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Kameo: Elements of Power

Like the Gamecube’s Starfox Adventures, Rare’s second launch title owes an awful lot to Zelda. Like Ocarina of Time, it’s a sprawling adventure played out across a large fantasy world. Like the lesser-known Majora’s Mask, it’s all about adopting different creature forms in order to reach new areas and conquer new objectives. The playable areas began with a huge embattled castle, with our fairy heroine, Kameo, taking three forms as she fights her way through a monstrous troll army. One, the Pummel Weed, shrinks to ground level and creeps up on enemies then dispenses them with a flurry of jabs and a punishing uppercut. Another form could climb walls, or roll around the level like Samus in ball form from Metroid Prime, while a giant ice yeti form jammed trolls onto its back spines for use as a club or thrown weapon. Other forms were also playable later, including a fire-breathing dragon and a boulder-lobbing rock monster.

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Kameo is a gorgeous 360 showcase; bright, beautiful and full of vivid colour. Later areas revealed an enchanted kingdom of gorgeous swaying grasses, rushing waterfalls and rippling ponds, or rich, autumnal shades and detailed, cartoon trees. Remember what Rare achieved with the N64, then imagine that expertise applied to the Xbox 360. Kameo delivers on that vision, and plays a smooth and enjoyable, if hardly original game. Very promising indeed.

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