Legend of Kay PS2 Review

Legend of Kay is an action RPG in a similar vein to the classic Zelda series. The young boy may be replaced by a youthful cat, but like Nintendo’s game Kay is an amalgamation of puzzle solving, exploration, combat and character interaction. Does the level of execution reach that of the Zelda series and more importantly is it any good?

Kay’s hometown is being enslaved by legions of gorillas and rats and unsurprisingly it’s up to you – as the titular feline – to end this oppression and restore peace to the aptly but unimaginatively named Cat village as well as the entire island of Yenching itself. The story, though nothing special is a decent enough yarn, told with stylish comic book sequences as well as the more traditional in game method and thankfully features adequately done voice acting.

The gameplay for the most part involves about fifty percent of exploration and fifty percent of bashing an assortment of bad guys, which of course means combat. Puzzles are indeed present, but take a backseat to the aforementioned two elements, which could disappoint fans of Zelda seeking an identical slice of gameplay; nevertheless the other aspects of the game are likely to be pleasing for these particular people.

The combat in Kay is fantastic fun and manages to bring some genuinely new ideas to the table. Defeating enemies or destroying their armour will initiate combo mode, perpetually doing this will allow you to create some massive combos and the higher number combo achieved the more damage you will deal to the enemy, which gives you much incentive to get that combo number high. Furthermore whilst in this mode you can move between opponents acrobatically by pressing the triangle button, allowing for quick movement to the more distant of enemies as well as retaining your combo count, it’s even possible for a group of flying bad guys to be destroyed without once touching the ground, which is fairly impressive to witness.

Some sections have you riding on the back of an animal. These segments are fast paced, so much so that they allow little in the way of forethought at least to begin with. You’ll learn the hard way by crashing in to objects along the course. These at times can be horrendously frustrating and require much trial and error to pass but manage to somehow still be frantically fun at the same time.

You’re never able to revisit locations in the game and this linearity is one of the games biggest downfalls. There’s nothing worse than feeling that you haven’t explored the level in its entirety, missing out on some nice items and the like. You’d have to wonder what the developers were thinking when they restricted your exploration in this way.

Kay is a stunning looking game; quite possibly even one of the best graphical treats the PS2 has to offer. You’ll transverse across many varied locations such as sun kissed villages, swamps and of course the obligatory dark dungeons, just to name a few. All are amazingly detailed and it’s a joy to explore every nook and cranny. Kay himself is a rather generic looking cartoon cat, but along with the baddies is nevertheless unbelievably detailed. The camera largely does its job and can be controlled manually, following kay to his doom if need be (now that’s job dedication for you). There is the occasional problem, which results in needless frustration, but thankfully this was extremely rare during our time with the game.

Legend of Kay is a lovingly crafted title, which almost beats Zelda at its own game. But in the end, it’s Link who comes out on top, due to his more open-ended quest and better storyline, however Kay comes but a whisker away (sorry). A truly enjoyable adventure, which platform and action RPG aficionados should be plenty satisfied with.