Friday, September 6, 2013

Kirby Air Ride (GCN) Review

Written: September 2nd-6th, 2013
Alternate Title: Kirby's Airride [|O|]
Year: 2003 | Developed by: HAL Laboratory | Published by: Nintendo

So let's do a recount of my last few blogposts for a second shall we?  I gave my overall initial impression of Seiken Densetsu 3 with glowering praise, then I reviewed Pocky & Rocky 2 while sounding mostly positive except for a big chunk that I wasn't, afterwards I sounded the most negative to date with the review for Mickey's Dangerous Chase, finally making up for that with my optimistically positive initial impressions on Wander Over Yonder's debut episode "The Picnic".  Hmmm...  I need to stop these lopsided patterns of mine, especially since there were moments when I sounded angry when I was negative in two of them.  I'm sure I'll work something out, but anyway let's get started.

As many of you may be aware, I am huge Kirby fan!  =D  Even though the first Kirby game I played was during the '90s (Kirby's Dream Land 2 to be specific; yes, I'm aware that I still need to review that game), it wasn't until late 2002 after I played Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land for the Game Boy Advance (a remake of the NES Kirby's Adventure) that I truly became enamored of the round, charming pink puffball and his adventures.  And since then I've been enjoying his games immensely, having played almost all of them (the exceptions being Kirby's Star Stacker, the Satellaview series of mini-games Kirby's Toy Box, and his 20th anniversary compilation Kirby's Dream Collection).  And based on what lot I've played in the series, I can proudly say that many of his games as far as I'm concerned were solid... while some of them were relatively weak.
Case in point: Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards on the Nintendo 64.  Remember my review of that game back in May?  No not that part, I'm still trying to live like it didn't happen (if you've read my review you'll know what I'm alluding to)!  -_-  No, it was the review where I went all out while discussing its high points and low points, thereby making it possibly the longest review ever made for that game (unless someone says otherwise).  Barring his appearance in the first Super Smash Bros. a year prior, this 2000 Nintendo 64 iteration was Kirby's first foray to the 3D world overall, albeit as a 2.5D sidescrolling platformer, which garnered some of the most middling of all reception in the series since it came out.
While it's not a terrible game (it is decent at best), it is one that I consider part accomplishment and part disappointment (the latter especially hurts when you compare it to his other adventures).  While it won't win any awards for its story and scope, it did have some good qualities going for it.  While they look  very aged by today's standards, the visuals are still good for the most part (albeit quite blocky) with well-chosen textures, lighting, and colors, not to mention presenting inbetween-planet cutscenes that play at a surprisingly fast and fluid pace.  The gameplay was very good, even though due to the controller's layout it would take a bit of time to adjust, and it offered some new gimmicks; like combining two power-ups to create one powerful power-up, trying to evade columns in the background that will attempt to squish you as they fall towards the foreground, riding alongside Waddle Dee and piggybacking on top of King Dedede, and pretty much all the bosses having two phases.  The first of which would eventually resurface in Kirby Squeak Squad, except not as commonly implemented and requires two bubbles to be merged inside Kirby's stomach.
The problems lie within the execution.  While it's structured like a traditional Kirby game, it tries to diverge itself so much from the formula that it ends up becoming very untraditional in the process.  Kirby does things that he rarely does in his other games: like grabbing his power-up star from his mouth should he wish of disposing it, carrying and/or throwing said power-up star in (or from) his hands as he moves around, moving as he inhales, inhaling underwater, and most glaring of all, not being able to float indefinitely.  While the spiraling and twisting camera angles were nice, they stray so much from the orthographic camera style that's been used in all Kirby's other sidescrolling platformers, not to mention the fact that they're eerily reminiscent of Pandemonium!'s camera style, that it can get distracting at times (particularly for those that played the aforementioned PlayStation One sidescroller).  Another low blow was the fact that once you grab a crystal shard you don't have to finish the stage to keep it in your possession; you can just leave the area and you won't even have to collect it again, thereby dangerously reducing Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards' replay value by a huge margin.  I mean talk about enabling!
Aside from the Mario Party-style mini-games and the fact that there are two endings (not to mention an optional attempt to gather all the Enemy Info cards should you desire), there was simply little to no replay value to be found here.  And in a nutshell, that's what drove some gamers off from this game in the first place; and yeah, having played the game I do see where they're coming from.  Just like its detractors it's also got its defenders, and that's fine.  While there are issues to be certain, it does make up for it with a really good soundtrack, great amount of charm, fun gameplay, its ambitious ideas, and the secret final boss fight.  Considering it was the first Kirby game made in 3D, it could've been a lot better in retrospect.  But then, it could've been a lot worse.  It's ironic that I caught up with this game in 2011, the same year that HAL Laboratory would create what in my humble opinion has got to be Kirby's Magnum Opus: Kirby's Return to Dream Land for the Nintendo Wii (also a 2.5D platformer), since in the same year I got to play both one of Kirby's weakest entries as well as his overall best.  =)
My only regret with that review was the time I made those remarks towards things that were irrelevant to the game I was talking about.  Not because of the remarks themselves (though I will admit they were harsh), but because I made the boneheaded decision about bringing them up in the middle of the review; it's unfortunate because it made it distracting (and all because I was too stubborn to make separate blogs about them).  If I could, I would try to remake the whole review without those bits of irrelevancy, but that would mean having to reword it all and possibly get some replacement screen grabs.  =(  Huh, I did not think this through...  I'll have to think about it thoroughly, but in the meantime; from the creative team behind the Super Smash Bros. trilogy and Kid Icarus: Uprising, I give you my review of Kirby Air Ride!

