Legend of Kay Anniversary Edition (Wii U, PS3, PS4, 360, PC)

KAY_BOXBack in 2005 I remember going to E3 and seeing a colorful 3-D platformer starring a martial arts cat. The game was called Legend of Kay, and it was a PS2 game published by Capcom I believe. I didn’t get to review the game when it came out, but five years later I did review a Nintendo DS version of the title. So it’s been ten years since the original release, and now you can play the first PS2 game on most modern home consoles (Wii U version reviewed here) with the Legend of Kay Anniversary Edition.

The game is a colorful 3-D action platformer set in a world based on Asian folklore. Cats, rabbits, frogs, and pandas live in peace, and receive nourishment from magical waters from special wells. They also practice the ancient traditions of The Way, which teaches peace and harmony. But over time, the wells dried up and the animals forgot the teachings of The Way. Conniving rats and warlike gorillas now threaten to take over the lands, and it’s up to a young martial arts student cat named Kay to take up the sword and save the day!

In this 3-D action platformer, you’ll control Kay as he runs and jumps through various locations filled with enemies and obstacles. Kay can use weapons like swords, claws, and hammers to perform combo attacks on enemies. Block and roll around baddies, too, to gain an edge. Later on you’ll be able to use special magic attacks, too. You can carry five items and use them to help you in battle and to overcome obstacles, too, similar to a Zelda game. Use bombs to blow up weak walls, jars of bees to help you attack bad guys, and potions to refill your health and magic as well as boost your attacks. Collect coins from pots and chests to buy new items and upgrades, too. Gather diamonds to increase your score and unlock extras as well.

As you play and talk to various animals, you’ll receive missions that will tell you where to go next on the map. Although sometimes they don’t tell you exactly where to go. Luckily you can always get hints from certain characters in the game, but it may mean a lot of backtracking, which isn’t as much fun here. The game has other problems that many games in the PS2 era had, too. Camera angles can be a struggle every now and then, and even on Easy mode, the game gets pretty hard about halfway through when enemies start really ganging up on you. I also wish the save point lanterns were scattered more frequently.

But one thing this title has going for it is timing. Ten years ago, I probably wouldn’t have given this game a good review at all; since there were so many other 3-D platformers out there that were much better (like Ratchet and Clank or Okami). But right now, there aren’t as many colorful 3-D games like there used to be, so if you long for those kinds of games again, you might want to check out this one. I don’t know if they added anything to the Anniversary Edition since I never played the first one, though. Not sure if this game really warranted an Anniversary Edition either. Was it really that popular or memorable? Well, at any rate, if you miss the 3-D platformers of old, you should look into this one.


Kid Factor:

Legend of Kay Anniversary Edition is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Fantasy Violence, Language, and Use of Alcohol. You can smack enemies around with swords and other weapons, and they’ll get stars above their heads and lie motionless when you defeat them (they disappear when you leave the screen) but that’s about it. The game’s characters actually curse a lot more than what I felt was necessary, and Kay himself is a bit of a smart aleck. The master you train from drinks a fictional beverage which makes him drunk and sleepy sometimes, but that’s it. Really the best reason why this game is better for older kids is the high challenge level. Kids and adults who enjoy movies and TV shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender and Kung Fu Panda should like this game, too.

Discussion Area - Leave a Comment

Tired of typing this out each time? Register as a subscriber!