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Kameo: Elements of Power: Kameo: Elements of Power

Without the obvious Duke Nukem Whenever jokes (?sorry, couldn?t resist), it is a well-known fact that a few select games somehow or another find themselves in development limbo -- that strange void between when the game was supposed to ship and some ambigous release date a few years down the road. Perhaps no game has seen the road more than Kameo, which has seen itself shipped between systems as fast as most celebrities go through spouses. However, for Kameo: Elements of Power the end of the road is only a few days away as it gets ready to ship alongside the Xbox 360 on November 22.

For anyone who has missed my annual Kameo E3 reports (which sadly came to an end this year), a little background is in order. Kameo is an elfin princess who is charged with the duty of saving her people from an army of trolls who have set up shop in her land and are threatening to take over. While this may seem like a daunting task, Kameo has some backup in the form of magical powers that allow her to transform into different warriors, each representing different elemental forces. These creatures include Pummel Weed, a boxing plant warrior; Chilla, a brutish yeti; and Major Ruin, a spiked armadillo.

Gameplay revolves around finding these spirits and using their abilities not only in combat, but to solve puzzles. Chilla, for example, can not only lay the smack down with his fists, but also has the ability to impale enemies on his back (and then use the corpses as a club), but also use ice spikes to climb tall buildings. Other abilities include Pummel Weed's ability to compress himself and slip under narrow gaps and the Major's ability to roll into a ball and roll up ramps and take out armor wearing trolls. All of these abilities are vital to Kameo?s success and some will even have to be used in conjunction with others in order to efficiently take out enemies -- especially bosses.

Visuals are where you really get to see Kameo's transition from the Xbox to Xbox 360. Obviously, a more powerful system means better visuals, and Kameo has them to spare. Not only have all the in-game character models received face-lifts, but every environment has been reworked to take advantage of what the 360 has to offer; so expect to see things like numerous lighting effects, more active environments and hundreds (if not thousands) of characters on screen at once.

It has been a long road, but so far it looks like Kameo was worth the wait. While it's hard to make definitive statements based on a few short minutes of gameplay, everything seems to have fallen in place for Kameo. What was one of my most anticipated Xbox titles has easily made it onto my ?Must Have? list for the 360. If you're still trying to deciding on which 360 games to bundle with your system, Kameo is worth a look.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

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