Kameo: Elements of Power

Key events

22nd November 2005

Kameo: Elements of Power

13th May 2005

UK X360 trio at launch?

Rare Replay reveals the Kameo 2 we never got

Plus: get a glimpse of canned kart racer Fast and the Furriest.

Never-released Rare games such as Kameo 2 are finally getting time to shine via documentaries included as part of the just-released Rare Replay compilation.

Video: Five Terrible Launch Titles

VideoVideo: Five Terrible Launch Titles

A look back at some not-so-golden oldies.

With the arrival of the next-gen consoles almost upon us, we thought it would be a good time to look back at some games from launches gone by. Or in other words, to have a laugh at some old rubbish. So here's Eurogamers guide to five terrible games from platform launches past.

But of course, they weren't all bad - coming soon, look out for our video of Five Amazing Launch Titles, plus Five Launch Titles You've Forgotten About That Were Quite Good Actually Come To Think Of It. We're also planning to do a six-hour video of Ken Kutaragi playing Fantavision while talking about the Emotion Engine and crying, but he won't return our texts.

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FeatureSaturday Soapbox: The (first) DLC generation

Has the content pack come of age?

Kameo: Elements of Power didn't just help kick off the current console generation, it played a role in the early days of one of its more interesting - and divisive - trends, too. Shortly after the Xbox 360 came out in December 2005, I went over to my friend - and handy early adopter - Stu's house to see what the new hardware could do. Stu was playing Kameo, which looked colourful and pleasant and busy with particle effects, but there was something else taking place on the screen that seemed completely weird. As Christmas inched closer in the real world, Christmas was inching closer in Kameo, as well: all the elves and pixies, grunts and lumbering yeti-type things the protagonist could transform into were decked out in scarlet pom-pom hats and little red and white ruffs. Santa Claus had come to toy town.

FeatureThe man who made Conker - Rare's most adult game

From the archive: Chris Seavor on cancelled projects, the good old days and losing his rag.

Every Sunday we present an article from our archive - giving you a chance to discover something for the first time, or maybe just to get reacquainted. This week, with the Conker-starring Project Spark finally releasing, we go back to Wes' interview with the man behind Rare's foul-mouthed mascot.

FeatureWho Killed Rare?

Did Microsoft ruin Britain's greatest game studio?

Through a locked gate, down a winding path and by a still pond a few miles outside of the leafy village of Twycross, England, a bonsai tree stands. It was a gift given to Rare by Shigeru Miyamoto, the most famous game designer in the world, as a thank-you for the game developer's critical and commercial success in creating games for Nintendo, the most famous game maker in the world.

Kameo 2 artwork leaks

Get a glimpse of cancelled Rare sequel.

Concept art for a planned sequel to Rare's Xbox 360 action adventure Kameo: Elements of Power has found its way onto the web, offering a tantalising glimpse at what might have been.

Moore defends Rare's Xbox work

PDZ, Kameo, Viva Pińata all good.

Microsoft's Peter Moore has paid tribute to Rare's recent product history, defending the Twycross-based developer against claims that its output has struggled to keep touch with the critical and commercial successes of its output prior to its acquisition by the Xbox platform holder.

New Kameo deck for UNO

Including new swapsies card.

Today will see the release of a new Kameo-themed deck for the Xbox Live Arcade version of UNO, and as with previous themed decks this does more than wrap the thing up in recognisable graphics.

New Kameo skins for download

Design-A-Skin contest winners.

Microsoft has announced that fans of Rare's Xbox 360 launch title Kameo: Elements of Power are set to benefit from 11 new skins.

Kameo Power Pack released

Three new modes, 400 points.

Still playing Kameo? Deliberately? Fair enough - then you might be interested to hear that the "Power Pack" has been released onto Xbox Live Marketplace.

Kameo Power Pack coming soon

New co-op modes, achievements.

Rare has announced details of its upcoming "Power Pack" update for Kameo, which adds export and time attack modes, a new competitive two-player game, 15 new achievements and worldwide leaderboards.

Kameo fans who've been waiting for more updates should swing by Xbox Live Marketplace today - not only can you download another pair of costume packs for 200 points each, but Microsoft's released the anticipated online co-op patch too.

Online co-op for Kameo

On the way very soon.

