Kirby: Battle Royale (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Drew Hurley 15.11.2017

Review for Kirby: Battle Royale on Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo's pink puffball has always had to settle for the bottom tier of the fandom. While Kirby has put out some truly quality games since his debut in 1992, he's never really reached the same level of fame as Mario, Donkey Kong, Samus et al. That's mostly due to the smaller scale of the titles and, once again, Nintendo is aiming for a little release here. Kirby Battle Royale on Nintendo 3DS certainly feels like a smaller effort, the type of eShop offering that Nintendo usually puts out for a bargain price, but this is full priced and at retail. Can it justify the price? Cubed3 finds out!

While this is very much just a mini-game collection, there is, in fact, a story to play through, although it's not going to be winning any awards. It's made up of a few brief FMVs placed between "leagues" of challenges to fight through. The focus of the story is a grand tournament at King Dedede's place with a giant cake up for grabs to the winner. Kirby heads there along with his longtime friend Bandana Waddle Dee to take on the world. Dedede isn't relying on Waddle Dee's this time, though, he's got himself a 3D printer and is using different coloured Kirby clones.

Screenshot for Kirby: Battle Royale on Nintendo 3DS

This backdrop basically is used to introduce each of the mini-games to the player. Head into the challenge and pick one of the available mini-games, win and get some points, get enough points and challenge to move up into the next league. It's a nice way to introduce each of the mini-games; get the player used to each of the mechanics and unlock each of the playable types of Kirby. At the beginning there's just the usual "Sword Kirby," with a certain green hat and a masterfully made sword, but as the leagues are overcome, other familiar forms become available. Fighter Kirby with fast punches and Hadoukens, Beetle Kirby who can rhino charge and impale his enemies, Hammer Kirby, Ninja Kirby… there are 13 in all to choose from and, to be honest, there is little advantage between them. Some are a little more effective in certain mini-games, but it really just comes down to personal preference.

It's not just Kirby variations to unlock in the story mode, as after playing through to the final league, a new addition is added to the game mechanics in "Boost Orbs," orbs that are unlocked through playing that can be equipped and used in a match to give stat increases, temporary bonuses and abilities. On top of all this, too, completing the leagues and the story award medals and coins, along with unlocking other characters like Meta Knight to use in the other modes. The coins can be used to purchase new Boost Orbs, new cosmetic hats for Kirby and songs from the game.

Screenshot for Kirby: Battle Royale on Nintendo 3DS

Other than story mode, there's also a self-explanatory "training mode" to get some practice in. The main attraction other than the story mode will be the Battle mode, which allows for single player, and local multiplayer, battles where the format of the battle can be customised, choosing a series of 1, 3, 5, or 10 matches, in solo or team modes. Most importantly, this mode offers download play, so multiple systems can battle it out with only a single copy. Then, finally, there is an Online Battle mode that uses a ranking point system for the player to battle for supremacy against others all around the world. It would be wise to get a lot of practice in before diving into this, as there are already some very good players out there.

Screenshot for Kirby: Battle Royale on Nintendo 3DS

This is a mini-game collection, though! How are the mini-games? They are a very mixed bag. There are ten in all and range from a simple gladiatorial arena to smash three enemies to pieces, to simple little team games where Kirby and his teammate have to hit trees, pick up apples, and throw them onto a trapdoor before hitting a switch to claim them. The apple collecting is simple fun and one of the better mini-games, alongside the similar Ore Express one where players run through a map collecting ore that has to be tossed onto a moving train. It's a simple system where teamwork is rewarded, and it's smart to balance collecting with attacking other players to steal their items.

Other particular highlights include a game where coins need to be collected and ghosts avoided, and a variation on Capture the Flag, where the flag can be carried and points are earned by spiking a ball onto the opposing flag. On the bad side, there is one where four characters battle on a loop; this could have a giant robot monkey to beat up or could have bikes to ride… either way, it's not particularly fun. The majority, though, are good, if a little too easy in the story mode.

Screenshot for Kirby: Battle Royale on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Kirby Battle Royale on Nintendo 3DS is a somewhat fun mini-game collection, but one that doesn't have much life outside of its three-hour or so story, and a handful of hours afterwards. Kirby is once again relegated to a mediocre little release that few will play, and fewer will remember a year from now. The biggest grievance with this, though, isn't the mediocrity or the lack of innovation - it's the cost. This is certainly not worth the asking price and it would be far more appetising if it was a good 50% off the RRP.

Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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

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