Wow, were going back a long ways here with this review, Kameo: Elements of Power. It was one of the launch titles for the X-Box 360. Although I just NOW got around to playing it, and able to give my opinion on it. And yes as a warning everything here is opinion based! You think I am wrong, go do your own review! Anyway, now that that is over with, on with a history lesson.
Kameo was originally going to be for the Nintendo GameCube, but as we all know, Rare, the developers who made Kameo, and also best known for the Banjo-Kazooie Series, Perfect Dark, and Golden Eye, was bought out by Microsoft. This made many gamers feel it might not even see the light of day, as the Beta for the GameCube game looked intriguing.
The Beta for GameCube looks very different than what we ended up getting actually. All the Elemental Warriors in the Beta were never really seen again, and it looked as if you could summon the Warriors to battle while you transform into other Elemental Warriors. The level shown was a desert like area, that never made it into the final game.
As development continued on the X-Box, we saw more trailers where the game seem to continue in the path as before, but we see more familiar locations and Elemental Warriors, and dancing tigers we never see again, but then, nothing. Again the game seemed like it might have been thrown to the wind by Rare, and it seemed like Rare was just not looking at their old IP’s. Thankfully we later found out it was being moved to the X-Box 360 as a launch title. So with all the time and changes, how is Kameo: Elements of Power? Let’s find out!
The game starts off with a bunch of random confusing images coming at the screen. A fairy using Force Lighting on a few people, people yelling, trolls laughing and what not, and then you’re at a castle siege as a probably under aged, and under dressed fairy named Kameo. She is here to stop the evil Troll King Thorn, and here traitorous sister Kalus, who freed she from his entrapment in stone.
Kalus is upset with her family for giving her younger sister Kameo the Elemental Warriors, the ability to transform into different creatures basically, as she felt SHE was supposed to get this power of becoming a Pokémon Trainer like being. So the natural reaction is to kidnap most of your family and try to kill them and your sister. Man I’m happy I don’t have a sister right now.
So the first level is a tutorial level, BUT unlike a lot of tutorial levels, it’s not that bad to bear. In fact it’s basically a real level and they don’t truly baby you too much, which I like! So as you go through, you only have 3 Elemental Warriors, so it’s also not overwhelming. You get to the top of the castle as Kalus is attacking your family members. You try to sneak up on her, but the evil Troll King Thorn is a giant and you were hiding behind his leg. He swats at you, and you lose the Elemental Warriors and you black out. Obviously it’s the end of the game, being as you’re in the villain’s fortress, and unconscious.
NOPE! (I really get annoyed at these types of things). Kameo was taken back to her home, and at the Mystic’s house (weird lizard type creature) who says she must find the Shadow Trolls who have the Elemental Warriors Spirits so Kameo can transform back into them and save her family. A talking book, called the Watnot Book accompanies Kameo as the first Shadow Troll is in the fairy kingdom right there for them, how is that for convenience! You then have to follow the troll to the Shadow Realm!
Alright, it’s Time To Duel! I’m pulling out my Toon deck for this one. Wait this isn’t the Shadow Realm we know, but a small arena to battle the Shadow Troll and win the Elemental Warriors! After defeating them, the Mystic and Watnot Book tell you to travel to the ground below, and save your Uncle and retrieve more Elemental Warriors! So off to the forest area.
After finding a few more warriors and defeating the Forest Temple, your Uncle reveals Kalus was trying to steal the Elemental Warrior he had in him, and WAIT!!!!!!!! He had one in him. And it’s a freaking fire breathing dragon in the FOREST AREA! Logically you burn the evil tree to the ground! Why did you not transform, or not transform earlier when you were being attacked! Or do you just hold them for NO REASON AT ALL! Ok well moving on…..
Your Uncle gives some back story of how your father, Solon, was the one to originally trap Thorn in stone, after freeing him, and Thorn got power hungry. So Solon then somehow dies?!? Somehow. Because the plot said so, what other reason do we need?
So you continue your journey to the Water Temple (And I’m seeing a Zelda pattern here), and get more Warriors and save you oversized Aunt, who reminds me a little bit of Rosie O’Donnell. So she explains why your mom choose Kameo over Kalus for the Elemental Warriors and you get a hint that you might be adopted, and surprised you are. No wonder Kalus is mad, I would be too. They choose the adoptive daughter to get these near God like Powers!