Select your game mode
It's funny that I bring up the Nintendo 64 at all, because Kirby Air Ride was initially going to be developed for that console as a Generation One title, four years before Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.  Being inspired by that one bit in the intro sequence from Kirby Super Star (where Kirby rides on his Warp Star), HAL Laboratory decided to make a racing game starring Kirby.  At first it was going to be called Kirby's Air Ride, undergoing through various changes during the game of the hour's development hell, it was at one point going to be different in structure (much more different than what the final product turned up); one of the fascinating things that were apparent in the earlier version's screenshots were the fact that Kirby was wearing a blue baseball cap, the enemies would be racing too, and the fact that there were both a health meter and number of lives in the same shot (as far as I looked up).  Sadly while in development it got cancelled, and it's a shame since a part of me is curious to have seen how the game would've worked and run in 64-bit format.

Sooooo many pretty lights!!!
After having failed to release it on the Nintendo 64 several years earlier, HAL Laboratory attempted to resurrect Kirby's racing game to the newer GameCube console.  They showed it as a brief preview which wasn't favorably received due to its less than stellar visuals and its deliberate speed over at the 2003 annual DICE summit over at Las Vegas, however the title would be changed from Kirby's Air Ride to simply Kirby Air Ride.  Since the preview backfired badly, HAL decided to show it again at E3 in the same year showcasing all three game modes and five playable tracks.  And, wouldn't you know it: it fared a lot better.  Kirby Air Ride would also be the last game in the series that Kirby's creator, Masahiro Sakurai, directed; but he would act as a special advisor to Flagship for when they made Kirby & the Amazing Mirror the following year.  So, when this racer finally came out seven long years after its inception to be played by all, the critics unanimously were like:
(I know, that's a badly drawn thumb down on the left; and no that's not Kirby)
"Ehh!"

But (casual) gamers and fans of the always hungry pink puffball were more like:

♫Come on, baby, light my fire
You know how there are games that critics love yet have the gaming crowd feel mixed or indifferent about them as a whole (i.e. Kirby's Epic Yarn, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, New Super Mario Bros. 2)?  Well, the same attributes can be applied for the exact opposite, Kirby Air Ride included.  Now, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I find this observation quite fascinating to be honest.  Of course it's not the first time that it's happened, nor will it be the last.  So what is it about this Kirby game in particular that makes critics tick and yet tickle crowds of gamers with absolute joy?  After Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, the second 3D-rendered Kirby title is one topic of great discussion.  So let's not waste any time and see why Kirby Air Ride has been polarizing these said groups for the past decade!  =<

