Kirby Fighters 2 (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Rudy Lavaux 23.10.2020 2

Review for Kirby Fighters 2 on Nintendo Switch

Kirby has been ever present on Nintendo systems and going as far back as the original Game Boy with Kirby's Pinball Land, or the SNES with Kirby's Dream Course... the little pink ball has been a great choice to put an iconic face or interesting gameplay twist on otherwise more mundane video game concepts. The Kirby facelift given to Kirby's Epic Yarn, a game which at first wasn't even going to feature Kirby at all, even saved the project from falling by the wayside. In that sense, you can probably put Kirby in anything, the same as Mario, and you may get a recipe for success. Kirby Fighters 2, the latest arrival on Switch, comes off the back of Kirby Fighters Deluxe on 3DS, which itself was derived from the Wild Battle mode found in Kirby Triple Deluxe, also on 3DS. Kirby and a brawler style multiplayer game... Does the recipe for success work here?

The premise is extremely simple: this is a fighting game where Kirby is the only playable character, save for three buddy characters to choose from. You can play against the computer in 4-way battles à la Super Smash Bros. or against human opponents in local or online multiplayer. CPU levels can be tweaked individually and team battles are included. In battle, items fall from the sky that can be weapons or classic Kirby food items to regain health. This is all extremely similar to the Smash Bros. series then, save for the fact that the goal is to defeat the character by depleting their health and not by launching them off the battle arena. Kirby comes in 17 forms encompassing most if not all of the classic powers that Kirby can steal from enemies in the mainline games, like Sword, Beam, Yo-Yo, Bomb, Wrestler, etc.

At the start however, only a few of these are unlocked. The same thing goes for available battle stages. To unlock more, the player has to play through either the classic battle mode mentioned above, or through the story mode called "The Destined Rivals". In this mode, Kirby chases King Dedede and Meta Knight up a tower, fighting Kirby clones along the way with the help of either another player's buddy help, or a CPU controlled one. Story mode cannot be played in coop online however. Playing through either modes, the player earns experience points that raise his or her Fighter's Rank. With each new rank, a new Kirby form, battle stage or some other unlockable becomes available. Not counting those already unlocked at the start, there are about 100 unlockables to go through, which should take avid players a decent amount of time.

Screenshot for Kirby Fighters 2 on Nintendo Switch

That is assuming that they will stick around for the otherwise somewhat repetitive gameplay. This is a very repetitive game indeed where, in essence, the character controlled the whole time remains Kirby, using his classic powers to do nothing more than hitting on opponents with very little variation. For Kirby fans, the familiar settings and classic music recycled from past Kirby games will be endearing enough that they should stick around till the end. For anyone else however, this is a slightly tougher sell. Kirby controls here just about like he does in his other platform game appearances, save perhaps for the fact he can't inhale quite as well. Stars dropped by enemies can pop sometimes but all Kirby can do is open his mouth to grab them if they are right next to him. If they are not, well... tough luck! The pace of battles is a bit too slow to be engaging for fans of more adrenaline pumping fighting games. However this makes it more ideal for kids perhaps, who might appreciate the more approachable nature of things here, which is much easier to process for untrained minds.

If only this was more about bringing together lots of different looking Kirby characters. Instead, picture for a second a fighting game where 17 of the 20 playable characters have the exact same skin, with palette swaps to differentiate them in multiplayer, and only their moveset varies. In any fighting game this would come off as weird or even weak. Sadly, this is mostly what Kirby Fighters 2 is about. This is otherwise a game beyond reproach by Nintendo Switch standards in terms of technical prowess and art direction that is bound to tickle the fancy of any Kirby fans with the overdose of nostalgia inducing elements. The music kicks ass and the battle stages mixing old and new together look great. Beyond that however, it just falls short, even at its lower price point than most other fighting games on Switch.

Screenshot for Kirby Fighters 2 on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Kirby Fighters 2 gets a recommendation for die-hard fans of Kirby in particular and to parents looking for a game that's not too expensive and easy enough to get a grasp on for younger kids who won't mind that this is all about Kirby and no other character. There is nothing intrinsically bad about it and it is a fun experience in multiplayer, no doubt, but strip it out of the Kirby license and this falls short in terms of actual content variation. Hardcore fans of brawlers with deep gameplay mechanics like Smash Bros. will find this one somewhat lacking.

Review copy provided by Nintendo UK

Developer

Vanpool

Publisher

Nintendo

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   

Comments

Yeah, I have to agree, sadly. Too repetitive for me, and it just became a button-mashing affair very quickly, until boredom set in. It's definitely well put together, but just not enough variety to maintain long-term interest.

On a more positive note, I did like the way you get bonuses for having Star Allies and Clash Clan save files! A nice little reward for Kirby fans Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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jesusraz said:
Yeah, I have to agree, sadly. Too repetitive for me, and it just became a button-mashing affair very quickly, until boredom set in. It's definitely well put together, but just not enough variety to maintain long-term interest.

On a more positive note, I did like the way you get bonuses for having Star Allies and Clash Clan save files! A nice little reward for Kirby fans Smilie


I own neither of these so didn't even notice that this was a thing.

Cubed3 Limited Staff :: Review and Feature Writer

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