We also find out Thorn and Kalus was trying to remove the Elemental Warriors the family members have, BUT WON’T USE! Ok, why not swat THEM like you did Kameo. Thorn removed 3 Warriors that way from here. Yeah they went to the Shadow Trolls, who why we are at it, why not GO BACK TO THORN WITH THE WARRIOR SPRITS! This could have been over with so many times over now, granted Kameo and you in turn die in all of them, BUT STILL!
Alright I’m getting off that horrible horrible plot hole. You now travel to the snow planes and into the Ice Temple to get the Iron Boots and sorry wrong game. Anyways you grab a few more Warriors and enter the temple. Run around, puzzles, giant walrus’, and boss battle, and you help your grandfather I think? Sure lets go with that. He ‘basically’ confirms that you are adoptive, without directly telling you, and tells you to find the remaining Elemental Warrior.
You go off and find Thermite (one of my favorites) and the Mystic request you come back for more training or something, now that she has all the Elemental Warriors. Well here family, contacting her through Ghost Jedi communication (I guess it’s this worlds form of Cell Phones) says she is ready to topple Thorn and Kalus, and save her mother. Kameo agrees while the Mystic grumbles.
Off to Thorn’s castle as you make your way to that level, defeat a giant robot, and then onto Thorn’s Airship. From there, you see an armada of airships flying towards the Fairy’s floating Castle. Now is the final boss battle! Kameo vs. Thorn and Kalus. We’ll let me rephrase that, you only really battle one at a time. But you face Thorn First, and randomly Kalus summons random trolls to attack you. Honestly using either 40 Below or Thermite, the battle is simple. After you topple Thorn, you then finish off Kalus!
Kalus gets a vision of the Mystic who not only caused Solon’s death, but tricked Kalus into freeing Thorn, and manipulated everything! Kalus, then really mad, flies towards Thorn to get revenge, and he punches her, throwing her back next to Kameo. The sisters magically become friends again, without Kalus telling Kameo of her visions and they combine their powers to attack Thorn. Kalus suddenly kisses Thorn’s nose, and they both begin to turn to stone!
As the now stone Thorn/Kalus falls off the destroyed ship, Kameo falls, and lands on top of a blimp her allies are flying, and just so happens her mother is safe as well! They fly off into the sunset. We then see the Stoned Thorn/Kalus sink to the bottom of the sea, and the evil Mystic laughing.
So that is Kameo: Elements of Power! So what did I think?
The plot is not too bad, it does give you an epic feel as you are going around to the temples, saving family members, and gaining Elemental Warriors. There are still a ton of plot holes though, and I think they came about through development as it had a long time it was being made, and went through many changes, but I can’t ignore them. I hate plot holes like that, and blatant ones at that. It’s the same reason I CANNOT watch Dragonball GT again. It was far too painful.
Beyond Kameo, you don’t spend much time with any characters, and she was pretty bland. The Elemental Warriors had little quirks, but nothing significant. Thorn is generic, and Kalus is really the only one with any interest, although it’s low.
The Gameplay was pretty good, and a lot of variety, with Kameo, and then 10 different Elemental Warriors to play as, all unique and different. You can also upgrade your Warriors via Elemental Fruit, and not only do they become more powerful, but sometimes their appearance changes a bit.
The length of the game was disappointing, beating the main story in about 4-6 hours (I messed around a lot in the game). I was expecting a much more massive game like Banjo-Tooie and even Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Although it had a huge feel to it, it wasn’t utilized how it probably should of. You can go back to get a ‘A’ rank in points on the levels, but from it seems on http://www.trueachievements.com, that the ratio of people who can do that is pretty low, compared to the amount of players who own the game.
I have to talk about one more thing, the ending. Obviously it lets itself be open to a sequel, with the Mystic still roaming the world to be evil and do evil things, and it seems far too easy to awaken Thorn from his stone prison. So with this game coming out in 2005, shouldn’t there have been a sequel? Well the game sold bad, really bad. Not even half a million copies sold, which was a huge blow to Rare, hoping to help establish themselves once again, with throwing this and Perfect Dark Zero out as 360 Launch titles, and where Perfect Dark Zero at least broke half a million (not by much though), this did not.
Let’s face it, this game was meant for GameCube, and probably would of flourished and sold much more on the Nintendo’s under rated console (IT IS! DEAL WITH IT). Most people who loved Rare in the Nintendo 64 Era think the same. Should Nintendo of fought harder for Rare? That’s for another day.
The score for Kameo: Elements of Power is 7.3, a C. The game was great, and had potential, but annoying plot points, and a very short game from a company who we knew could make it on a much larger scale, and had the time to make it that way. I feel there was so much more they wanted to do, but with the development time, I have no idea why they couldn’t achieve it.