Kameo: Elements of Power
|a game by||Microsoft, and Rare, Ltd.|
|Platforms:||XBox 360, GameCube|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 2 reviews|
|User Rating:||7.7/10 - 13 votes|
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|See also:||Action Adventure Games|
If you can imagine a cross between Pokemon and Final Fantasy, then you have an idea of what to expect from this new Nintendo game, due sometime this year. Kameo must capture and nurture creatures that will help her on the quest to find six elemental children. Over 60 monsters, large and small, can be bred to fight her battles (real-time or turn-based), read enemies’ minds, and even do the laundry.
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As I write this review I look over my shoulder and see my father-in-law, brother-in-law, niece, nephew and my own boy all huddled on the couch after an entirely too filling Thanksgiving dinner, playing Kameo: Elements of Power. There are 'ooohhhs'? and 'aahhhhs'? as the brilliantly colorful game dances across my widescreen television. And I think to myself that this is what family video gaming is all about. Three generations all enjoying the new system that is currently topping most gamers' wish list this holiday. I think it's important to mention the fact that family gaming is still a viable activity for families to enjoy themselves. And ultimately, that's why this game gets a 'Must Buy'?.
Not that Kameo doesn't deserve that accolade on its own, because it really is an enjoyable game. As the titular heroine Kameo, you have been betrayed by your own sister who has chosen to ally herself with the sworn enemy of all Elves, the Trolls. In doing so, Kameo has but one option to save her family and people. She has to use the powers of transmutation, which is the ability to form into one of 10 fantastic creatures capable of all sorts of talents, some of which include a dragon, a yeti, a flaming insect and a rock monster. As Kameo adventures, different creatures become accessible and must be used to pass specific obstacles or destroy certain monsters. My nephew discovered quite early the joys of picking up trolls by their heads and using them as clubs, against their own forces. Nothing like a little over the top violence to bring a family together.
Graphically Kameo: Elements of Power is darn pretty, with incredibly fluid looking graphics and shading that would make my shadow blush. Kameo was a good start for me for this next generation system. Little things, like Kameo's Elvin form still visible in the creatures' bulky body as if reminding you that you are still playing as an elf, which just happens to shape shift. As I set my TV to HD 720p mode I was reminded that the 360 is promising to push out not only superb graphics, but a visual experience unlike anything we as gamers have played. Now I know that may sound a bit over the top, but this game is so bright and vibrant and such a pleasure to look at that I can hardly wait to see the games that come out next year. Remember that launch games simply do not push the limits of what a system can do.
Kameo: Elements of Power also features a strong score and background sound effects not to mention crisp clear Dolby digital 5.1 sound. I love how this game makes my surround sound system hum and you would do well to purchase the fiber optic cable if your home theatre can accommodate it, the difference is astounding.
But when the deed is done, Kameo is a fine title that will eat up about 13 hours of adventuring. Heck, if you really want to you can have another player plug in and you can play the game co-op. Not a bad way to go considering five people are watching the game right now as only one plays.