Kameo: Elements of Power

Though Kameo: Elements of Power may not have been a ground-shattering release title for the 360, it is a very solid game that you may find yourself having trouble pulling away from.

The time is autumn 2005. Microsoft releases the successor to the Xbox. Gamers are looking for the title that showcases what the Xbox 360 can do and justifies its $400 price tag. That game is Kameo.

Well, maybe not. If you’re like me, whenever a new generation of consoles is released, the biggest question that comes to mind is how they can provide a gaming experience that feels more real. A game about an elf girl who can change into different elemental beings that relies on cartoony—though nicely done—graphics . . . well, that’s not the type of game that will catch my eye with a new console release. In fact, it took me until nearly three years into the Xbox 360’s lifespan to finally try out this game, and I have to say that I had been depriving myself of a really enjoyable experience.

The story is Kameo is nothing really new. It’s a fairy tale involving a jealous sister, a dark enemy from the past resurfacing, family members being kidnapped, and a lone hero who must confront evil to save the world. As our heroine Kameo travels from various lands to confront this evil, she rescues elemental warriors whom she can call upon to help her defeat her enemies. Some of these warriors you will find yourself using rarely, especially those found later in the game like Snare and Flex, but some you will find yourself using much more often than Kameo, whose fighting abilities are very limited.

As I mentioned earlier, Kameo relies on more cartoonish graphics, but they are very well done. Occasionally, I thought that there was room for improvement (for instance, I believe Kameo’s model could have been smoothed out a little), but overall, the presentation is very good. Though the game is primarily our heroine travelling from place to place battling small groups of enemies, she will sometimes have to traverse the Badlands to get to the next area. The Badlands are teeming with armies of trolls engaged in combat with elven warriors, and you will feel the influence of The Lord of the Rings as the camera swoops over the conflict. Sometimes, you will be pulled back into the Badlands in order to complete a specific task, like destroying catapults that are attacking an elemental totem. These battles seem a little like filler material, but they are enjoyable and show off a little of what the 360 can do as you wade through tons of enemies.

As you progress through the quest, you will find things that, though they aren’t entirely necessary to complete the game, enhance the experience and may bring you back to play even after you have vanquished the giant troll Thorn once again. Since you can revisit areas even after you finish the game, there is some replay value here for those who must find everything.

Though Kameo: Elements of Power may not have been a ground-shattering release title for the 360, it is a very solid game that you may find yourself having trouble pulling away from (I played it from beginning to end in a weekend—something I rarely do anymore). Given that you can find it now as a bargain title, there’s no reason not to add this one to your collection.

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