalgia the way Kao has. Kao isn’t trying to reinvent the genre and isn’t trying to do anything crazy, instead it hops into 2022 bringing classic early 2000s vibes for us all to get nerdy and nostalgic over. I would highly recommend Kao the Kangaroo. The controls were smooth and responsive; the visuals were stunning; the comedy was great and always at least got a smile from me. I feel like the platforming was great, the puzzles weren’t too difficult, but provided a decent challenge still. It took me around 10 hours to beat, so for a 3D platformer, I’d argue that it has quite a good run time.
Lj’s Rating: 4 out of 5.
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