The Legend of Kay was a PS2 era game that was pretty much overlooked by the gaming populace, especially with other big action platformers like Ratchet and Clank taking center stage. The Legend of Kay had it’s following though and was considered to be a decent game, even if it was overshadowed by the bigger titles. Following in most other companies footsteps, Nordic Games has seen fit to release an HD version of a game that people really weren’t asking for on the new consoles. With the HD release, is this a game that is suitable for kids or should it remain in the PS2 era of games we don’t think about anymore. Let’s find out.
In The Legend of Kay Anniversary, you play a young feline warrior who is living under a totalitarian rule of the apes and their subservient rats. As a martial artist, you’ll learn from a master and eventually leave your small city to explore a world rife with turmoil all while trying to find a friend who left the village after the “Way” (a way of life for the non ape/rat characters) is threatened and whitewashed from history. Kay’s story will progress through different environments as he increases his abilities and becomes stronger as the battle against the oppressors continues. It’s typical small character vs. the world where the little guy is downtrodden and the world is out to put him down at every step along the way. It’s not a bad story, it’s just nothing to write home about. For the younger audience, it’s no different than a Saturday cartoon, but don’t expect Last of Us material here.
Legend of Kay was rated E10+ when it released back on the PS2 and it looks like the rating has held for this release as well. There is fighting in the game and you’ll unlock moves and armor as you progress through the story, but there isn’t any blood or gory death. You will unlock moves and weapons to further your fighting prowess and over time your character will evolve into a lean, mean, feline fighting machine, but the game never feels overly violent. Think of a kid’s show like Power Rangers or The Clone Wars. These shows have fighting in them, but would wouldn’t say they were overly violent for the sake of being violent. The 10+ rating is a bit aggressive, as I would easily allow a 6 year old or so play this game, but your mileage will vary depending on the types of games you think your child can handle with his/her current maturity level.
The gameplay in Legend of Kay is one of it’s saving graces. Swinging that sword around and bouncing around the screen is just as fun as it was on the PS2, except this time we’re given better visuals. Quests will task you with navigating through a world that has verticality, so expect some problem solving required for finding quest objectives. As stated earlier, the game has fighting, but it’s not that violent and if your kid plays Disney Infinity, then they can most certainly play Legend of Kay. The gameplay, while not requiring a ton of skill or thought on the players behalf, is the perfect sit down and unwind style game where you can just sink a couple minutes or a couple hours and enjoy yourself.
The one thing that may drive you nuts in Legend of Kay Anniversary and deserves to be mentioned – the voice acting. It’s really, really bad. Maybe I was just younger during the PS2 era and it didn’t bother me much then, but it’s downright atrocious at times, especially the lead character with his horrible voice and whining nature. The other characters aren’t as bad as Kay, but unfortunately they all have less screen time than him. It’s a small gripe, but it was something I just couldn’t shake from the beginning of the game. Your kids might not notice it, but you may want to leave the room for extended play sessions.
So, the big question, can your kid play this game? Absolutely. There is violence, but it’s not overly violent and the story is typical Saturday morning cartoon fare. The question you should be asking is if your kids SHOULD play this game. Well, that is up to you. Were you overly fond of this game when it was on the PS2 and you want to share this game with your child? Then go for it. Otherwise, I can’t recommend it. It’s a game that no one asked for and probably should have been released as a PS2 classic with a reduced price tag. Even with a $29.99 MSRP, it’s hard to recommend it when there are so many other good games out there you could spend your money on. But, if you want something different and your kid already owns Disney Infinity, Skylanders, and other games with similar younger tones to them, then feel free to give Legend of Kay Anniversary a shot. It’s available on the PS4, Wii U, and PC (Steam.)