A Not-So-Necessary Anniversary Edition for a PS2 Original

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The Legend of Kay Anniversary

Developed by: Kaiko, Neon Studios
Published by: Nordic Games
Genre(s): Action/Adventure, Platformer
Rating: E10+
Availability: Out now for Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360

Synopsis: 10 years after its initial release, Legend of Kay – Anniversary is a thoroughly remastered version of the original game: high-resolution textures; new, more detailed character models; modern rendering techniques and crystal-clear surround sound give this great classic a new shine.

Disclaimer: Pop Cults received a complimentary digital review copy of The Legend of Kay Anniversary for the PlayStation 4, with no obligation to do a review of the game or give it a positive score.

I am not quite sure why the 2005 PlayStation video game The Legend of Kay needed an Anniversary edition released last month, but it was a bit of nostalgic fun playing through the game once again – as well as a reminder in frustration. To be honest, I would have thought that an anniversary edition would have brought about some much needed updates and fixes to issues that plagued the original release of the game; sadly, that is not the case here. What made the game a bit of a disappointment the first time around was left lingering in this game and it again takes away from the overall enjoyment and experience of the game.

When I first played The Legend of Kay back in the day of its original release, it was a game that my then fiancée (now wife) would also play with me. It was a simple and charming action/adventure game that seemed light-hearted and fun and we would take turns playing the game through the multiple levels. And though the game was a fun romp that we both enjoyed playing, there were a few times – okay, actually more than a few times when I was left wondering what the hell was going on with the game. Camera issues, the dialog and the voice acting were the main detractors of the game and they seemed to have returned for this anniversary edition.

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Right off the bat, the first thing that I noticed about the anniversary edition was that the dialog and voice acting that I really disliked from the game’s initial release had returned. I was able to slightly forgive both issues back in the day but to keep these two really horrid items in the game at this point in time really is a bit of a crime. Not only is the voice acting really on the lower scale of acceptability, the dialog has aged even less gracefully – reminding me why it is that comedies and attitudes that flourished in the late 1990s/mid-2000s has been pretty much forgotten and shunned in comparison to today’s standards. Kay, for most of the game, comes off as a brutish and simplistic brat with the lines that were written for him and the delivery. The opening sequence of the game showed me all I needed to know about how horrible this was and any hope of it being cleaned up as the game went along were quickly dashed as I progressed through the first levels of the game.

Then, the second bit punch to the gut hit when the same darn camera issues that were so frustrating to get past the first time around again reared its ugly head and began to really frustrate me all over again. Why was this left in the game once again? Did no one think about maybe updating the camera problem? Was it left in there to remind us why we didn’t enjoy to the fullest back in 2005? I get that some things nostalgic shouldn’t be messed with, but come on; this should definitely be one of the exceptions to that rule. Not even out of Kay’s uncle’s house and I was already ready to yell at my TV screen because the damn camera wasn’t cooperating with what I needed it to do. Forget getting it to work properly when I needed Kay to swing or race – hell, combat was made much more difficult than it had to be just because I could never get the camera to focus in the direction I needed it to. Thankfully the game wasn’t that difficult to begin with, but the camera issue certainly didn’t do the game any favors.

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Though the game was pretty simple to get through, and once I got past a few issues that lingered around in the anniversary edition, the game was a fun romp through old memories, the fact that the bad camera problems and the dialog/bad voice acting combo remained are a huge stain upon the game. I don’t know yet if, in my mind, The Legend of Kay Anniversary did more to hurt my memories of the original game or taint them a bit more that I actually don’t remember the game as fondly as I once thought I did. It’s kind of sad, because I did have a fun time with the game the first time I played it a decade ago.

But now that the issues that made me dislike the game the first time really have me questioning my original thoughts on the game – and that is not what an anniversary edition of a game is supposed to do. It’s supposed to remind you why the game was great or fun in the first place; not remind you of the bad issues that had you frustrated originally return to blemish your good memories of the game. Overall, the game does have its finer points that make it fun – the problem is that you have to get through three major plaguing issues to get to it; and I really don’t think it is worth playing through them for the amount of fun The Legend of Kay Anniversary delivers. D+

 

This article, A Not-So-Necessary Anniversary Edition for a PS2 Original, first appeared on Pop Cults.