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Old 10-12-2005, 12:33 PM   #1
bapenguin
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Kameo: Elements of Power Hands on Preview

Kameo: Elements of Power Hands on Preview
by: Nicholas "bapenguin" Puleo, Editor-in-Chief

At a recent press event I got a chance to check out a bunch of XBox 360 titles. One title that stood out for me was Kameo: Elements of Power. Kameo was originally a Gamecube title that moved to the Xbox when Microsoft bought Rare, Kameo is literally a game 5 years in the making. The interesting thing is, Kameo was actually completed on the Xbox, but Microsoft saw the potential to make it a killer app for the 360 so they decided to move it. What you get is a completely original and polished title with a ton of replay-ability and incredible graphics.

When I started the game up, I was dropped into a kind of hub world. From there you can go to the many different kinds of areas to recapture each of the elements of power. The hub world was an area filled with tall grass and bright red flowers. There were waterfalls (complete with rainbow effect) that flowed into ponds filled with aquatic plant life. The creatures that occupied the hub world all had amazing looking fur (think Conker). There was a night and day system as well, with the time cycling and the appropriate effects taking place.

After that, I dropped down a well into the first level and faced the the shadow boss located there. Controls were relatively simple with 3 moves available to Kameo in her fairy form. You can fly around in a hover mode and do a spin kick to attack. After defeating the shadow boss you get your first element, a plant like character named Pummel Weed that has the ability to go “underground” and deal out punches faster than Mike Tyson could.

I played some of the later levels of the game and got to see some of the other elemental forms in action. There’s a wide variety of forms to take, all very imaginative and functional in design.

There’s a abominable snowman type character with huge spikes on his back, a giant pile of rocks that rolls around, a water based character that can turn into a “puddle” and a dragon like character that breathes fire. Overall there are 10 different elemental characters to choose from, each one has a basis in Plant, Fire, Water, Ice, and Earth.

Kameo may look cartoonish, but the game is quite violent. In fact, the game rewards you with for more violent kills. This score can then be uploaded to a global leaderboard on Live. For instance, with Chilla (the snow guy with huge spikes), I had picked up 3 Orcs and slammed them onto the spikes on my back. I picked up another and started using him as a baseball bat beating off hordes of other Orcs. Once the baseball bat Orc served his purpose (died) I picked the Orcs off my back and tossed them around. I tossed one into a group of enemies and watched them all fall down like bowling pins. Everything has underlying physics on it, and behaves appropriately. The more carnage you can cause the better, and if you do well enough you enter a “warrior focus” mode in which time slows down allowing you to really combo up things fast between elemental forms.

Another element is a water based character with huge tentacles. He can pick up multiple enemies with in his tentacles and slam them head first together. Don’t feel like slamming them? You can swing them around and knock around your foes.

There’s an earth based rock element that can roll up into a ball form. As you bowl down your enemies they can become smashed and wrapped around your body. While you roll around you react to the environment very realistically, bouncing off objects, speeding up on down slopes, etc. In fact, some of the puzzles are physics based. For instance the game may require you to launch yourself around in the ball form like a pinball to get to certain areas, or knock things over to get to other areas. You can even do things like shooting down objects to land on and take out enemies.

The one really standout feature is how you can play the elemental guys off of each other. You can combine 2 or more elements to create other effects. For example one of the characters has an oil slick attack. Throw out a bunch of oil, switch quickly to a fire based guy and light it up. Better yet, you can do the reverse. Light something on fire, switch to the oil based attack and watch as it turns into a flame thrower.

One of the unique things Rare created is 4 battlefield action quests. These are quests you’ll have access to at anytime that play out like a “Lord of the Rings” battle. There are over 3000 enemy AI guys in a battle at any time. These areas really show of the power of the Xbox 360. You start out on a horse and can ride into battle, bowling down the enemy Orcs. There are two opposing forces, so you aren’t totally fighting the battle alone. You have access to any of the elemental forms you’ve unlocked in the main game to deal out as much damage as possible and rack up that score.

The game plays out like an action/adventure game, and the puzzles are solved by using one more of the elemental forms. You have the ability to upgrade all of the forms with up to 4 additional attack types each. The game should play about 25 hours long without trying to get all the additional sidequests, and 35-40 hours if you decide to play all the sidequests to get all the upgrades. There will be local Co-Op available on the retail disc. From the sound of it, the game has gone gold and into production because the rep told me they couldn’t get Online Co-Op play on the disc “in time.” Fret not! They will have Co-Op play over Live, but it will be available as a free download.

There’s so much I want to say about this game, but I really don’t want to give too much away and ruin the experience for others. Kameo to me was by far the game that began to show the capabilities of a next-gen game. The world of Kameo is ruled by real physics on every object and combined with incredible graphics for an original gameplay expierence. It was a highly polished title that was a ton of fun. If there’s one game you need to get at launch, it’s going to be Kameo.

Last edited by bapenguin; 10-14-2005 at 07:00 AM..
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Old 10-12-2005, 01:03 PM   #2
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Good article. I must say that i've been impressed with the meager amount I have seen so far of the game.