Kameo fans will soon be able to enjoy online co-op play via Xbox Live, according to a posting on the Rare website.

Kameo: Elements of Power

Of all the games that make up the Xbox 360's launch line-up, Kameo held the most of this reviewer's confidence. The eloquence of its core transfiguration concept bore the hallmarks of Zelda-envy - hardly a bad thing - while its prolonged development gave rise to sights and sounds more spectacular and silken than many of its launch rivals. All it needed was a world worth exploring, and the sense to let you explore it.

Sultry hip-wiggling and dragonfly wings aside, Kameo's a pretty helpless elf, but with her transformation power she can adopt far more useful forms. The game starts off giving you a decent taste of these - a Sonic spinball for jumping between gaps and half-pipes, a Queensbury boxing plant to bash trolls, and a spiky gorilla for climbing walls and hurling enemies out of windows. Kameo's on a mission to save her family from her evil sister Kalus, who is in league with the nasty troll-king Thorn, so she's busy scaling a gloomy castle circled by cartoon dragons, and this environment is tailored to press each of her transformations' skills into service, at first individually and later in concert. But in the castle's highest tower, Kameo is set upon by Thorn, and her abilities cut away by his killer blow. When she wakes, she's back in her floating village home and unable to do much beyond wiggling around and admiring the swaying grass and wafting blossom.

To regain her initial abilities - and seven others - Kameo must gather the elemental sprites, each of which is held by a nasty shadow demon. These spindly black horrors are spread unevenly among the thematically diverse corners of the scarred game world below her kingdom-home, and to get to them she must solve basic puzzles in each, do battle with trolls, and then open gateways to the shadow realm, where she has to dispatch the increasingly evil identikit demon mini-bosses by drawing spiritual power from their minions and then lobbing it back in their faces the tried-and-trusted three or four times over. Along the way, she also has to save her kidnapped family from giant boss monsters, each of which demands a different mixture of transformations to overcome.

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Hear Kameo's story

In a series of podcasts.

Microsoft has announced plans to release an eight-part series of podcasts revealing the story behind forthcoming Xbox 360 title Kameo: Elements of Power.

More videogame movies coming

Kameo and a new Resi flick.

Since when did Hollywood stop coming up with original ideas and start nicking game concepts instead? Big screen adaptations of Silent Hill, BloodRayne and Castlevania are already on the way, and now two more videogame adaptations have been announced - alas, not there's still no sign of Katamari Damacy: The Movie.

FeatureKameo: Elements of Power

Which are hopefully more "pow" than "er".

Those onetime Britsoft gods at Rare have had a bit of a rough ride from the press in the last few years, and with some justification. Since Microsoft signed a gobsmackingly large cheque to add the studio to its internal development repertoire back in 2002, it hasn't exactly justified its price tag - producing only the fun but not exactly world-igniting Grabbed by the Ghoulies, and the forthcoming, foul-mouthed, Conker: Live & Reloaded. In what must be a bit of an embarrassment for Microsoft, if you wanted to play a really good Rare game in the last few years, the best place to do it was on Game Boy Advance.

UK X360 trio at launch?

UK X360 trio at launch?

Gotham 3, Kameo, Perfect Dark.

Microsoft's Peter Moore has indicated in one of a number of promotional Xbox 360 videos doing the rounds that all three of the company's key UK first party titles, which he identifies as Project Gotham Racing 3 from Bizarre Creations and Kameo: Elements of Power and Perfect Dark Zero from Rare, will be part of the console's "launch portfolio".

That's not a cast-iron guarantee that they will launch alongside the console this "Holiday season" - mostly likely November/early December, even for Europe - but it's the clearest indication yet that all three are being positioned as key components of the Xbox 360 launch offering.

Project Gotham Racing 3 has yet to be officially unveiled by Microsoft - perhaps in an effort to avoid spoiling the European launch of Forza Motorsport on Xbox 1 today - but is almost certain to feature on Monday at the company's pre-E3 press conference.

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Rare's Kameo slips yet again

Two years on and Microsoft's $375 million deal for the UK studio is looking more expensive by the day...

Rare's long-awaited Xbox-exclusive Kameo: Elements Of Power has slipped indefinitely, with a statement on the developer's website revealing the firm's decision with publisher Microsoft to push back the launch of the title to make "several changes" to the game.