In space, the blue hexagons shine brightly
So, after helping save Pop Star numerous times and partaking in sidequests that required the defeat of King Dedede, what is Kirby up to in Kirby spin-off number... *counts fingers* seven?  Racing!  Yeah, racing in Pop Star... that's pretty much it really.  =/  There's no real plot, sense of danger or urgency here; it's just Kirby, his differently colored clones, Meta Knight, and King Dedede out racing to have a good time, kick back, and have fun.  Oh, and there's some competition to be had too, but it's mostly for fun purposes!  There are three game modes here; and they are Air Ride, Top Ride, and City Trail.  Oh, and there's also a way to play multiplayer via LAN by connecting multiple GameCubes, but I never tried that (nor could ever afford doing so) so I won't go over that.

Flying through a pair of big rings
Each game mode has Kirby racing on a star vehicle, and the goal for each mode varies widely.  The titular Air Ride mode plays as, well, a regular racing game in a similar fashion to Mario Kart except not quite as structured as that series.  There are series of courses to choose from, and the goal is to reach the finish line after going through enough laps.  You can either race the default amount of laps, choose a specified amount of laps to race, or you can ride until a certain amount of time runs out.  In the star vehicle select screen you can switch the color of your Kirby with either the X or Y buttons, and you've got a wide range of star vehicles to choose from; each vehicle has their own unique trait.  An example is a Winged Star, which is not fast on the ground but does make up for it with its flight capabilities; and for another example, a Wagon Star cannot charge or break but it does offer plenty of speed.  There might also be some that are hard to steer or control, so be careful about those.

Each color shares a different facial
expression
In the race you charge by holding down the A button, and if you press it on top of boost arrows then you'll be gaining more speed.  You can also do a quick spin by quickly rotating the Control Stick, and should the vehicle you're riding be capable of doing so you can hold Down to glide upward.  When it comes to gliding you can control the position of the star vehicle (facing down, facing up, flying in either two side directions), and should you land perfectly it'll go smooth sailing; if not, it may cost you a second and a half.  But it wouldn't be a Kirby game if there weren't any enemies to swallow and copy power-ups from, now would it...?  Unless that game was the original Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby's Pinball Land, or even Kirby Mass Attack that is, but one game at a time.

Kirby has got the wings of power
Now onto the power-ups themselves.  There are two ways of obtaining power-ups; one is by swallowing an enemy with a power-up capability, and the other is by riding over a "?" platform where you're randomly given a power-up (pray that you don't receive one you do not want).  Make sure you avoid swallowing a Noddy, or you'll be forced to sleep and have to wake yourself up by quickly rotating the Control Stick.  As for the other ones they are the Sword, Needle, Freeze, Fire, Bomb, Wheel, Tornado, Mike, Plasma, and finally, the Wing power-up.  Wait?  The Wing power-up is here?  Huh!  Funny how the ... least used ability in the series (introduced in Kirby Super Star) gets used again in one of the lesser received games in the franchise.  Anyway, some will have you just pressing a button, others may have you holding down the button, or in Plasma's case you'll want to rotate the Control Stick until the gauge is filled up and you're ready to fire your laser beam.  Buuuuut, since this is a racing game, you won't be keeping the ability forever, and in the remaining time that you still have it you'll still retain it even if you take damage.  So, as you can tell, the controls are relatively simple, which isn't a bad thing, but more on that later.

I believe I can fly
Next up is Top Ride, where it's a racing game like Air Ride, except that it's viewed from the bird's eye perspective in the vein of similar racing games such Super Off-Road and Super Sprint.  The goal is similar except the courses are smaller, the number of laps are bigger, and the races are much shorter.  The power-ups are different from the other two modes (and you don't swallow enemies here), but they're used so sparingly due to the brevity of these races.  The power-ups can be effective, and there are some that can be used exclusively here, such as wielding a hammer as you ride and summoning the almighty Kirby enemy cloud Kracko to shock your competition for a momentary period of time; the same can be done to you, however, so watch your back.  Top Ride will still have Kirby charge and do the quick spin though, only this time there are two types of star vehicles to ride: the default Free Star which will move in any direction you push, and the Steer Star which steers left or right.  It's highly recommended that you ride these races with the former due to their versatility, but if you want to challenge yourself you can always attempt the races with the latter.