My questions is this:
The game was a port from an Xbox and made graphically prettier. Is there anything in this game (graphics aside) that we wouldn't have seen on the xbox version? Also, was the speed of the game fast paced? I hated games like Blinx because the game speed was slow...is Kameo the same. The video i saw of her on horseback charging orcs seemed somewhat slow to me.
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Old 10-12-2005, 01:13 PM   #3
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Now that I've heard it from the bap's mouth, it's sealed. This, Oblivion, and PDZ are my launch titles. PGR3 will have to wait I suppose.
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Old 10-12-2005, 01:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
They will have Co-Op play over Live, but it will be available as a free download.
Only if you have the HDD of course.

Do you have to have the HDD to have a Live account? If they've said that somewhere, I must've missed it - but to me it seems like it should be a requirement.
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Old 10-12-2005, 01:21 PM   #5
bapenguin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigz'N'Berries
Good article. I must say that i've been impressed with the meager amount I have seen so far of the game.

My questions is this:
The game was a port from an Xbox and made graphically prettier. Is there anything in this game (graphics aside) that we wouldn't have seen on the xbox version? Also, was the speed of the game fast paced? I hated games like Blinx because the game speed was slow...is Kameo the same. The video i saw of her on horseback charging orcs seemed somewhat slow to me.
I think a lot of the physics stuff, especially with multiple guys couldn't have been pulled off. For instance, in those battle scenes you have 10-15 guys being knocked over at once, in turn being knocked into 40-50 more guys, etc etc. It's pretty amazing.

Yeah, the game is pretty fast paced, but it really depends on what elemental form you are in. Some forms are a lot faster than others. The Kameo form is actually one of the fastest, and is best used to evade the number of guys.
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Old 10-12-2005, 01:24 PM   #6
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Kameo is really the only actual launch title that I'm interested in, and I'm glad I read this review, as I was still having some anxiety about it. It'll be the only game I'll have to play until I get Saint's Row (unless I can trick EBgames into taking my copy of NFS that I won along with the 360), so I was definetly wanting it to be good. Sounds like it's right up my alley, very Mario 64ish, which is what I was looking for.
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Old 10-12-2005, 01:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Cupelix
Only if you have the HDD of course.

Do you have to have the HDD to have a Live account? If they've said that somewhere, I must've missed it - but to me it seems like it should be a requirement.
No..it'll fit on a memory card. And no, Live works on every system, core and premium.
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Old 10-12-2005, 01:52 PM   #8
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They'll put patches onto your memory card? That's kind of interesting. I just kind of assumed that the patches could theoretically be relatively large, and your memory card might fill up awfully fast.
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Old 10-12-2005, 02:17 PM   #9
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So it was originally a GC title, then upped to XBox then they add some Dynasty Warriors areas and ragdoll physics and it next gen all of a sudden?

Sounds like great gameplay, yes, but I also sniff a bit of the money grab goin on. In the last video I saw the form swap was a pop with no morphing effects, is morphing on form swap in the final?
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Old 10-12-2005, 02:37 PM   #10
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Never mind... with the recent announcement, I guess it's Oblivion that's getting left behind .
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Old 10-12-2005, 05:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cupelix
They'll put patches onto your memory card? That's kind of interesting. I just kind of assumed that the patches could theoretically be relatively large, and your memory card might fill up awfully fast.
And they could theoretically be really tiny. A new level is big, but a new mode with no new graphics, just some new logic, would have trouble topping 1MB.
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Old 10-12-2005, 06:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demo_Boy
So it was originally a GC title, then upped to XBox then they add some Dynasty Warriors areas and ragdoll physics and it next gen all of a sudden?

Sounds like great gameplay, yes, but I also sniff a bit of the money grab goin on. In the last video I saw the form swap was a pop with no morphing effects, is morphing on form swap in the final?
Well, the Xbox version wasn't as pretty (though it looked very nice). And apparently J Allard loves this game.
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Old 10-12-2005, 06:27 PM   #13
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I'm really, really excited about this now that bap seems to like it, hes useally pretty right about stuff so why not this?
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Old 10-12-2005, 09:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bapenguin
There will be local Co-Op available on the retail disc. From the sound of it, the game has gone gold and into production because the rep told me they couldn’t get Co-Op play on the disc “in time.” Fret not! They will have Co-Op play over Live, but it will be available as a free download.

I'm confused. There *will* be local co-op on the disc? Or they started pressing them before they could put it in, and you can only play co-op over live? Just looking for clarification; the first two sentences seem to contradict one another. Awesome updates, though. I am jealous.
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Old 10-13-2005, 03:08 AM   #15
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Wow thanks Bap for changing my mind on this game. Bloody hell i'm actually excited about this game now.

I never thought this would be the best possible game for me at launch
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Old 10-13-2005, 05:15 AM   #16
bapenguin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveALW
I'm confused. There *will* be local co-op on the disc? Or they started pressing them before they could put it in, and you can only play co-op over live? Just looking for clarification; the first two sentences seem to contradict one another. Awesome updates, though. I am jealous.
Yup, LOCAL Co-Op is in the game. It's there for everyone regardless. Co-Op over Live...well it requires having Live to download it...kinda makes sense.
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Old 10-13-2005, 05:50 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by bapenguin
Yup, LOCAL Co-Op is in the game. It's there for everyone regardless. Co-Op over Live...well it requires having Live to download it...kinda makes sense.
Ah, thank you.
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Old 10-17-2005, 06:31 PM   #18
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I've followed Kameo since its days as a Gamecube game. Although I won't buy an Xbox 360 when it hits in November, Kameo will like be one of the first games I purchase when the price of the system drops to $200 or below.
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