Kirby, King Dedede, Waddle Dee and Meta Knight – usually at each other’s throats – team up to try to save Magolor by rebuilding his Lor Starcutter, a spaceship capable of opening portals to travel vast distances. The pieces of the
Puddlejumper Starcutter have been sprayed all over Pop Star, and it is up to Kirby and the gang to go fetch them so that Magolar can get back home.
He even promised to take the crew for a tour!
So Kirby and his gang hop on a star, and head to find the broken bits of the ship. Each level contains a piece of the spaceship, which is conveniently held by the boss on the final stage. Kirby retains his ravenous ability to suck up just about anything and to mimic the moves and weapons of his enemies. Power over the elements, nifty weapons and magic are all yours to command, at the cost of losing your vacuum ability for a while. Besides opening up completely new movesets and a fighting chance for the pink blob, these moves give you the ability to reach otherwise impossible to collect items. For example, the water crown copy ability makes underwater sections easier, and allows Kirby to extinguish fireblocks. The whip can snake past solid objects to activate switches and detonate bombs, opening new pathways.
Little cogs, or energy spheres, are also scattered around each stage, and can be found in secret areas or by doing little speed challenges, complete with minibosses, on some levels. These doodads open rooms inside the Starcutter, which add several minigames into the mix. They also eventually unlock ability rooms, where Kirby can go to grab a power for the next level or boss.
On some levels, and during some boss battles, Kirby will discover glowing enemies. When one of these get inhaled, Kirby gets a super ability copy, which is a temporary super powerful attack, capable of killing everything on the screen at once.
Sadly, for me at least, this game is easy. Too easy. I am not sure if this game was made for younger gamers (due to my allergy to little hell spawn, I have no idea at which point they stop drooling and learn that opposable thumbs are the best things ever), but this game is far too easy, to the point that level 6 was the first ‘platformer’ stage for me, where timing became crucial for jumps etc. In previous levels, falling objects and traps of all kinds can be avoided for the most part by flying up high. Besides the speed sections in some stages, where you have to dash away from a wall of purple chaos, the game can be played at a fairly lackadaisical pace.
Hop in, hop out co-op adds something new to the mix, meaning a friend can join to help out, or you can drag a less experienced gamer along with for some couch co-op fun. In fact, they can hop on your character for a piggy-back through the stage. While they don’t have a micro-singularity in their bellies, Kirby’s friends come standard with weapons, making them very handy during boss fights. (King Dedede is particularly brutal with that mallet of his.)
Minigames add something extra to do, and can be accessed from the main menu. A ninja mode involves you playing darts with shurikens. The control scheme in this is fairly basic: no aiming, just shake the Wii-mote to throw your dart at the centre of the screen. However, the dart board eventually starts to move, and will leave the stage if you take too long.
There is also a monster shooting game, where you destroy giant mecha, piece by piece, with your energy pistol. This is pretty simplistic fun, while being slightly more challenging to complete in the time limit. The control in this makes better use of the Wii-mote, as aiming is critical, especially to blow up incoming missile strikes. The third minigame is an arena, where you are given some health and a choice of powers before fighting bosses. Score is then calculated on how quickly you can defeat all of the bosses.
Upon completion of the game, “extra” mode gets unlocked. In this mode, the player only has half health, and all bosses are improved ‘EX’ versions, with a lot more health and damage. A good challenge if you feel the game was too easy, but it misses the mark because the difficulty of the platforming hasn’t increased.
Kirby is fun, single player and co-op. Mindless fun is sometimes the order of the day, and Kirby definitely delivers.
Design and Presentation: 7/10.
Ultra cute blobs with overly happy colours will make even the darkest emo smile. My biggest gripe is the fact that there is no run button. You double tap move to dash, which felt rather awkward. The ‘2.5D’ works really well in this title.
This game is not the longest platformer you will ever play, and it suffers for it. Minigames are fun, but not fun enough to make them a frequent revisit.
Cute little pink guy that sucks so much, he is actually cool. Not the best Kirby game, but still a fun way to spend several hours, or maybe to teach those small little humans (I think they are called kids?) how to play a platformer.[Editor’s note: Add 3 points if you’re under 12]
Last Updated: January 27, 2012