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Wii

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Kirby's Return to Dream Land

by Aaron Kaluszka - July 17, 2011, 11:22 pm EDT
Total comments: 18

Kirby returns to form(s) along with his friends.

If this is your first time hearing about Kirby's new adventure for Wii, I urge you to check out Neal's impressions from E3. Nintendo invited me over to spend more time with the E3 build, so I will add a few of my thoughts on the game.

As to the backstory, an alien has crash-landed on Kirby's planet, PopStar. Kirby and his friends have agreed to collect the parts of his ship, which are found hidden throughout each level. It's not clear who the antagonist is, but there are several monochrome areas where ship piece-holding mini-bosses reside, inside of what appears to be a tear in the fabric of space.


Kirby's powers have lots of variations, much like in Kirby Super Star. Attacking while pressing various directions yields a wide array of attacks, and in a way, it feels like playing Super Smash Bros.

Kirby's ultra powers, which are massively upgraded versions of his traditional ones, are an interesting novelty, but I hope they turn out to be more interesting than the Mega Mushroom in New Super Mario Bros. That is, it's cute the first couple times you trigger the attacks, but it gets old quickly, especially since you have to wait for the attack animations each time.


As with previous traditional Kirby games, the game features beautiful and cheerful environments and inventive, if obvious use of the variety of power-ups. Kirby, who now has a power-sucking move (1 button and shake) that can suck up larger, heavier, and collections of objects, looks pretty funny with his bulging belly. In certain places, players will need to carry keys or other objects in hand, which limits powers such as Kirby's flight.

At least in the two levels that were on display, the challenge was unfortunately very limited. Though I've mentioned a few negatives, everything else about the game is a solid Kirby experience and the game is a joy to play. Even from the demo levels, it's clear that the game will include many secret areas and collectables, which are Kirby staples.


The multiplayer mode is totally geared for cooperative play. Its drop-in/drop-out nature means that up to three friends/family can join you without having to worry about using up your lives. Sadly, but understandably, Kirby is the only one who copy abilities; the others, Meta Knight, King Dedede, and Waddle Dee only have their usual moves. The players can stack like in the screenshots from the cancelled GameCube version, but it's not clear what use this has.

It's been a while since we've had a traditional Kirby title, and this new Wii edition continues the series evolution. With its co-op and familiar features like snack sharing, this Kirby game feels like a real successor to Kirby Super Star. I can only hope the rest of the game is as diverse. The game releases this fall, and should be one to pick up for families and Kirby fans alike.


Talkback

EnnerJuly 18, 2011

Ah, I'm so excited for this. Though this comes only a year after Kirby's Epic Yarn, I'm really happy to see another Kirby platormer on a Nintendo home console. Kirby's Adventure is one of my favorite games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and I hope this Kirby game for Wii will live up to it.

Robknoxious1July 18, 2011

Quote from: Enner

Ah, I'm so excited for this. Though this comes only a year after Kirby's Epic Yarn, I'm really happy to see another Kirby platormer on a Nintendo home console. Kirby's Adventure is one of my favorite games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and I hope this Kirby game for Wii will live up to it.

I was also surprised to see another Kirby game so soon after Epic Yarn but I thought I read somewhere that it was in development long before Epic Yarn. Either way it looks so completely different both visually and in terms of gameplay that it's proximity to Epic Yarn chronologically shouldn't be an issue. Especially with the lack of quality Wii games coming out this year.


I'm really looking forward to this one.

How is it understandable that only Kirby can use Copy? Even Kirby's Dreamland 3 on SNES had 2P co-op with dual copying, so I think Wii could handle it. This is just Nintendo taking the "co-star" route a little too far, in a game where there's no good reason to limit the capabilities of other players.

The particular secondary players in this game have never been able to copy powers and it would require significant design effort to allow it (and potentially an explanation why they suddenly have Kirby's copy abilities). KDL3 got away with it just because they had another amorphous character. This feels much more like KSS, where the secondary characters were essentially friendly enemies that couldn't copy powers either.

TJ SpykeJuly 18, 2011

Quote from: Robknoxious1

but I thought I read somewhere that it was in development long before Epic Yarn.

That's for sure, it's been in development for like 7 years.

CericJuly 18, 2011

Why not just let Kirby go back to his roots?  Kirby has a large enough move set without Copy.

That would be cool. He could morph into a ficus root and disrupt Dedede's sidewalk.

CericJuly 18, 2011

Quote from: Zap

That would be cool. He could morph into a ficus root and disrupt Dedede's sidewalk.

Well you know how hard those Weeds are to kill.  Especially with a hammer.

Quote from: Ceric

Why not just let Kirby go back to his roots?  Kirby has a large enough move set without Copy.

Copy basically defined Kirby though. It's a much more interesting ability; unfortunately, the games haven't really used it to its fullest extent.

AVJuly 18, 2011

Quote:

As with previous traditional Kirby games, the game features beautiful and cheerful environments and inventive, if obvious use of the variety of power-ups. Kirby, who now has a power-sucking move (1 button and shake) 

meh. I don't mind the waggle as much as others do, but this one seems pretty bad. The waggle in Mario Galaxy 2 and NSMBWii was fun and had a nice visceral feeling, this seems totally pointless especially since your already using a button.

It's not too bad; it's actually pretty apt. It's like you're sucking, but that's not enough. You need to put some physical force into it to really inhale. It's pretty satisfying when parts of the stage then start flying into your mouth; it gives the move some weight. Also, it slows you down so that you have to decide if you really want to do the move or not (for example, when the wall of death is approaching on the monochrome levels).

I loved this game at E3. I can't wait for it to come out.

I love Kirby games.

Playing Kirby's Dream Land on 3DS got me in the mood for this. Well, that and the fact that there's basically nothing but it and Zelda for the rest of the Wii's life.

CericJuly 19, 2011

Quote from: MegaByte

Quote from: Ceric

Why not just let Kirby go back to his roots?  Kirby has a large enough move set without Copy.

Copy basically defined Kirby though. It's a much more interesting ability; unfortunately, the games haven't really used it to its fullest extent.

I agree.  Its just so very hard to design for when you do any sort of Co-op or Character replacement and they can't copy.  I still think the picking up, eating, and throwing still is interesting for platformers, the umbrella in Super Princes Peach is very Kirbyish when you think about it. 

Didn't the N64 Kirby do mixing of powers?  It be interesting to see a little more combination type things going on.

TJ SpykeJuly 19, 2011

Quote from: Ceric

Didn't the N64 Kirby do mixing of powers?  It be interesting to see a little more combination type things going on.

And Squeak Squad did that too IIRC.

CericJuly 19, 2011

Quote from: TJ

Quote from: Ceric

Didn't the N64 Kirby do mixing of powers?  It be interesting to see a little more combination type things going on.

And Squeak Squad did that too IIRC.

I heard beyond that it was a pretty bad game.

TJ SpykeJuly 19, 2011

That's not what I heard, I just heard it was pretty generic and not that great (but not bad either).

DanielMDaniel Mousseau, Staff AlumnusAugust 09, 2011

Finally a Kirby game returning to its original roots.

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Hoshi no Kirby Wii Box Art

Genre Action
Developer HAL Laboratory
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: Kirby's Return to Dream Land
Release Oct 24, 2011
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone 10+
jpn: Hoshi no Kirby Wii
Release Oct 27, 2011
PublisherNintendo
RatingAll Ages
eu: Kirby's Adventure Wii
Release Nov 25, 2011
PublisherNintendo
Rating3+
aus: Kirby's Adventure Wii
Release Dec 01, 2011
PublisherNintendo
RatingGeneral
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