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The Legend of Kay Anniversary - Nintendo Switch Review

Legend-of-Kay-Anniversary-600x264-The-Legend-of-Kay-Anniversary-capture-500x220 The Legend of Kay Anniversary - Nintendo Switch Review

The legend lives on.

Game Info

  • System: Nintendo Switch
  • Publisher: THQ Nordic
  • Developer: Kaiko, Neon Studios
  • Release Date: May 29, 2018

Legend of Kay Anniversary Edition - Nintendo Switch™ Trailer

Who it Caters to

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Many of you are most likely going to look at Legend of Kay Anniversary for the first time through this review, not knowing that this game saw its original release 10 years ago on the Xbox 360. While it didn’t top any charts or win any sort of special award, The Legend of Kay presents players with a fun 3D action platforming adventure that sees you take control of Kay as he tries to overturn the corrupt rat kingdom led by Tak. The game takes advantage of the 3D landscape as players race around collecting coins, attacking various types of animals using special techniques, while being rewarded with a unique soundtrack that you’ll only find in this game. The Legend of Kay Anniversary is a game on its own, and while it does take some inspiration from titles like Spyro the Dragon or say Ratchet and Clank, the overall design and direction of the game is quite distinct making it enjoyable over time. We’ll cover more in regards to gameplay later on in the review but for now, anyone who enjoys some childish humor, stereotypical accents with quirky dialogue, along with a pretty decent amount of things to discover while playing, The Legend of Kay Anniversary is one to try out.

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What to Expect

Legend-of-Kay-Anniversary-600x264-The-Legend-of-Kay-Anniversary-capture-500x220 The Legend of Kay Anniversary - Nintendo Switch Review
The first thing to expect is that this game doesn’t take itself seriously, and we mean that in a good way. As we stated in the previous paragraph the game does a funny job of stereotyping certain accents, like a Jamaican accent or the typical Chinese accent that you’ll hear in those classic 70’s films. While many may find that a bit jarring, it’s safe to say that the game doesn’t take it over the edge and keeps things comical, so as not to offend anyone. Being that it’s a 3D action platformer, there’s a lot more room for exploration since much of the world you run around in feels more expansive than the your run of the mill 2D platformers. There were some moments that the camera controls really didn’t compliment some of the level designs throughout the game, but it didn’t stop us from having a good time and laughing at all the corny insults characters would toss at each other. Much of the game has seen a great deal of upgrades in the visual area when compared to its original, giving it a solid makeover and complimenting the more modern feel of games today. The textures have been revamped to provide a higher resolution, character models are far more detailed, along with cleaner rendering to allow for a more seamless experience.


Story

The Legend of Kay starts off with the young Kay setting out on an adventure to become a warrior, and with the help of his master he was able to learn abilities to aid him battle. The town in which he is situated was a peaceful one, where everyone lived in harmony without much trouble. That all changed however when the Gorillas and corrupt Rats made their way into Kay’s village, destroying everything around them and leaving the village bereft of all its beauty. Filled with anger and a willingness to seek revenge, Kay seeks help from his master one last time before he sets out on his own to take down the corrupt Rat and Gorilla empire, and restore peace to his village once again.

Gameplay

Legend-of-Kay-Anniversary-600x264-The-Legend-of-Kay-Anniversary-capture-500x220 The Legend of Kay Anniversary - Nintendo Switch Review
The Legend of Kay Anniversary is quite simple to pick up and doesn’t really require much out of you in terms of overall mechanics. You attack with the Y button, block with the X button, crouch with the A button and jump with the B button. The layout is straightforward but it’s the button sequences with regards to attacking that players will perhaps need to practice just a little, in order to get the timing down. Fortunately, the game does a good job of providing you with instructions on how to perform certain combos and special moves, so that you’ll be able to tackle a group of enemies without much fuss. Defeating enemies isn’t as easy as you’d assume since they’ll tend to read your patterns and adapt according to what you do. So, for example, if you continue to mash the attack button out ala musou style, the enemy will just sit there and block your attacks until you make some sort of alteration. So it encourages you to make use of all your tools to ensure that you get more kills, and don’t end up dying to playing to a particular pattern. As you traverse through the game, you’ll encounter a wide array of anthropomorphic characters ranging from rabbits, ninja turtles (yes, there are actual ninja turtles), Jamaican frogs, among others.

The funny aspect about the game is really the voice acting since no one character ever really sounds the same, and the voice acting is truly corny like something you’d see out of those cheap flicks as stated earlier. One moment you’ll be talking to a Chinese speaking rat, then the next time another rat will have this really weird hybrid of a New York Italian that really throws you off. Whether that was intentional or the team simply didn’t have enough expenditure to hire consistent actors is beyond us, but it was still worth listening to as you play through. We’ll be quite frank and say that while The Legend of Kay Anniversary does a great job of providing a more updated product, it still feels dated just in terms of how characters are animated. It’s definitely better looking than its 360 counterpart but you can certainly tell that the game is still lagging behind when compared to the more modern platformers in the marketplace. Be that as it may, The Legend of Kay Anniversary executes what it needed to do and that was to give young gamers an experience to enjoy. There are some harsh insults thrown out there that kind of reminded us of Conker’s Bad Fur Day, but to the degree that someone would find it rather unsettling.

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Honey's Gameplay Consensus:

Legend-of-Kay-Anniversary-600x264-The-Legend-of-Kay-Anniversary-capture-500x220 The Legend of Kay Anniversary - Nintendo Switch Review
In the end, The Legend of Kay Anniversary is an enjoyable title despite its age and will grab the attention of those who are looking for a 3D platforming experience on the Switch. The UI could use a little fine tuning and giving us a bigger map to find our way would be something we’d suggest, along with the flimsy camera controls that you have to deal with on certain levels. The puzzle solving aspect was fair at best and didn’t really throw us any curveballs, so getting through them wasn’t a pain. Once you actually clear the game there really isn’t much incentive to go back and play through it again, unless you really love the game and want to gather everything to be a completionist. It’s a game we suggest you play in small doses so you can at least find enjoyment in it all, rather than just trying to clear it all in one take. It’s not very long so piece by piece is the way to go.

Honey's Pros:

  • Funny voice acting and dialogue.
  • The music was very fitting for the theme of the game.

Honey's Cons:

  • The game still feels dated despite the visual and sound upgrades.
  • Flimsy camera controls can kill you from time to time.

Honey's Final Verdict:

So there you have it, The Legend of Kay Anniversary is complete and we can now move onto a brand new game to review for the Switch. What did you think? Is The Legend of Kay Anniversary a game that sounds enticing to play? Or will you pass on this one? Let us know your thoughts below and of course, be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest gaming news! Be sure as well to follow us on Twitch, where we play all the games we review live for you all to enjoy!

As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.

Legend-of-Kay-Anniversary-600x264-The-Legend-of-Kay-Anniversary-capture-500x220 The Legend of Kay Anniversary - Nintendo Switch Review

Editor/Writer

Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.

A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!

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