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Legend of Kay Anniversary Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Legend of Kay Anniversary offers upgraded graphics and sound, but outdated gameplay and voice acting. It's a cute story about a samurai cat who gets caught up in a number of mildly interesting adventures. It may not be a must-play experience, but Legend of Kay Anniversary is bound to please fans that fell in love with the game on the PlayStation 2. Rating: 57%
Legend of Kay Anniversary
Legend of Kay Anniversary Legend of Kay Anniversary Legend of Kay Anniversary Legend of Kay Anniversary
  • Review Score:

  • C+
Up until this week, I was convinced that I had played through Legend of Kay on the PlayStation 2. I'm not sure where that idea came from, but I knew for a fact that I had gone on an epic quest with this samurai cat. As it turns out, I was wrong. Nothing about Legend of Kay Anniversary rang any bells, but that didn't stop me from having a good time fighting through this remastered port.

Originally released in 2005 for the PlayStation 2, Legend of Kay was a low selling action/adventure game from the developers of Santa Claus Junior and Die Maus: Verrueckte Olympiade. It tells the story of Kay, a young martial arts expert who decides to run away after his village is taken over by Gorilla Minister Shun. With little more than a mystical blade and cocky attitude, Kay sets out on a journey to rescue his friends and family.

Out in the world all by himself for the first time, the inexperienced kitten finds a whole food chain of capable combatants. He'll fight rats, gorillas, crocodiles, dragonflies and even ninja turtles of the non-mutant variety; each forgoing their natural defenses, opting instead for weapons and armor. It's a cute premise that feels like precursor to Kung Fu Panda.

Kay bounces around from area to area helping the friendly people complete quests and hold off the gorilla forces. This involves a lot of collecting items and rescuing caged animals. Each level has a lot of branching paths and treasure chests to find. Unfortunately, they also have a lot of mindless arena battles featuring waves of predictable enemies.

This is the point in the review where I should probably remind myself that Legend of Kay is aimed at a much younger audience. For that reason, the gameplay is understandably simple, offering only the most basic of combos and special attacks. There are no role-playing elements and the story is as straight-forward as you can get. These are all things that a ten year old gamer wouldn't think twice about. But as a grown adult who made the mistake of reviewing games for a living, a lot of Legend of Kay's simplicity left me bored.

Legend of Kay Anniversary (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

While it may sound like a minor complaint, I found myself especially frustrated by the conversations. For one thing, the voice acting is atrocious, aggressively annoying from beginning to end. Kay is obnoxious and the people around aren't much better. It doesn't help that every conversation drags on well past its expiration date. Random characters will have lengthy discussions for no reason, and there's never a way to skip to the action.

These lengthy conversations are a perfect metaphor for Legend of Kay. Everything feels overlong and crammed with filler to pad out the run time. And since you're always rescuing townsfolk and finding collectable, the game also has a tendency of becoming repetitive. And without a strong story to guide the adventure, a large chunk of Legend of Kay comes across as aimless.

I also wasn't a big fan of the gameplay, especially when it came to the camera controls. While you can swing the camera around with the right analog stick, the angle isn't great and the game is quick to readjust. This is especially annoying when dealing with tricky platforming sections and fighting bosses in tight locations.

Legend of Kay Anniversary (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

The good news is that Legend of Kay looks great in high definition. Sure, you'll never confuse this remaster with a modern game from 2015, but the character models are sharp and the different worlds look good in 1080p. The music has also been improved, offering crystal clear surround sound to accompany the simplistic action and terrible voice acting.

Legend of Kay isn't one of those forgotten gems that everybody needs to experience at least once in their life, but this Anniversary release should please fans that fell in love with the game on the PlayStation 2. And at least now I can finally say that I've played Legend of Kay and not be a liar.
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