I know I've used this joke before; but it's
Hammer Time!
And now, the moment you've all been waiting for!  Even those that have not played Kirby Air Ride know about this mode, for it is perhaps the most played game mode in the whole package: City Trial!  Unlike Air Ride or Top Ride, this game mode does not involve racing at all.  Actually, what it is is a chance to roam around a city, get lots of ability boosts, possibly have to face a few challenges along the way, and maybe try to get a better star vehicle; all in the allotted time remaining!  Okay, let me fill you in on all this: you and the other Kirbies start off on a Compact Star, which starts off very slow but can turn decently.  In the area are a series of boxes and power patches scattered about; each one augments the current star vehicle you're riding's specific capability by one.  You can collect up to eighteen of each of them, and the power patches range from HP that it can sustain, turning capabilities, defensive and offensive capabilities, boosting prowess, et al.  But be aware of when you get the power boosts and only grab the ones that are in color; obtaining a gray one will decrease said capabilities (it's possible to get to the negative zone).  But make sure you get just enough otherwise you will be losing control due to a hugely overpowered vehicle.

How far can you fly through the air?
But the power patches aren't the only things that are scattered about as there will also be power-ups with the abilities used in Air Ride plus food and drink that help replenish a bit of your health.  There's also the invincibility candy which renders you invincible, a Gordo icon where you can throw up to three Gordos, a bomb that will ignite should an unsuspecting competitor ride over that spot, and a flashing shield power-up among others.  In the blue boxes are the patches and food; in the green boxes are temporary quick items such as Special Defense and the Hyper Spin which will have you wildly spinning as you ride; and in the red boxes are the ability icons.  Not only that, but should you get lucky enough you may just find a Hydra or a Dragoon piece; collect all three of either and you will be riding one hell of a star vehicle with more power than all the others combined.  If you wanted to get off your star vehicle, all you have to do is hold down the A button and pull back.  This is one of the few times you will be able to control Kirby entirely on his own, for he can run around on all eight directions and jump up to five times to the point of slowly falling down to the ground (he cannot get any power-ups outside of his star vehicle though).

YOU'RE WINNER !
Now is about a good time as any to discuss why this works here and not in any other Kirby game.  In the Super Smash Bros. series there are a plethora of characters from different games, not just Kirby, and if he floated indefinitely while the other characters couldn't, then that would be an unfair advantage to all; so they had to sacrifice his indefinite flight in order to compensate balance.  In Kirby Air Ride it works because it's a racer and not a platforming game, and while getting a chance to see and control Kirby roam around on his feet in authentic 3D fashion is a nice rarity to behold in the franchise, it's not the focus of the package.  When you take one of the defining characteristics this character has for a sidescrolling platformer (if it plays like a traditional Kirby game, mind you) and alter it in such a way, then it just isn't quite the same and feels rather jarring.  And that is why giving Kirby limited floating time in the air was a bad idea in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, and thank God HAL Laboratory didn't go through with that throughout the rest of the series.

Meta Knight will slice and dice through these
races
There's a reason you must collect as many power patches as you can during the City Trial.  See, the more patches you collect, the more your star vehicle will be able to accomplish.  It's important to take this into consideration as once the timer runs out completely, you'll be partaking in a stadium event.  The event that you'll eventually be doing will either be random or you can choose in the options which specific events you want to do.  The stadium events comprise of drag races, single races, destruction derbies, air gliding, high jumping, flying in target flights, including the ever so reviled Vs. King Dedede event; if only for the fact that he's got way too much health to defeat and the amount of time remaining to defeat him is just simply not enough.

