Nintendo has a lot of great franchises, doesn’t it? I mean, it has Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and other big name series like the Wario Ware series. However, there is one franchise that got me a little worried about its existence. This franchise that made me worry was the Kirby franchise. It seems like Kirby had it made with some great platforming games for every console it’s been on. Sadly, when it came around to the DS(not Kirby’s Mass Attack), its last platforming game didn’t mix so well, with mainstream critics saying that, “Kirby’s game mechanics are getting stale and repetitious.” For a few years we were teased with a beta version of another 3D Kirby game that shared mechanics from Kirby Super Star Ultra’s buddy system. Unfortunately, we only got one video of it and we never heard of it again. That was until the 2010 E3 came around and Nintendo announced the newest and most bizarre Kirby game yet, and that is saying a lot. They introduced Kirby’s Epic Yarn! This game was amazing with an all-new style of presentation and gameplay. It was a fresh new idea and was, well, VERY cute, but how does it hold up? I mean, it’s been a while since it was released and seems to have gotten good reviews. Let’s dive in with our knitting circle and review Kirby’s Epic Yarn!
The story stars our main man Kirby walking through Dreamland and finding an unusual looking tomato. Kirby, being the glutton that he is, decides to try to swallow it, only to find out that it is the nose to an evil wizard named Yin-Yarn. He gets mad at Kirby for trying to eat his nose. To be fair though, I would be pretty ticked off if someone was doing that to me. Yin Yarn sucked Kirby into a magic sock into a weird yarn world where Kirby’s whole body is transformed into yarn. He then saves a yarn person named Prince Fluff, who asks you to help him get back his kingdom and stop Yin Yarn from taking over both worlds. It’s a very lighthearted story told by a soft-spoken narrator. It is like if you watched those old Thomas the Tank Engine episodes with Ringo Star and then later, George Carlin narrating the story. Older gamers might not be pulled into the story as much, but there is a certain charm to this game.
The game play and the setting is basically the same set-up with a few new unique tricks. The whole overworld is set up like other overworld set-ups from other Kirby games like Dreamland 3 and Nightmare in Dreamland. There is also a hotel within the yarn world where you can help make rooms for the hotel, but I will talk about that later. The gameplay is a platformer aimed for kids, but Kirby has a few new gimmicks up his yarn made body. There is a bit of a Klonoa or Super Mario brothers 2 feel here with Kirby’s main attack being able to use a string of yarn to grab enemies and throw them at other enemies. Throughout the level, the main goal is to basically find stuff like furniture for the hotel, star bits to collect for a higher score, and things that will be added to a bonus wheel at the end of the level. Throughout a lot of the levels, you will have the ability to transform Kirby into multiple forms like a U.F.O., a fire truck, a giant mech, a rocket ship, and you get the idea. Sadly, Kirby does not have the ability to suck up enemies and spew them out, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think it is good for video game characters to break out and do something different. Maybe we will see Master Chief from Halo in a go-kart, driving it while dancing to a modern pop song, but I am getting ahead of myself. There is also a two-player mode where you can play with a friend as Prince Fluff and you can team up or goof around since you can’t die. Yeah, I should have mentioned that earlier. You can’t die in this game. If you get hit, you just get star bits taken away from your total score. This results in the game being rather easy, and I know a lot of critics give this game a bad rap because of how easy it is, but I feel like not every game should be super hard and punishing. I feel like there is still challenge in this game in the form of getting the highest score and I know there is a small group of gamers that still play games to get high scores. We wouldn’t have ranking boards if we didn’t.
The graphics are one of this game’s best qualities. They are beautiful, detailed, and are fun to look at. Everything is quilted, stitched, and has fun little details, like burnt quilt pieces in the fire levels. I think the company, Good-Feel, the makers of Wario Land: Shake it! Did a good job with the graphics while working with HAL Lab on this title. The music is also very soothing with a soft jazz soundtrack. There are three different composers for this game.I can’t really find information on them, but I will list their names anyway, and you can comment me if you know a game they have composed on. They are Tomoya Tomita, Jun Ishikawa, and Hirokazu Ando. Like I said, the narrator does a great job narrating this softhearted story and I love it.
So, what could possibly be the ugly side of this cute and adorable game? Well, even though the “I can’t die” issue does not bother me, it does make the game a bit too easy, but like I said, it does not bother me too much. Really, the only complaints I have are the little side missions you can get from the characters that stay at the hotel, that get repetitive after awhile. I also wish some of the secret levels you can find were a tiny bit easier to find, but in the end, it doesn’t bother me that much. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a perfect 10 out of 10, but I am just having a hard time finding out what is bad about this game beside its short length and its somewhat too easy difficulty.
All and all, I like this game. It is truly one of the underrated gems of the Wii’s library. I know gamers would probably prefer Kirby’s more recent outings on the Wii with Kirby Return to Dreamland or his run on the DS, Kirby’s Mass Attack, but I think this game is worthy of your time. The game can be cheap if you know where to look, but the highest I have seen is about 30 dollars. I can easily say it is worth more than the 60 dollar releases of games like Neverdead, Brink, and you get the idea. I love this game and I think you will have a blast playing through it. Though, I could be wrong. Just give it a try.
This game gets an 8 out of 10