Kay is a bipedal cat with ancient ninja skills. He's the one that walks about a bright cartoon world slashing warlike gorillas, rats, lizards, and other sentient animals unfriendly to his kitten kind. He's also a loudmouthed braggart with a serious attitude problem. So don't expect Kay's legend to be sung by any panda bear bard's...ever.
It's not this way because ninja-cat vs. an evil world isn't an endearing tale -- it's more because Kay is a total ass. His whining pubescent voice, smarmy attitude and totally unnecessary insults don't make for a particularly likeable hero of song. He's just some jerk with fighting talent.
Capcom should have cut every line of dialog out of Legend of Kay and replaced it all with animal noises and subtitled dialog. If Kay just meowed instead of speaking, we'd be much happier about using him to do the world some serious good.
Now, even if the characters and their story don't warrant much notice, the gameplay sure does. Legend of Kay is a classic mascot action game. It features miniaturized brick to switch puzzles, lots of combat, and a variety of challenging platforming.
Legend of Kay primarily consists of fighting, and surprisingly, most of the action is good. Kay is supplied with three different types of weapons. The sword, hammer and claws which he eventually possesses offer balanced, strong and fast attacks. While there're basically just an attack plus special attack move, Kay's ninja-like skills let him leap around like a maniac, roll, thrust, and continue long strings of combinations on battered enemies. Switching between the weapons quickly is also possible. Of course, some enemies are obviously more susceptible to certain weapons and attacks, but when Kay's zipping from one to another slashing like mad, none of that will really matter.
Most of the action is pretty overwhelming. This gives Legend of Kay a good feeling of intensity. But while the controls are tight and the animations are fluid, there are some framerate issues. Camera problems can also check what would otherwise have been very well developed fights.
The platforming isn't hurt by those problems, though. Then again, it's not quite as enjoyable either. Kay isn't the Prince of Persia, but he's built with a good bit of acrobatic talent, only some collision detection and timing issues mean that even easier jumping segments will require a fair amount of trial and error to pass. This isn't so bad, though. And, after a while, players shouldn't have a problem navigating even the most complex dungeons.
The adventure also takes a healthy amount of time to complete, and there's always a steady stream of more challenging action and on-rails segments to highlight the reserved puzzles and large platforming areas. Of course, the art style is consistently bright and invigorating, as is the charming Asian flavored music. Now if only Kay and company would just keep quiet and let us enjoy it all.
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