The game starts off well, with a castle assault sequence that would form the climax of many other games. While it’s perhaps not the most novice-friendly approach, it throws you straight into the main concept of the game: Kameo, a gossamer-winged Elven princess, transforms into various elemental forms, and by switching between the three you’re given to start with, you can conquer the various enemies and solve the game’s various puzzles. For example, Major Ruin – an oddball elephant/armadillo crossbreed – can roll up into a ball and power around levels, Metroid Prime-style. Your pugilistic plant form, PummelWeed, can slip under low gates and unleash a devastating uppercut. So, you’re just getting into the swing of things, when the game kicks into an aborted showdown. You lose your elemental forms, and it’s up to you to re-gather them, save your captured family, and stop a huge troll king from destroying the Enchanted Kingdom. Easy.
In other words, the game settles into a rather old-fashioned arcade adventure, where new forms lead to new areas leading to fights, puzzles and, eventually, boss battles leading to new forms and so on. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it’s still the basic template for a Zelda, a Metroid or a Jak and Daxter, and it puts Kameo in a long and much-loved lineage that stretches back to the days of Wonderboy III. Up to a point, it’s fun here too. For the most part, your quest is entertaining. The combat takes place on a larger scale than in previous games of this ilk, and adding new forms gives you new ways to slay the fiendish trolls, whether with Ash’s flaming dragon breath or via Chilla’s nasty spike ‘em then throw ‘em approach. The trolls make for fun opponents, always finding new and slightly pitiful ways to take you on, and the sheer loveliness of the world and the desire to see new forms and new lands makes for an entertaining way to pass the time.