His Royal Gluttony himself makes an
appearance as a playable character
When it comes to jumping to the newest console, there will also be graphical and visual improvements; which is true for each upcoming console.  Kirby Air Ride looks so much better than Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards; since the angles are much smoothly rounder and less blocky, the lighting and shading affects every character and enemy as opposed to just the main characters as was the case in the previous 3D Kirby outing, the animations are a lot more fluid this time around, the textures (while admittedly a little flat) were chosen greatly, the lighting and shading is effective, and its color palette is richer and more superior to that of said Nintendo 64 iteration.  Many of the areas look great, but the most visually dazzling one would be in the Nebula Belt course which is brimming with so many lights that it's highly reminiscent of the last half hour of 2001: A Space Odyssey (and I mean that in a good way), and Checker Knights where at first you're above water in a literal checkerboard area until you ride below the water to a nightly lit underground city; another good one is Magma Flows, where it's all consumed by a reddish environment.  What's nice is how City Trial will start at a random time of the day, sometimes by day and sometimes by night, which is great; especially great is the fog effect.  Even though this game came out during the GameCube generation, it amazes me how well the visuals have (for the most part) aged; the character and enemy models themselves are absolutely great to behold.  It might not look as great as Kirby's Return to Dream Land for the Nintendo Wii does, but it's a close second as far as the series is concerned.  In fact, I personally feel this game's visuals have aged incredibly well compared to those from say 2002's Super Mario Sunshine, but I'm getting off-track.

"Poooyo!" ("Patches!")
The music for Kirby Air Ride was composed by four composers: veteran composer Jun Ishikawa, co-veteran composer Hirokazu Ando, and a couple other composers who I'm not very familiar with; regardless, the music is very good.  We've got the trademark sound-style that Ishikawa is known for, a really inviting and at times atmospheric soundtrack that complements the scenery and action, and some of the songs are remixed from a few classic predecessors.  But that's not the only source of this racing title's music, for guess where the other music comes: the Kirby anime, but to make things even better, it's the music from the superior Japanese original anime series Hoshi no Kābī.  You know, the music that should've remained in the Americanized dumbed down 4Kids version Kirby: Right Back at Ya! rather than what we got instead.  But even then it would not have helped 4Kids' cause; thank God they are only American show dubbers otherwise the bulk of Europe would've been affected too (not that it's necessarily a good thing either).  =|

We'll be right back with the game after this rant of mine on the Americanized anime dub:
Look, I get it, not every culture is equally accepting of certain content or subjects, so some changes have to be made.  But they need to be changes that make sense!  Some episodes will be aired out of order, that's fine, so long as you don't affect the series' continuity (which is what happens in a lot of Disney shows).  The Japanese version produced episodes from 2001 to 2003, while the 4Kids dub lasted from 2002 to 2006.  A couple of the last episodes from the former version were released during the middle portion of the Americanized version, just so America can see an advertisement for this racer.  Okay, whatever!  But... save for one change (making King Dedede sound Southern admittedly was amusing), one change, everything else 4Kids has done to the show is unacceptable!  For starters, taking emotional episodes (like the one with the robotic dog) and/or backstories from the Japanese version and transitioning them to America as glanced over or turning them into jokes is downright deplorable.  A lot of the jokes that worked in the Japanese version were turned to unfunny lines in the Americanized dub.  The serious-sounding Meta Knight has grown a Spanish accent, why would you do that?

I'm not saying keeping the scenes with the guns in the show is a good idea necessarily (which 4Kids didn't), but they were some of the funniest scenes in the anime (particularly the one with Kirby at the police station).  But the one thing that I fail to understand, the main problem with the 4Kids adaptation itself, is *facepalm*.  *breathes*  Okay, in the Japanese original there were signs, banners, and books that had words written in plain English on them.  So what does 4Kids do in their inferior version?  ...  They deprive all these things of the English wording.  I kid you not!  Words fail me as to why 4Kids would do that, it's enough to make me question their own personal beliefs on how intelligent they think kids are, or viewers are for that matter.  It's like they don't believe that people know how to read, or appreciate serious content that was present in the Japanese version so they have to make it as silly as possible.  Granted, the Japanese version was a little silly too, but it knew when to take a break from that; it knew how to entertain TV viewers; it knew how to make people laugh or cry; and it knew how to make people connect with the characters.

