Kao The Kangaroo: Oh! Well DLC
At the risk of digging myself into a hole, reviewing DLC is not typically VGamingNews’ bag. The reasoning behind this stance is that if a player already owns the title, they are more likely to have an opinion on new content based on their experience with the game. We’re not sure that a minor content addition will persuade new players to play the game. That being said, when Tate Multimedia got in touch about Kao The Kangaroo’s Oh! Well DLC, I agreed to bend the rules as I had unfinished business that needed taking care of.
At A Glance
|Name||Kao The Kangaroo: Oh! Well DLC|
|Positives||+ Tricky platforming levels|
+ Great new costumes to show off
|Negatives||– Janky camera angles|
– Levels can be too unforgiving for younger players
|Price (When Reviewed)||£5.49|
|Our Playtime||1 hours 30 mins|
|Available On||PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC|
When I played Kao the Kangaroo earlier in the year, I could see the bones of a great platformer. Unfortunately, the game was in a pretty broken state with constant frame rate dips and a broken save system. These issues persisted some weeks after it was released, causing me to give it a bang-average score. With the addition of the Oh! Well DLC, this gave me an opportunity to not only play the new levels but also see what, if anything has been fixed.
I’ll move on to the fixes shortly but first let me talk about the Kao the Kangaroo: Oh! Well DLC, and I think it’s right to set expectations from the start. For less than £6, this isn’t a massive expansion that will change the game in any meaningful way. For the price, you’ll unlock five new Hallowe’en costumes and five new challenges that can be found with the rest of the challenge wells.
The new costumes can be picked up from the store and simply reskin our bouncing marsupial to a zombie-like state, giving his boxing gloves a nice purple aura as energy swirls around them. Sadly, these are purely cosmetic amendments and don’t change anything about the game, even when going through the game’s cutscenes, Kao reverts back to his own colour (but at this point you may have already finished the main story).
Five new Challenge Well levels are where the meat and veg of this additional content come from, and boy do these pack a wallop, even for seasoned platform enthusiasts. Each level is themed much like the standard Challenge levels and is centred around different aspects of the game. The purple vortex draws Kao into a set of levels that test all aspects of platforming, from sliding down a hill and vaulting over gaps, to floating platforms that slip away as soon as Kao’s toe gently brushes the surface. All of them are devilishly tricky, which is completely unexpected, considering the main adventure.
The main game is by and large a by the numbers collect-a-thon, but then, it is a rebuild of an early noughties 3D platformer after all. Players of all ages will have little trouble making it through the main adventure, but these five short levels caught me off guard. For a game that is supposed to be child friendly, these Challenge levels certainly lived up to their name and absolutely obliterated my confidence in platformers. I was angrier after ten minutes of booting up Kao than when I was playing Elden Ring for the first time.
Don’t get me wrong, the challenges are beatable, but platforming precision and tip-top reflexes were needed to pull me through. One thing I was hesitant about when it came to reviewing the DLC was the game’s performance. As I wrote in my original review, it was not great. Collecting the in-game coins, opening chests, and fight sequences caused the game to screech to a halt, coupled with a dodgy camera system, there was a sense of foreboding when loading up the game.
But in fairness to the developers, they have worked flat out to address almost all of the game’s kinks. Hell, I even came back to the same file, right where I left it all those months ago. I cannot stress how much more of an enjoyable experience Kao is now. The updates to the game are night and day, and while it’s not 100% perfect (the game still stutters here and there and there are still the odd camera twitches), Kao the Kangaroo is a lot more enjoyable in its current state.
The Kao the Kangaroo: Oh! Well DLC is both a trick and a treat. The new levels may be short in length, but they certainly pack a punch, as they are both frustrating and irritating, but overall simply brilliant. I didn’t expect five of the hardest platforming levels I’ve played all year to be found in Kao the Kangaroo and I absolutely loved it. These extra levels are pound-for-pound worth it, just for the sheer delight I got for finishing a level after multiple restarts, and while the additional costumes are purely cosmetic, they round out the package nicely.
In the interest of full disclosure, VGamingNews was provided with a copy of the game in order to conduct this review.