KORE - first look

Oh dear. We’re only one sentence into KORE’s accompanying PR prattle and we’ve already found a ‘kooky’, an ‘insane’ and a – gulp – ‘zany’. The alarm bells skip ‘going off’ and go straight to ‘explode’. The item bringing out these most dreaded of adjectives? That would be the titular KORE vehicles/suits. Think Mario meets mechs and you’re nearly there. The KORE suit emphasizes certain qualities of its wearer, but in a twist – we’d go as far as saying it’s a ‘zany’ twist – the suit is home to not one, but three creatures: Pixie, Madboy and a dog called Rex. Three different skill sets equals three takes on this cybernetic costume. Hilarity might just ensue.

The pitch is no great shakes – a mild wobble at best – but there’s a quality to Snap Dragon’s platformer that gives us pleasantly warm, tingly feelings. Collectable tokens, mountainous piles of floating platforms, colors usually reserved for children’s snacks – this is exactly the kind of game that flooded the scene after Mario 64, but dried up around 2005 after one critical mauling too many.

We’re promised innovative gameplay “designed for Wii”, so maybe some well-implemented controls will elevate this above mediocre. The trio of personalities gives it a basic hook – one can climb, one can smell objects and the other is Fisty McPuncherson – but Snap Dragon shouldn’t ask a gimmick to carry KORE. As Banjo Kazooie and Rocket: Robot on Wheels showed, inventive characters are nothing without platforming feats and rainbow vistas. Make it so, Snap Dragon, you zany funsters.

Nov 7, 2008