With Sonic Generations, Rayman Origins and the awesome Super Mario 3D land, you would think that would be enough to keep platform gamers happy over the holiday period. But there is one more impressive platformer that can fulfill any platforming needs, and it involves a pink ball.
Kirby makes his long awaited return to classic platforming after a brief stint in the gorgeously innovative Kirby’s Epic Yarn and the puzzlingly frantic Kirby Mass Attack. Kirby’s Adventure Wii brings back memories of the old-school Kirby games such as Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, providing gameplay that can be picked up and instantly enjoyed by anyone who has ventured into one of these earlier games.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that this Kirby outing is nothing but retro gaming. Kirby’s Adventure Wii has a few features up its sleeve that ensure the game fits comfortably in the realms of modern gaming, not least of which are the sumptuous visuals.
Kirby games have always had the “cute” factor – how could they not, the hero is a pink ball – but never before have they been this good looking, with the possible exception of Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Kirby and his chums are are all bathed in colour, suffering very little from the “blur” that seems to affect so many games on the Wii, and the backdrops ooze cartoony atmosphere.
So, what sort of trouble has Kirby got himself into this time? Well, It would appear that a spaceship has crashed and Kirby, out of the goodness of his heart, has decided to lend a hand by gathering up the parts required to repair the ship. It is all fairly innocent stuff, although one would have to think that Kirby would have stopped doing people favours by now as they always seem to end up causing him trouble. The story serves as nothing more than a vehicle to get the player working through the levels whilst collecting items, which is how it should be.
The gameplay is also just how it should be, with running and jumping in a typical platform manner, along with Kirby’s signature move in which he swallows enemies to take on various powers. In this respect, everything moves on quite pleasantly without too much difficulty. The game is mostly aimed at the younger market, so difficulty levels remain low for the majority of the game. But players may be surprised when they reach the later levels and the difficulty ramps up a fair amount, or when they enter the scrolling stages that are littered throughout the game. These stages are quite frantic as they keep the player moving, and they end with a boss fight of sorts.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the gameplay, and the one I was not expecting when I started playing through, is when Kirby activates a super power. These powers are like magnified versions of his standard powers, but on an epic scale. Seeing Kirby swing a sword that covers almost half of the screen and wipes out anything that stands in his way is pretty impressive. These powers are time limited and, whilst causing massive destruction to any enemies, serve the purpose of breaking down walls or revealing hidden areas.
For the solo player, Kirby’s Adventure Wii offers solid platforming action with a couple of surprises, but feels slightly lacking in originality. It has mostly been done before and if you liked it before, you will like it now. But there is one more piece to this Kirby pie – multiplayer.
Up to three additional players can jump into the game and enjoy the fun, picking to play as either other coloured Kirbys or another character from the Kirby universe, such as Metaknight or King Dedede. Once they have joined, things change from a peaceful platforming jaunt to a battle royal of absolute chaos. Really, it depends on the people you are playing with, but whether they all follow your lead or cause nothing but mayhem, the multiplayer is an absolute blast, serving as a very good alternative to party games/mini-game compilations when some friends come around.
Kirby’s Adventure Wii lulls the player into a false sense of security by offering what appears to be classic gameplay, then mixes things up with frantic scrolling stages, massive power effects and a crazy multiplayer for up to four. Platforming fans certainly have a lot to be happy about this season and this latest Kirby adventure can stand tall with the other big platforming titles. Well, as tall as a pink ball can stand.