KAO Kangaroo Preview

We take a detailed look at KAO Kangaroo, Titus and X-RAY's upcoming platformer. See what's become of the marsupial-formerly-known-as-Denis.

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Titus obviously wants a slice of the action-platformer pie and is hard at work polishing up KAO Kangaroo, its upcoming entry to the genre. What it seemingly hope will become a successful mascot franchise is shaping up quite nicely, taking the form of a simple linear platformer, apparently geared toward a younger audience.

Those who recall the "kiddy" 2D platformers of yore will find KAO's experience to be very similar. The level designs are quite linear, despite the fact that they are rendered in full 3D, while the themes are light and juvenile. The levels' objectives are very easy to grasp, and eachfeatures a series of easy-to-access checkpoints that makes their traversal all the more simple. To manage each level physically, KAO, the game's namesake marsupial, can commandeer a number of vehicles and enlist the aid of his fellow beasts; the backs of alligators and a host of vehicles, including a rocket-powered scooter, a snowboard, and a hangglider, are all at the marsupial's disposal. KAO is also equipped with a fearsome three-punch combo, which he uses to dispose of his foes, which are rather plentifully dispersed throughout the game's stages.

The game's bosses will be quite diverse in nature, lending the encounters a nice level of playability that takes full advantage of KAO's boxing-style attacks. Ranging from common cave bears and rabid sea captains to the Greek god Zeus, KAO's bosses seem quite amusingly conceived. Battle with them will involve much of the typical platform fare, in KAO's case calling for the exploitation of said bosses' weakpoints.

Graphically, what we've seen of KAO looks quite nice. The game's levels are quite lovingly detailed, lending each a unique aura of character. The levels' themes are straightforward and quite refreshingly simple; a ruined Greek temple, a complex on an alien planet, and a lush jungle are among the environments you'll explore as KAO. The character designs are quite endearing and amusingly animated, each usually fitting its native level's theme. KAO himself seems cut from the platform-character mold, boasting all the qualities own to ingratiate a character to the masses: an unquestionably cute appearance, an epic, human plight, and a heroic, go-getter nature.

All in all, Titus and X-RAY seem to be successfully achieving what they set out to do, which is to create an endearingly accessible platform game aimed at a younger audience. While aficionados of today's sprawling, semi linear platformers may be a bit put off by KAO's straightforward, tribute-to-yore nature, younger players, and those seeking to reminisce would do well to keep an eye out for .KAO is set for release later this month.

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