- The Poor Man's Triple Jump Is Your Key To Victory
- Keeping Your Heart(s) In Check
- It Is Important To Have Perspective
- Rocking And Rolling
- Always Be Suspicious Of Shallow Water
- Use The Environment To Your Advantage
- The Consequences Of Death
- Collectibles Are Optional
Kao The Kangaroo is not what one would consider a classically challenging title. However, despite this being a more chilled-out platforming experience, there are certainly a lot of little things you can do to make your time spent with the game a little more pleasurable. Some of the platforming sections are definitely capable of putting forward a decent challenge.
Thankfully, there are multiple tools at your disposal that can help you navigate these sections more deftly. The most devious aspects of this title definitely revolve around the collectibles. But even here, there are some tips and tricks that will help you to better navigate your environments and find those collectibles far quicker.
The Poor Man's Triple Jump Is Your Key To Victory
Kao's tailspin air attack—which is just a fancy name for your airborne attack—is one of the most potent attacks in his arsenal, but it is also one of his most important tools for platforming. When you perform this airborne attack, it will halt your downward momentum while allowing you to shift in any direction. This makes the tailspin attack pretty invaluable for platforming.
Kao can use the tailspin during some of the more tricky platforming sections to move another inch forward, which is useful for correcting a jump that was maybe a touch too shallow: in this regard, it is almost like a triple jump (even if it doesn't move you very far). It is also great for making sure you stick your landing during some of the more tricky platforming sections, as it gives you a lot of hang time to size up your landing. If you are struggling with any of the platforming, this attack will be your salvation.
Keeping Your Heart(s) In Check
Every stage has a number of checkpoints that appear in the form of bells. Something the game doesn't tell you is that these bells act as a source for hearts. That's right, If you are hurting, just give the checkpoint a few whacks and a heart will pop out. Now, there are limitations to this, as they will only give you one heart per whacking, but this is definitely something that you should keep in mind.
Another extremely helpful thing to remember is that hearts do not expire in Kao The Kangaroo. So, if you beat up a whole squad of enemies a while ago, and they dropped three or four hearts, as long as you haven't passed a point of no return (and many stages do have one area like this) you can absolutely backtrack and grab those hearts.
It Is Important To Have Perspective
While you can look up guides for finding all the little knickknacks this game throws at you, there is a very easy way to find this stuff organically. Look wherever the camera is pointing away from. Kao The Kangaroo loves to lead you down a specific path, and guide your eye along a specific line, only to wedge a collectible just out of sight.
When you enter into an area, don't neglect to look behind you, they probably hid something there. If you are up high, look down low, there is a good chance something may be sitting on a ledge. Heck, they even like to carve out little holes in otherwise solid objects and tuck them behind corners. Basically, always be suspicious and use the right analogue stick liberally to look everywhere.
Rocking And Rolling
Don't underestimate the potency of your dodge roll; it is extremely versatile and unquestionably potent. So the first thing to note is that this roll has a lot of invincibility. This means that you can use it to get out of a jam. In that regard, it is vaguely like a Dark Souls roll, except Kao's version of it goes way farther, seems to recover faster, and damages your opponents.
However, Kao's roll isn't just effective in combat; it can also be used liberally during platforming sections to overcome otherwise deadly traps. There is a segment with fish flying across a bridge at one point; the roll will not only move through them, but it will take them out. There are bombs hidden in crates randomly; the roll will safely explode the bomb and leave you unscathed. The only time the roll won't be able to help you is if the obstacle stops you in your tracks.
Always Be Suspicious Of Shallow Water
Shallow water is colored light blue and is safe to walk through. However, you need to be extra wary of it, not because it will hurt you, but because it is an excellent place to conceal crystals. And conceal crystals they do! The thing is, the crystals are pretty much the same color as the shallow water, so it is incredibly hard to see them at a glance.
So, if you enter a part of the stage that has shallow water, pay very close attention to it. Odds are they have wedged a goodie somewhere just below the surface. And if you are at the end of the stage are still missing a crystal, backtrack to an area with shallow water and make sure they didn't slip one past you.
Use The Environment To Your Advantage
One thing Kao The Kangaroo is not short on is traps and obstacles. You will encounter fights that are lined with these hazards. However, the game is shockingly fair about this sort of thing. Anything that damages you will almost certainly damage your opponents as well. Not only that, but your enemies don't typically have an invincible roll.
As an example, the very first Challenge Well you encounter in the game will have you fighting waves of frogsters. Meanwhile, the area is dotted with clamp traps. You could deftly weave in and out of the traps, while fighting these goons, or you could just roll around like a kangaroo without a care in the world and have the frogs run into the many traps surrounding you. If you are aware of your environment it will make your life easier.
The Consequences Of Death
This is a small thing, but it is easy to miss. If you fall to your death, sink in deep water, or are taken out by any given stage obstacle that resets you to your last checkpoint, you may think the consequences are quite low. Generally, you will only lose a single heart. Which isn't too bad! However, there is one thing that you absolutely need to be aware of; you lose every collectible you obtained after having hit that checkpoint.
So, that means you will have to recollect all the crystals, letters, and scrolls you obtained again. That being said, you keep your coins, and you can't reclaim treasure chests, so you won't have to worry about those. Either way, keep this in mind or you may find that you finish a stage with a rogue collectible missing.
Collectibles Are Optional
Of course, if you want to find every last collectible, there are plenty of guides that will show you the way. However, if you don't really care about the bragging rights, those collectibles don't really do anything for you. They are literally there for you to check all the boxes. Outside of coins, extra lives, and heart pieces, the collectibles exist solely to be collected.
Don't get us wrong, the collectibles are a great excuse to fully explore each stage, and they can add a fun extra challenge, but if you missed a crystal or two, and you don't want to repeat the stage, you don't have to. Feel free to move on. It will still be waiting there later if you change your mind.
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