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Kao The Kangaroo

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Released: 2000

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Dreamcast

Publisher: Titus Software

Developer: X-Ray Interactive

Submitted by: Steven Jackson

Bubsy the Bobcat, Aero the Acrobat and Awesome Possum all have one thing in common. Aswell as all being animals they are all failed attempts at being the next big platformer franchise. Now when I bought my Dreamcast recently I got a game with it called "Kao The Kangaroo" which I can now add into this illustrious list of failed platform games named after animals.

As expected the player takes the role of Kao the Kangaroo who you have to guide through twenty five levels complete with bosses to finish the game. Now being that this game is on the Dreamcast I expected it to be a pretty good cult platformer, very much like Plok for the SNES. Yet when I started playing all those hopes and dreams got shattered.

The game itself is modelled on Crash Bandicoot with a linear level design which sometimes works and sometimes doesn't, in the case of Kao it doesn't. The controls are very unresponsive and in places too sensitive and stiff making some of the levels near impossible to complete. The graphics are ok but not really the best on the Dreamcast. In comparison to Jet Set Radio both graphically and gameplay wise it wins hands down. The levels themselves are not really even that difficult to complete its just the fact that you can't properly navigate them whats the problem.

Now I may be being harsh with these comments but this game is on the same system as Jet Set Radio and Sonic Adventure 2 which are brilliant platformers and really show off the Dreamcast's assets unlike Kao the Kangaroo.

To conclude Kao The Kangaroo is a failed Crash Bandicoot rip off. It isn't the worst platfomer of all time and Kao isn't the worst character but unless you are a hardcore Dreamcast collector like Darran I'd steer away from this one. Instead I'd get Sonic Adventure 2  to really show you what a Dreamcast Platformer is all about.