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Posted by drew10 on Jul 27, 2015
Legend of Kay Anniversary – Wii U

Legend of Kay Anniversary – Wii U

Legend of Kay Anniversary – Wii U

Back in the days of the PS2, the 3D platformer was a staple part of the gaming diet. Whether it was Crash Bandicoot or Jak & Daxter or any of the other hundreds of games in the genre you could be sure to find one you liked. Legend of Kay was one such game, 10 years ago, it launched to some critical acclaim but less-than-stellar sales. It was a shame as the game deserved better, luckily now it has been dusted off given a lick of paint but will it stand the test of time?

Legend of Kay: Anniversary tells the story of a young cat warrior called Kay. Kay’s cat people who, along with the Rabbits and Pandas all lived peacefully following ‘the way’. However darkness soon descends and the peace is shattered by the Gorillas and Rats who take over and force the rest to live under their rule. Kay already shows signs of dissent but when his martial arts teachers dojo is closed down he decides to take it upon himself to rid the world of its Gorilla overlords and so starts the game.Legend of Kay Annivesary - WiiU

The version I tested here was the Wii U version and I must say first impressions were promising. The graphical overhaul the game has undertaken gives it a distinctly modern look, whilst retaining that classic 3D platformer feel. The movement and animation is excellent and the game certainly doesn’t feel a decade old. The game runs well in 900p and 60 frames per second which is good going for the Wii U and only the occasional stutter and texture issue is noticeable. In general the graphic quality is pretty high.

The games story is told through a mix of interactions with other characters and cut-scenes presented in a comic book style with panels and full voice acting. It is a nice touch and adds to the overall feel of the game, although these scenes can sometimes feel like they drag on a while.

Speaking of the voice acting, for the most part it is pretty unbearable, Kay himself comes across as a spoilt brat and the quality of the voice acting overall is pretty woeful with some rather unfortunate racial stereotypes being played out, even though Kay himself sounds like a kid from America. Thankfully however you can turn it off and rely on the much less annoying subtitles although even then there is no way to skip the subtitles so these play out as fast as the vocals would do also. Other than the terrible voices the games audio is generally excellent with some lovely music that relies on a heavy oriental influence and really adds atmosphere to the game. Legend of Kay Annivesrary - WiiU The Sound effects are also very good which only leaves you wondering why the vocals are so poor.

The controls are pretty standard but extremely effective with a simple but creative combat system that you build as you go through the game and as Kay learns more martial art moves.There are three main weapons for Kay to use, a sword, hammer and claws and each have their own moves and distinct style to go with them. You will learn fighting styles and the need to block and counter against larger enemies and bosses is something you will need to master. Along the way you will also learn how to ride animals that can traverse areas faster, like wild boars of wolves. I am telling you now, you haven’t lived until you have learnt how to powerslide a wild boar.

The main issue with 3D platformer’s, especially around the time the original came out was the camera and I am sorry to say the anniversary edition still suffers with these old gremlins. There are times when you will be trying to size up a jump or in the middle of the combat and the camera decides to go off at a weird angle. Yes you can control it with the right stick and centre it with the stick button but this is where the game really feels like its age. That is not to say however that games much newer than this haven’t also suffered with dodgy cameras.Legend of Kay Anniversary - wii u

The small gripes don’t distract from what is essentially a very enjoyable and extremely playable trip down memory lane. We have been sorely short of 3D platform adventures of this type for some time and for that reason alone this would be a worthy purchase but when you add into the fact that both the retail and download versions of this game come in at around £15 then this is an awful lot of game for a small amount of money. I would say this game is worth a go on any of the numerous platforms it is available on but when you consider the sparsity of quality Wii U titles at present, it’s a must.

Legend of Kay Anniversary is out on the 28th July on WiiU, PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, PS3 and Xbox 360.

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