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Kameo: Elements of Power review

You get to play as a pile of rocks? Isn't that darling

For instance, you can light Deep Blue's oil attack with Ash's fire breath for a nasty, flaming surprise. Finding the most effective combos is part of the fun of Kameo, so we won't give anything else away. But in addition to helping you climb the online leaderboards, creative combo attacks will help you land a lot of hits in a short amount of time, which is when Focus mode kicks in. That slows down all your enemies, letting you wreak havoc with any of the warriors.

On your quest to rescue your family, you'll visit many different types of environments, everything from magical forests to undersea dungeons. Some areas are best suited to specific elementals, but you'll come back to a few of the characters over and over: Pummel Weed's punching attacks never go out of style and you'll need Chilla's ice spear to solve many puzzles.

Unfortunately, most of the obstacles are designed to require one particular character, so you'll find yourself using some skills, like Chilla's ice climbing, over and over. And sadly, there are some elementals whose powers are underdeveloped or are difficult to use. Snare's grab-and-toss attack sounds cool, but it's difficult to aim and unnecessary in most circumstances.

Here's a nifty visual trick, courtesy of the 360's advanced hardware: by shifting everything outside your immediate area into soft focus, the game draws your attention to the action, while adding a cinematic feel. More impressive, the game can render more characters than we've ever seen on a console before. We're talking thousands of trolls and humans onscreen at once, making this easily the best-looking launch title for the 360.

The single-player game clocks in at a short-but-satisfying 10 hours, but the combat scoring system and the online leaderboards add some replayability to the game's dungeons. Unfortunately, the split-screen co-op multiplayer mode falls flat. Even in widescreen HD, the window is too small to keep up with the action. This could have been a great cooperative experience, if only it was available on Live.

More Info

DescriptionKameo's a great way to kick the tires on your new system and the best way to show off the 360's visual chops. Plus you get to play as a pile of rocks.
PlatformXbox 360
US censor ratingTeen
UK censor rating3+
Release date7 November 2006 (US), 2 December 2005 (UK)