Kirby Mouse Attack (Nintendo DS) Review

By Adam Riley 23.06.2007

Review for Kirby Mouse Attack on Nintendo DS

You can tell when a character has reached a certain level of popularity - he or she ends up with a variety of spin-offs. This has definitely been the case with Kirby, who has been featured in puzzle, golf, pinball and racing games already, as well as a touch-screen only DS game. Now, though, HAL is working with Capcom's subsidiary Flagship to bring us a more traditional Kirby adventure. But will Flagship's second try at Kirby be as good as the GBA's Kirby & the Amazing Mirror? Let us take a close look.

Kirby games have always had a very Mouse Attack is no exception. If anything, Kirby's world has never looked better, with the animations spruced up, colours being much more vibrant and the background locations having more going on in them than ever before. In addition, there are a whole slew of interactive elements to the various levels you trundle through, making the action much more interesting. And supporting the presentation side is the audio aspect, which again has been boosted to a whole new level. After the sterling work Flagship did with the mesmerising music from Zelda: Minish Cap, the team has turned its audio talent toward Mouse Attack, mixing in the classic Kirby themes with some wonderful orchestral compositions that create a fantastic sense of atmosphere throughout. Some of the tracks are actually reminiscent of tunes from Minish Cap, actually, which is definitely NOT a bad thing...

Whereas Touch Kirby / Canvas Curse / Power Paintbrush used the touch-screen for complete control, not allowing gamers to actually use traditional input methods, Mouse Attack heads back to the norm. However, being on the DS, you may be wondering exactly what the point is and why it does not use the touch-screen. Well, actually it DOES use it, and in quite a handy way as well. Whereas normally Kirby wanders around collecting power-ups and energy, having to constantly get rid of one power-up to obtain another and just consuming energy replenishing items straight away, Mouse Attack brings in a new element. On the lower screen, you can collect up to five different items and/or power-ups. Therefore, should you desperately want to keep the fire-breathing power and are currently at full health, but come across another health pick-up, plus an enemy that has a power you might need later, they can just be absorbed and retained on the lower screen until they need to be called upon (double-tapping to use, dragging upwards to discard). Simple as that!

Screenshot for Kirby Mouse Attack on Nintendo DS

I realise many thought the touch-screen looked rather redundant in early screenshots of the game, but I was never a big fan of the last Kirby game (the first main Kirby outing I have ever disliked, for the record) and this new way of using it for extra storage is ideal and gets you out of many a fix (yes, because this Kirby game is not actually as easy as its predecessors, surprisingly!). For those that may be unsure or have never played one of Kirby's game, he is a pink ball with stubby, little arms and funny shoes. He has the ability to suck in air and fly around, suck in items or enemies and spit them out as projectiles or swallow enemies and assimilate their powers. This is basically how the game plays on the whole, with small enemies being despatched by swallowing, spitting them out, using an absorbed ability or hurling objects at them, whilst the larger enemies can only be knocked out by using abilities and projectiles. The twist here is that each level has one large chest that must be collected. But it is not as simple as grabbing it and running for the exit, as there are large enemies that are just as eager to pinch the treasure - and once you touch it, they come charging after you, along with their lackeys who throw bombs at you. In fact, if you are not quick enough, they take it to a special separate location where you must follow and battle with them to retrieve it! It definitely adds a thrill to the levels, in the same way Wario Land 4 has great tension by making the player run back through the levels, losing money as you go.

Screenshot for Kirby Mouse Attack on Nintendo DS

Usually in the Kirby series there is a plentiful supply of abilities to take on-board, and this latest adventure does not disappoint with 24 of them on offer (plus one extra special one that only becomes available at the end of the game). They range from the basic ice and fire breathing, sword throwing, arrow shooting and hammer swinging to some brilliant new inclusions. Some of them really are great to watch in motion and prove extremely useful as well on many occasions. First up is a magician's hat that lets Kirby shoot out cards quickly in a horizontal direction, unleash a jack-in-the-box or set free some white doves in three directions. Then there is a ghoulish ghost skill that lets you take over an enemy and wander round as them, as well as a ninja suit that fires off shuriken and lets Kirby cling to walls, plus a special one that gives the pink puffball super sucking that traps any enemy and lets them be shot off into the distance at high speeds, destroying anything in their path. The array of abilities on offer is staggering and the way the majority are actually essential during play is very pleasing indeed, and older ones now even interact with the surroundings (such as fire burning down bushes and electric sparks carrying along metal surfaces to shock anyone touching it).

Screenshot for Kirby Mouse Attack on Nintendo DS

Despite all of this, though, people oft complain that Kirby's adventures are far too easy, thus they believe the games do not manage to scale the dizzy heights of Mario's platform outings. They generally point out that this is especially the case due to the fact that he can inhale fresh air and then just float along at the top of the screen until the end of a level. However, this really is not the what happens with Mouse Attack as the levels are extremely intricate, housing so many secrets that it is practically impossible to find them all on your first play through. There are eight worlds in total, broken down into separate levels, with a final boss at the end of each one. Altogether there are 37 stages, seven hidden ones and eight boss battles. The main stages and boss battles alone should be enough to keep the average gamer happy, but thankfully for those Kirby masters out there, much more is added on top of this to make the package truly complete.

There are a 120 treasure chests to find throughout the eight worlds, most of which are hidden away quite craftily, forcing you to use the many powers at your disposal and keeping a keen eye on proceedings to ensure that elusive last chest is uncovered. Obviously you do not have to actually collect everything to gain the 100% completion mark, but it does come in handy as there are five coloured stars that are a requirement for reaching the final, hidden eighth world and they are not in any particular pattern, so you could reach the end of world seven with something like 90 out of the 120 chests collected and only have four of the five stars, which would prove to be a pretty annoying roadblock! Overall, with so much to collect, and rewards for making the effort (the number '120' is actually broken down into thirteen sub-groups, for example eleven musical notes for the sound replay mode, nineteen spray cans to change Kirby's colour in-game, six backgrounds to change the touch-screen storage space's appearance, and so on), there can hardly be any complaints about the game's length. And that is without mentioning the fun multiplayer games, boss rush mode and the time challenge (try getting 100% in the fastest time possible...)!

Screenshot for Kirby Mouse Attack on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Back when HAL began working with Capcom's Flagship on Kirby & the Amazing Mirror, using a slant on the Zelda Four Swords game, people were sceptical. But it worked out splendidly. Now the two teams are back with a straight-up, traditional Kirby that blows all past entries out of the water. This is by far the most impressive and well-rounded adventure the pink puffball has ever been in...Hopefully Mouse Attack will be Kirby's break-through hit in Europe!

Also known as

Kirby: Squeak Squad

Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (5 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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