Kirby's Epic Yarn
Kirby, the funny “dust sucking” creature has got the lead in a game again. It’s been since the Nintendo64 adventure Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards from 2002 that we’ve seen him in action. This time Hal Laboratory did things quite different and this in both visuals and gameplay. The result is a unique and beautiful experience that is as innovating as the first Kirby game on the Gameboy.
The story starts with Kirby who, while wandering around, sees a tomato. This isn’t your ordinary tomato, however, but a Metamato from evil wizard Yin-Yarn. By eating it Kirby is dragged into a white sock that hangs around Yin Yarn’s neck.
Kirby lands in a new world built from quite different materials than our hero is used to. Everything is soft and built from yarn. Before he understands what’s happened he meets Prince Fluff, a creature running for his life as a horrible monster is chasing him. Kirby tries to suck him up but notices that all air seems to just go through him and that’s when he notices he himself has become built from yarn. Luckily he quickly discovers that this allows him to transform into other shapes and as a fast car he picks up Prince Fluff so they can together look for a way out of this world!
The original gameplay from the previous game has gone and instead we get something completely new. No more sucking up enemies but Kirby uses a whip. This makes your enemies unravel and turns them into a piece of rope which you can throw. The other button which you can use when holding the Wii-mote sideways can be used for jumping and floating while you turn into a parachute.
The idea of the game is reaching the end of the level (duh!) while collecting hidden treasures and coins. The more you find, the better the medal you get. The difference with other games is that you can’t die but just lose part of the stuff you found when you get into contact with an enemy. The system makes that you constantly want to reach a better ranking and unlock more stuff.
To use the ten hour lifespan you’ll need to completely exploit Kirby and the environment. You can tear of pieces of cloth, pull together parts of the decor like a curtain or crawl between two layers of textile. For those that don’t feel this is enough, Kirby will transform multiple times into a tank, UFO or firetruck to get you through the level and keep the gameplay fresh.
The rewards can be used for upgrading the rental quarters of Dom Woole. He’s looking for tennants but the rooms scare away potential clients. Kirby can redecorate things like a true Debby Travis and make the rooms appealing again. All this work does give you something in return. You can missions from inhabitants to replay levels with additional goals like finding stuff or someone. Hardcore gamers won’t be all too much into the decorating but the collecting of objects and the extra missions do help. Kids on the other hand may find the decorative aspect to be quite fun.
Just like in almost every current-day title there’s co-op present. The second player will take on the role of Prince Fluff and be able to explore the world with you. However, other than in Donkey Kong Country you’re less dependant of each other. It’s easier to collect stuff with the two of you, but it doesn’t make the game overall easier to finish.
Graphically the game is no doubt one of the best-looking on the Wii. The colorful world built from textile has an abundance of detail. The wool out of which enemies are built is completely original and the fluent movements are ingenious. Of course this comes with a rather sweet soundtrack but it perfectly fits in the atmosphere. The only thing I liked less was the boring voice that unravels the story.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn is without a doubt a reason to take off the dust from your Nintendo Wii. The new gameplay makes Kirby hip again and the game has everything you expect, whether it’s good controls, a new environment or visual beauty. The comeback if Kirby suits young and old and you just can’t let this one pass by