after the frustration that was goldeneye 007 i ended up finishing kirby’s epic yarn for wii. like most of the series the game is fairly mindless but genial overall. this particular entry sets itself apart in both its visuals (an arts-‘n-crafts-aesthetic similar to the one seen in yoshi’s story) and its gameplay: instead of kirby’s usual swallow move which allows him to “steal” the abilities of his foes, in this game kirby transforms with each of his movements, such as turning into a parachute to drift down from a jump or into a car when dashing. kirby can also undergo “super transformations”, such as turning into a snowboarder or a dolphin, or one of the more entertaining ones, a fire truck.
the look is unique and eye catching and executed extremely well, and although it would seem to be almost overly “kiddy”, since the gameplay is rock solid (as you would expect) it doesn’t feel too cutesy, or at least not distractingly so. the visuals are charming and contribute to plenty of unique level designs, although there’s not much in the core gameplay that feels really brilliant. the game offers a fairly good balance between being too easy and being too hard: it adopts a very sonic-like approach where you can’t die, but get hit once and you temporarily lose all your loot (“beads” in this game). the number of beads you have by the end of the stage determines your medal (none, bronze, silver, or gold), and although medals don’t earn you anything (except in the case of boss battles) it does serve its purpose of giving more-experienced gamers more motivation to play more carefully. there are three treasures hidden throughout each stage as well to increase replayability, and the local co-op mode is also a welcome addition. the game also includes an extensive mode featuring different categories of bonus missions and an overly designed feature to decorate kirby’s apartment including the ability to customize your furniture with different fabrics.
all in all although, or because, this entry differs from the usual formula, it was one of the more enjoyable in the series. i wouldn’t say this ranks among the best of the genre, but this is a good option for younger players, fans of co-op, fans of the character, or people looking for an easygoing platforming experience.
some easygoing kirby’s epic yarn links:
– nice entry at kirby.wikia.com, which includes a complete run-down of all the transformations
– iwata asks interview
– the official site includes wallpapers
– entertaining commercial
– entry at wikipedia
– just for fun, “Check Out These Kirby Drawings from Nintendo’s Bosses” from 1993