Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Hands-On) (Wii) Preview

By Karn Spydar Lee Bianco 02.08.2010 5

Review for Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Hands-On) on Wii

The Kirby series of platform adventures has been growing in stature since the debut outing on the NES many moons ago, with the last home console edition being the limited-but-enjoyable Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards on the Nintendo 64. A new entry was planned for the GameCube, along with Super Paper Mario and Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast, yet when the system finally kicked the bucket, all three projects were transferred across to Wii. The latter two made their way into the world a few years ago, but there has been no sign of the new Hoshi no Kirby (Kirby’s Adventure), other than random ‘To Be Announced’ release date listings in Nintendo’s financial documents. Finally, however, Kirby’s Epic Yarn was unveiled at E3 this year, and the reaction has been astounding so far. Does it play as well as it looks? Cubed3 got the chance to go hands-on with it at a recent event in London to find out.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn is magical. That’s the word that keeps popping into my head every time I think about it. The game holds many of the same elements as existing Kirby titles but wraps them in one of the most wonderful, inventive art styles I’ve ever seen. Everything is made of wool, string and material, including Kirby and any other characters, and these things are not just for show; everything is stitched into the gameplay seamlessly. Platforms are created or lowered with a tug of a tightly strung button, enemies despatched with a whip of the yarn that makes up Kirby. Enemies can be either smashed to pieces (with strands of multi-coloured thread exploding through the air and floating to the ground pathetically thereafter) or ravelled up, held in a roll aloft Kirby’s softer-than-ever head, ready to hurl at the next obstacle.

No longer can Kirby suck up enemies and steal their abilities (at least from what was shown here) but that does not stop him from transforming. Kirby will morph into appropriate forms as his situation requires. Run: you become a little beeping Kirbymobile. Float: you’re a parachute now. Need to destroy a forest replete with missile-bearing opponents? Become the most darling, screen-filling tank you ever did see and give them a taste of their own medicine.

Navigating levels is made easy thanks to Kirby’s ability to transform into a speedy car with a quick double tap of the D-pad. Parachute and submarine transformations also aid with moving through air and water while a yarn whip makes short work of most enemies. In a boss level of the demo I played, the whip is used to volley a giant dragon’s own fireballs back towards it, as well as to grab the dragon’s tongue, pull it taught, and release it for massive damage. Kirby may be looking more loveable than ever, but he’s still no pushover.
- Karn Bianco, Previews / Retro Editor.

The game starts off with a tutorial mode where you learn the basics, D-Pad for moving, the ‘2’ button for jumping and turning into a parachute, and ‘1’ for using the star whip. tapping the D-Pad twice will make Kirby turn into a car, while going into water will turn him into a fish. Unlike Kirby platformers of the past where you can simply float continuously to the end of the level instead of working through a stage carefully, in Kirby’s Epic Yarn developer Good Feel has the player make their way through the intricate level designs, the way the game is suppose to be played. The first thing major striking element of the game was how lovely it looks, with the art design suiting the cuteness of Kirby and the little characters running about, all made of wool (yarn), and the background looking like it’s made of felt. Whilst HAL Laboratories is at the helm, as is usual with the Kirby series, the team behind the rather average Wario Land: The Shake Dimension, Good Feel (created by one of the main men behind Legend of the Mystical Ninja for Konami on the SNES), is lending a bit more than a helping hand. Wario Land on Wii looked visually amazing, and the team’s efforts here are splendid as well. Thankfully the level structure seemed more solid than The Shake Dimension.

When attacking a character, like a Waddle Dee, for example, Kirby can either pull the enemy apart or roll them up onto a ball of yarn to throw at others; this is also true for enemy weapons. Along the way you find background items with tabs, zips or buttons you can pull with the star whip to pull them to either reveal an item after tearing them off, or revealing a new platform to continue through the level, or even shake things out of trees. The effects in the game add to the brilliance of the art design, as the background folds or tears away just like a felt picture would. You can jump in and out of buildings via windows as well, which you can see Kirby move through the background as a raised bump which is indeed sheer brilliance.

Towards the end of the second level, if you’re playing one player, Kirby turns into a tank that fires rockets. The button layout remains the same, with the rockets being controlled by the ‘1’ button, and facing up and down for aiming, with multiplayer adding an extendable boxing glove. Multiplayer is a really fun edition which is like NSMB’s but with 2 players, and more fun. The first two levels end with Kirby ringing a bell, then both him and Prince Fluff (the second player) do a little dance, and your gems and collected treasures are counted towards a level score. The last level available was a Dragon boss that spat fireballs that you could roll up into yarn and throw at the dragon, with pulling out his tongue being the main objective to defeat him. Once I defeated him, the demo was over, and I came over all happy and satisfied with what I’d just seen. Let us just hope that Good Feel pulls this one out of the bag after mixed results with both Wario Land: The Shaken Dimension on Wii and Tales in a Box for DSiWare.
Stuart Lawrence, General Writer.

Final Thoughts

Bringing Good Feel on-board for this new Kirby project could be a blessing or a curse, only time will tell. Wario Land: The Shake Dimension was enjoyable, but lacked most of the charm found in the previous GBA edition, whilst Tales in a Box on DSiWare is ultimately too awkward to play properly for extended periods of time. With any luck, and going off the indication of what was shown at the recent Nintendo E3 event, HAL will keep Good Feel in-line and help make this Kirby’s Epic Yarn the best version since the former Capcom subsidiary team, FlagShip, used to contribute.

Developer

Good Feel

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (22 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

It's going to be one awesome game, can't wait to play the whole thing.

And I've never played a Kirby game before, and this made me think I should start playing them.

Follow Me on twitter :: @Stulaw90 || My Youtube || Backloggery
NNID: Stulaw
AdamC3 (guest) 03.08.2010#2

This was definitely a highlight of the event, and it seems Good Feel is working well with Hal, but I still have reservations about he final product since Wario Land: The Shake Dimension lacked the charm of previous entries.

It's promising so far, but I'm still cautious...

Kirby (guest) 19.08.2010#3

I'm surprised more people aren't interested in this. Are people satisfied enough with NSMB Wii?

Bloody shame it's not coming out in Europe this year..

3DS Code 2578-3122-0744
prince fluff (guest) 22.10.2010#5

is een leuk spelSmilie

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