Kirby’s Epic Yarn


I remember when the Nintendo DS first came out and it had this phase of rather shallow, gimmicky games – at the time, handheld games were usually just scaled-down console games and in the case of the DS developers simply opted to use the touchscreen and mike for some unimportant side feature. Then something happened and suddenly a lot of games were released that really took advantage of the format of the console and the possibilities of the input system, among these was the brilliant Kirby’s Canvas Curse. To some extent I expected this to happen to the Wii as well but it has yet to happen; to be fair the motion controls have a lot less precision and it is hard to do something useful with them but the games that are truly good and use the wiimote in a good way are few and far between. My point being that I had high hopes for Kirby’s Epic Yarn, so there was some initial disappointment that may color my reflection of it.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn does away with Kirby’s trademark feature of stealing enemies’ abilities on the fly and does not really replace it with anything of gameplay significance; it seems most of the time spent to give the game something unique was put in the aesthetic design. While this does make the game less varied and more linear, thankfully the level design is good enough that it is still a good platform game. It is a bit sad that they did not try to incorporate it in the game better as was done in Canvas Curse, though. Also, like most Kirby games it is very easy – the biggest setback you can suffer is to lose some score and in a Sonic-like fashion you can pick it right up again. I suppose the difficulty level could be explained by it being made for people who do not normally play platform games – or maybe games at all – and it is a credit to the designers that they manage to make interesting levels with so little challenge.

As for the aesthetics, the yarn and cloth theme is implemented incredibly well – animations with string moving around have a nice flow about them and the game is filled to the brim with small details that makes you smile. If anything, the concept of the entire world being sewn to a piece of cloth makes it look really flat at times, but at least the view doesn’t get cluttered.

It is a very nice platform game, really. Just not game-changing.

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Posted on Apr 08/11 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »