Cracking the Kirby Conspiracy
The past week has been one of the most stressful in my entire life. For those of you who may be unaware, Kirby Mass Attack was scheduled to launch on Monday, September 19. I was assigned to review the game for GameZone, so I headed out on Monday morning to pick up my copy. I went to a Walmart and found absolutely nothing. I thought that was strange, because the idiots at that store usually put out their games early. I went to a nearby GameStop and was told that Kirby Mass Attack was set to release the following day. I was certain that every single website I had checked out listed a September 19 launch, so I went to a second GameStop. Nothing.
I went home and double-checked to make sure that Kirby Mass Attack was listed for a September 19 release. Upon doing so, I discovered that I was right. So what did I do? I started calling every nearby retailer for answers. Best Buy didn't have the game, nor did the next three closest GameStop stores. What the hell was going on? I couldn't figure out why Kirby Mass Attack was nowhere to be found. But then it hit me: Gears of War 3. Yes, upon entering my second GameStop earlier that day, I witnessed a Gears fan sitting out in front of the store, eagerly awaiting the game's midnight launch. That gamer was my sole clue, and the only lead I had at that point.
Was Kirby Mass Attack getting the shaft because of Gears of War 3? Could it be that retailers were giving Nintendo's rotund hero the runaround because they were so caught up hyping the launch of Epic Games' highly anticipated third-person shooter? The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. After all, even though Kirby's been around since 1992, he's certainly not enough of a star to be considered a priority when compared to Marcus Fenix and company. As I thought about it more, I quickly grew infuriated. There's no correlation between the two series, so why would any retailer have the audacity to hold the little pink protagonist back?
It all made sense, and the picture was crystal clear: Cliffy B and Epic Games had struck a deal with every known retailer in an attempt to make Gears of War 3's September 20 launch the hottest game release of the week. Given the fact that Kirby's not really a threat and that Kirby Mass Attack is a DS game, I really couldn't understand the jealousy of the Gears developer. I couldn't grasp the fact that a charming, lovable character like Kirby was seen as such an imposing threat. So what did I do? I headed down to my local GameStop for the Gears of War 3 midnight launch. There were questions that needed to be asked.
It was a hostile environment. I was surrounded by Gears fanatics, and I knew that if I even looked at them funny I'd be endangering not only my own hide but my trusty cameraman's, as well. I had to approach these rabid gamers with caution. In the end, most of them ended up being pretty clueless, and none of them even knew about Kirby Mass Attack. Then I came across a GameStop associate who told me that Nintendo always changes the dates of its games. This person's words stayed with me throughout the night, and the next morning I finally realized what was going on.
Epic Games wasn't targeting Kirby. Gears of War 3 wasn't used as a means to steal the spotlight away from him. Cliffy B was not a conspirator in this whole debacle. And the retailers, they weren't behind any of this, either. The answer to this conspiracy was much bigger than all of those entities, and it took me a decent night's rest to come to my conclusion: that son of a bitch Mario was behind this whole thing all along.
Now, before I continue, I should probably point out that I like Mario. I truly enjoy the endeavors of Nintendo's mascot, and I can honestly say that I enjoy his work more than I do plenty of other more modern franchises, including Gears. But one thing I hate is this idea that Mario is the best character in gaming ... because he's not. Kirby is. If there's one thing Mario's better than Kirby at, it's kissing Nintendo President Satoru Iwata's ass. He's as good at kissing Iwata's ass as Donkey Kong was. I don't know if Mario's as good as Link, though; he's a pretty good ass-kisser--always was and still is. Oops, I'm spilling the beans on Nintendo's backstage politicking! Sue me!
Kirby has grabbed so many of Nintendo's brass rings, yet he has gotten absolutely nowhere, which proves to me that all of those brass rings are completely imaginary. The only thing that's real is Kirby, and the fact that day in and day out since 1992, he has proven to the entire world that he is the absolute best--in video games, on the internet, and even on TV. No one can touch Kirby. Yet, no matter how many times he proves it, he's not in any Mario Party games, he's not in any Mario sports titles, he doesn't appear in any crappy 3DS commercials, and his games are barely promoted. Oh, and trust me, this isn't sour grapes, but the fact that Mario games are already being hinted at for the Wii U while Kirby games aren't makes me sick to my stomach.
Oh, let me get one thing perfectly clear before I continue. For those of you reading this right now and cheering this rant on, you're all just as big a part of my frustration and this conspiracy as anything else. Why? Because you're the ones who don't buy Kirby games on day one. You're the ones who didn't even know that Kirby Mass Attack was launching on September 19. You're the ones who buy used Kirby games at your local GameStop and then go on eBay to sell them to ignorant individuals at twice the price because you're too lazy to get a real job.
Back to the topic at hand, the politicking among Nintendo's heroes makes me absolutely sick. So much so that maybe I'll just give up on that company. Maybe I'll toss my Wii and DS out, and I'll game solely on my PlayStation 3. Hell, maybe I'll just stick to the Wii games that actually dare to provide something new and exciting. Travis Touchdown, I'm looking at you.
Nintendo is a rich company that could be a lot richer. Do you know why it's not as rich as it should be? It's because people like Satoru Iwata and Reggie Fils-Aime don't dare put faith on anyone other than Mario, and it ends up costing them. Why else would they hold Kirby down, hardly promote his games, and keep awesome titles like Kirby Mass Attack from launching as scheduled? Nintendo has made a lot of stupid decisions in the past. The Virtual Boy, the 3DS analog nub, the lack of Wii Motion Plus technology in the original Wii Remote, and the idiotic alienating of third parties are just a handful of the ridiculous errors Nintendo has made. However, holding Kirby back easily tops them all.
Nintendo needs a fresh face to represent its company. Fox McCloud from Star Fox, Samus Aran from Metroid, and even Ness from Earthbound (That's right, Nintendo--I said the "E" word.) would all be great candidates to take the place of Mario as Nintendo's mascot. But no hero within the company is more deserving or more ready for the spotlight than Kirby. Sadly, this will never happen as long as Iwata and Mario's conspiracy against quite possibly the most adorable character in all of gaming continues.
Ultimately, all of this comes full circle to Kirby Mass Attack. Why was the game not released on its actual launch date? Because of Nintendo's conspiracy against the very character it created. Kirby has the potential to be the face not only of Nintendo, but of the video game medium. Sadly, that will likely never happen because Nintendo has a vendetta against him. Consider the Kirby conspiracy cracked.
Oh, and for the record, Kirby Mass Attack is a great game, but Nintendo probably doesn't want you to know that.