Reviewed by Drew Hallenbeck | 11.28.05

Introduction:Kameo: Elements of Power is a Zelda like action adventure that takes you through a typical story of good vs. evil while morphing into different characters along the way to help you through the changing environments. The original Xbox lacked in this genre of games but this is a solid effort for developer Rare right out of the gate for the 360.

The Game:Whenever you get a game these days, you just run home slam the game into the console throw the box and instructions a side and you're off to the races. With innovative tutorials that immerse you immediately in the story you are able to pick up the ins and outs of game play fairly quickly. Not so with Kameo. It just throws you into action with very little work on game play. It gives you a little help along the way but you have to complete the first level by the seat of your pants (or read the instruction manual that actually gives a pretty good instruction on combat skills, but who reads that anyways!) So as you are thrown into combat right away you see pretty quickly why the 360 is so amazing and only going to improve in game development. The environments are beautiful with the best lighting I have seen yet. The shear amount of rendered characters alone on screen at once will blow your mind. There are an uncountable number of flying dragons in the first battle sequence that is mind numbing!

In the first battle sequence, you are given three of the ten morphing characters that you acquire throughout the game. This gives you an idea right out of the box how your morphing abilities help you out during the game. Each character has a special trait that will help you through certain puzzle type problems you encounter throughout the game, sometimes needing more than one character to solve a single puzzle. This is the creative side of the game that I liked a lot. It challenged you to figure out what set of characters you need to get through a part of the game. Don't get used to these first three characters though, as you will lose them after the fist level. Once the first level is complete this is where the game "really" starts. You are put through a proper tutorial and the story starts to develop.

In the game, you play a girl named Kameo, who is the heir to the family throne but your evil older sister is none to happy about this. She has summoned the shadow troll to fight out against your family and has stolen the elements of power from your family. By fighting these shadow trolls, you gain back these elements of power that allow you to morph into special characters. Each characters special power is unique and can be upgraded throughout the game by acquiring fruit that can be used to gain more powerful combat actions. The standard combat abilities start to get boring after a while and more powerful abilities are needed to move through the harder parts of the game so this was a good feature to have. Before you set off on your family saving adventure you are given a book that is your guide through the adventure. This is a very helpful book at times because when the game senses you are having problems with a certain puzzle, it alerts you and gives you small hints on how to solve the puzzle. It gives you the choice to use the hints or you can just sit there and bash the controller into the ground if you are the stubborn kind who does not ask for directions when lost!

The game at points seems a bit linear and sometimes holds your hand through certain parts. The puzzles are not to complex and are mostly combat based, but there are still your typical "do this in that order" type puzzles. You do not need to be a whiz in combat as it is mostly a button mashing style of combat (or analog trigger mashing in this case) but it is fun kicking Troll butt along the way. There is the typical boss at the end of each level you need to beat that requires you to use at least two characters to beat. I thought this was a good point to the combat level because although you are button mashing to score hit points, you at least have to be creative in choosing the right character to apply the right damage.

Graphics & Sound:The look of the game is impressive and excites me on the things to come on the 360. You cannot truly comment on how good the 360 is graphically since the developers did not have time to really harness the power of the 360. But let it be known that this game looks as good or better than any game on the original Xbox. I read somewhere that during one epic battle sequence there are over 1000 rendered trolls fighting each other at once. That is showing off the pure processing power of the 360. The in game sound is amazing. Very orchestral and does a great job on setting the mood for the different parts of the game. From dramatic to quirky and humorous, it is all very well done. It is all spoken dialogue that is average at best. This is the part of game design that I feel is always overlooked.. It's a great story but not delivered well by the voice over actors. Should be more Hollywood level of acting voice over to make it more convincing.

Mojo:Well, for this genre of games I think it hit the nail on the head. The mojo is very present in the fact that Kameo is hot in that elf video game character kind of way. But as far as the overall game, your mojo will not be let down.

Lowdown:I think Rare did a good job at the style of game. Kameo: Elements of Power isn't the most innovative action adventure, but it stands up well on its own. If you are looking for a game to showcase the potential of the 360, this is your game.

Gameplay: 8, Graphics/Sound: 9, Innovation: 7, Mojo: 7.5. Final: 8 / 10


  • Real-time morph-into-warrior action.This innovative combat system allows players to harness and strategically employ the unique powers of 10 elemental warriors from the five Elements of Power (Plant, Water, Rock, Ice and Fire), including Major Ruin, the armadillo, and Ash, the fire dragon. Each warrior has up to eight powerful abilities, and players can upgrade their warriors' abilities through strategic augmentations, ultimately providing numerous gameplay possibilities. With the game's fast-paced action, loads of enemies and massive boss encounters, success requires clever and strategic Deployment of each warrior's powers and ability to master "quick- switch" combinations. Engage in up-close combat on the battlefield with Pummelweed, a wicked, boxing plant-warrior, or finish off enemies as Chilla, an ice yeti, by throwing penetrating ice spears.
  • Next-generation gaming. Transcending the common gaming aesthetic with greater cinematic appeal, "Kameo" represents the cutting-edge graphics and gameplay expected of next-generation gaming on Xbox 360. "Kameo" boasts stunning battlefield experiences where gamers will experience thousands of simultaneous enemies with independent AI, as well as exciting special effects, high-quality voice-over and high-definition graphics enabled only through Xbox 360. The visceral and engaging online experience is enhanced with the latest developments in Xbox Live support.
  • Vast exploration across a mystical, magical world. Lush environments, an engrossing story, marvelous creatures and clever environmental puzzles abound in this fantastical, richly envisioned universe. In this world, Kameo must master her new ability to transform into various warriors and harness their elemental powers to save her family from Thorn, the evil troll king.
  • Immersive and intense cooperative gameplay. "Kameo" enables multiple players to vanquish foes together in split-screen cooperative mode.

Kameo: Elements Of Power

Nov 2005