4Kids just do not understand Kirby and all things related like us fans do, like HAL Laboratory and Nintendo do, and the people involved in the making of the anime; and that's why the Americanized version was panned and the Japanese original was praised.  There's a reason why 4Kids is one of many subjects of ridicule, and this (especially what they've done to Sonic X and their own adaptation of One Piece) is one of them.  Kids are a lot smarter than this!  They are!  *pants*  They are.  That's just my two cents on this deal, though.
Yeah, I've learned my lesson from last time; so I figured it was best to not bring up a rant about something other than the game out of the blue, so I decided to leave a brief message warning of my getting off topic and have the background colored differently so as to let readers know that I'm talking about something else in length and not do it in the middle of the talk about the game itself.  I doubt I'm going to do this all the time (or often), though, but I just wanted to try this once.  Also, I wanted to sound as calm about it all as best I could.  ...  And now we're back!

Flying high in the sky
As I said earlier the songs were lifted from the anime, and many of them sound good.  Those that have seen the anime in its intended glory will know exactly where in the show they were played, and considering which songs play in which area, they are appropriately well-matched.  The orchestral-sounding songs are really great to listen to, and the sound effects aren't all that bad either.  The sound effects for each star vehicle sound cool, I like the sounds that were used for each individual ability, and few of the original songs made for this game are nice.  One thing I've always noticed since I was younger was that neither Kirby, Meta Knight, nor King Dedede utter a sound when they get hurt or fall off.  Yeah, Kirby still sings loudly with the Mike ability, but otherwise he makes no sound.  It's awkward; how did HAL Laboratory miss that?
Employee A: "Oh, no!"
Employee B: "What is it?"
Employee A: "I just realized that we forgot to give the characters voices for when they take damage or fall offscreen!"
Employee B: "No sound, really?  That's too bad.  Well, I'll try to figure something out."
Employee A: "The game's due in a couple days, we've no time for that!"
Employee B: "Hee hee, I'm sure no one's going to notice!"  *positive spirit, and waving hand down*
Employee A: *glares at other employee with angry silence*
But otherwise, the sound is not bad overall.  =)

Stadium hints, I love them
Right then, about the challenge value then.  As I said before, the controls are very simple on all three game modes; which makes Kirby Air Ride all the more accessible to gamers of all skills.  One of the reasons this racing game has gotten lots of backlash from critics was due to how simple it was; but even if that was not the case, they commented on how short the game was and that there could've been more to it.  To be fair though, the amount of races and events aren't bad (nine Air Ride courses, seven Top Ride courses, and several increments of events in City Trial), in fact I find them sufficient enough; on the other hand, it probably would've been nice had there been a few more courses to race in.  But even though the races can feel a bit short and City Trial is the most preferred game mode in the package, there are factors I feel augment a lot of replay value.

Good luck unlocking all these checkboxes!
See, in each of the three game modes there are one-hundred and twenty boxes to check, all adding up to a total of three-hundred and sixty.  There are lots of achievements to attempt; such as beating a race (or a single lap) in a certain amount of time, swallow consecutive (blank) enemies in a row, finish a race with a specific ability, obtaining ten of a certain power patch, and trying to see how much mileage you can gain should you race with the timer instead.  Once any of those are done a box will be checked out; if it's green then it's just a regular box, but if you check a red box you'll be rewarded something--whether it be a song to listen to, a new star vehicle, another colored Kirby to choose from, the ability to play as Meta Knight and King Dedede, et al.  If you don't think you can achieve a certain accomplishment (should you have one), you can always place a purple box wherever you wish, for it acts as a freebie; once you use it though, you won't be using it again, so choose wisely.  Fortunately you can tell when you've done an achievement after you hear a tone.  =)  There are even various options for these game modes; such as adding minutes, doing time attacks, practicing with free runs, running the game at normal or slow speed, changing how many opponents you want to compete with you, what their CPU levels are, and more.  So really, even though these game modes are short, there's always that one thing that will make you come back for more.

