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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published By: Nordic Games GmbH
Developed By: Neon Studios
Genre: Platformer
Players: 1
Rated: E10+ (Fantasy Violence, Language, Use of Alcohol)
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Screenshots: Link
Amazon: Buy Now!
Written By: Matthew Prunty

September 8, 2015 - There once was a time when the PlayStation 2 dominated the market and was the place to go when you wanted the hottest platforming titles that didnít star are certain plumber. The system was home to such classics as the Ratchet & Clank series, Jax & Daxter series, Sly Cooper series, Viewtiful Joe and many more. Also along for the ride is a unique action-platformer by the name of Legend of Kay. While the game didnít garner critical and commercial success like some of its comrades, it did garner a strong and loyal following. And on the gameís 10th anniversary, publisher Nordic Games teams up with original developer Neon Studios to re-release the cult classic for a modern generation.

For generations, the mystical land known as Yenching had been settled by four animal groups: the cats, hares, frogs, and pandas. Due to the teachings known as the Way, these four races prospered for ages in Yenching; each developing their own prosperous town. As time passed, the younger generation started to test the waters; some even defecting from the Way. With more and more wanting to go away from the teachings of the Way, it left the lands of Yenching open to attach from an invading group of Gorillas and the Din (Rats). Led by Gorilla Minister Shun and Din Alchemist Tak, the Gorillas and the Din ruled over the people of Yenching with an iron fist and the teachings of the Way began to be truly tested.

Kay, our hotheaded young cat protagonist, is one of those who donít believe in the teachings of the Way and focuses his time on building his physical skills and strength through training with his alcoholic martial arts Master. Kay best friend, Su Ling, does believe in the teachings and becomes disgusted with Kay and decides to leave the town. During one Kayís training sessions, Shunís gorillas and the Mayor of Kayís town showed up to announce that the school will be shut down and replaced with new ĎDin schoolsí in order to appease their new rulers. Kay, not being happy with this, sneaks into his Masterís house at night and steals his legendary mystical blade and sets out on his epic quest to free the people and land of Yenching from the grips of Shun and Tak.

While on your quest for redemption for the people of Yenching, you will across a multitude of animals that need your assistance in saving a friend of family member who has gone missing or is trapped somewhere. As look for these animals, you will come across and old, vaguely familiar cat who will sell you various items in order to combat the enemies and improve your martial arts status. There are also several small arena battle segments that will test your skills and what you have learned along the way. While these can get repetitive at times; the overall journey is varied just enough to keep you entertained through the journey.

Legend of Kay Anniversary shares a lot in common with most of the remastered titles that has been coming out lately. Instead of re-imagining the experience like with Capcomís Resident Evil series of games, Nordic Games and developer Neon Studios went with a straight-up remaster. Think of Legend of Kay Anniversary as a refinement of the cult PS2 classic. Improved rendering techniques were utilized to bring the title into the modern era. Also along for the ride are two tweaks to help the overall experience. One is the optimization of the game audio, which will help the game place nice with those fancy surround sound televisions and audio systems in hour homes. Also along for the ride is the inclusion of online leaderboards, which allow you to see how your performance within the game matches up with other players.

Touching back in the visuals for a moment, Legend of Kay Anniversary looks surprising solid for a PS2 era game receiving the 1080p treatment to help bring the game into the modern era. Character models are smother and detail looking with animations being fluid and little to no frame-rate issues. The environments arenít as detailed as game released today, but they are varied in design and layout, also looking solid with its visual upgrade. In terms of audio, while receiving a touch up with the inclusion of surround sound, it doesnít help ease the un-interesting voice-over work of the characters within the game. Outside the voice acting, the musical score is light-hearten and befitting of the locations you are exploring.

Unless you are in love with those platinum trophies or simply enamored by the game, after completing your first playthrough, you will have little reason for a return visit. In all, depending on how you approach the game, you can complete the adventure in around 8-10 hours. Those speed players out there probably can complete the game sooner, but then you are missing out on the point of gaming; to enjoy the experience. While I didnít have a chance to play the original release back in 2005, getting a chance to go ďback down memory laneĒ was a real treat and I was pleasantly surprised by the experience. For those who havenít had a chance to play this platformer or want to relive the journey, for only $29.99 you canít go wrong.


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