Kirby is better than Link anyway!  ^_^  Do not
cross him!
And basically that's what it all amounts to in the end.  Its simplicity is a big factor, and one that has both split critics and charmed fans and gamers since 2003.  Whether it makes the game work for you or not depends on whether you're okay and accepting about that.  Whatever the case, one thing is for certain: it makes for a great visual tech demo.  Don't get me wrong, it's very competent as a game, but when you get down to it it's really a visual tech demo.  But even if you don't consider it as that, if you're willing to overlook its brevity and and accept it for what it is, it's a really good game.  And considering all the achievements to be accomplished and the settings you can adjust for each game mode, I feel it adds a lot of replay value.  Ever since I got this game back in Christmas of 2003 I've enjoyed it, and while it's not perfect by any means, I think it's a very fun game (it's even more fun with friends and family).  Make of it what you will; your mileage may vary.  It would be another seven years until Kirby's newest TV console game would come out (Kirby's Epic Yarn), and it wouldn't be until 2011 when his overall greatest title would arrive (Kirby's Return to Dream Land); take my word for it.  =)  Either way, it's a big improvement over Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.

8.0/10
(>'.' )>TO EACH THEIR OWN<( '.'<)
P.S.: I'm still bummed out that there was no news of an upcoming Kirby game during this year's E3.  =(  I'd like to play a new sidescrolling platformer in the series; hell, I wouldn't even mind if it was a sequel to Kirby Air Ride for the Nintendo 3DS.  It'd be cool that if it exists it would do to this game what Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon did to the original GameCube classic and improved it in every way.  I hate to sound like a broken record: but I'd like to see a new Kirby game, since I just can't get enough of the series.  =(

P.S. 2: I just couldn't resist making that Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing reference!  It was just too good an opportunity to not take advantage of.  XD

P.S. 3: The series Wander Over Yonder is finally getting new episodes next Friday, I cannot wait (I like it so far)!  It may be kooky and nonsensical, but it's a kooky and nonsensical show with a heart.  Plus it wallows in its own nonsensicality, which makes it fun for me, and it takes me back to my childhood; also, it stars aliens, so they can do whatever they please.  Fish Hooks, on the other hand, is a badly drawn nonsensical show about aquarium fish with anthropomorphic qualities, but all it does is make viewers cringe in fear due to its flat-out horridness.  There, I've taken another jab at Fish Hooks, one of the worst animated shows of all time (in my opinion), and I eagerly look forward to the next opportunity to do so.

P.S. 4: Sorry about the lack of Blue Kirby in my screenshots, I just didn't have enough and couldn't find a good one.

P.S. 5: Even though this game came out while the anime was still in session, I regret to inform you that Escargoon does not make a cameo in this game... HAL Laboratory would rectify that in the mini-RPG Kirby Quest in Kirby Mass Attack.  =)

P.S. 6: By the way, did you know that 2001: A Space Odyssey had a sequel?  It's called 2010: The Year We Make Contact.

P.S. 7: Just so anyone knows, no I'm not counting Kirby's Avalanche (or Kirby's Ghost Trap depending where you live) as a Kirby spin-off or Kirby anything; if only for the fact that it's not a real Kirby game.  It's just the Western version of Super Puyo Puyo with a Kirby-esque face lift; it shouldn't count anyway as far as I'm concerned.

P.S. 8: I've recently listened to the whole soundtrack for The Conjuring, and holy crap did I jump whenever the jump scare sound cues came up, and the final track is powerfully emotional.  I need to watch the movie again, it was one of the best movies I've seen that 2013's summer had to offer!  =D

P.S. 9: As for how far Kirby could fly:
this was the farthest distance I could manage.

Stay tuned next time for another HAL Laboratory video game review, only it does not star Kirby or Lolo.  What could it be?  Until next time, see ya!
Thank you for reading my review!  Please leave a comment and I hope you have a great day!  Take care!  =)

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