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Kirby's Epic Yarn review

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Posted by: David Sanchez

Gamezone Review Rating 8.5 Great

Games that lack challenge are often shunned and looked down upon by most gamers. These games are short, easy, and not very fun. Kirby’s Epic Yarn for the Nintendo Wii is short and easy, but don’t let those attributes fool you; this game is impressively entertaining. Despite not posing a big challenge, Kirby’s Epic Yarn manages to offer an engaging, highly delightful gameplay experience thanks to its great level design, adorable aesthetics, and Kirby’s transformations, which are now more a part of the gameplay experience than ever before.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn starts out with the titular hero minding his own business when out of nowhere he spots a Metamato. Mistaking it for a Maxim Tomato, Kirby gulps down the mystical fruit, only to discover that it belonged to Yin-Yarn, an evil sorcerer from another land. At this point, Yin-Yarn works his magic, turns Kirby into a yarn-based form of himself, and sends the vacuum-like hero to Patch Land, a world made of yarn, cloth, and patches. Here he meets Prince Fluff, who enlists Kirby’s help in restoring the land, which has been literally torn at the seams.

If you’ve played previous Kirby games, then the platforming in Kirby’s Epic Yarn should present itself as familiar. HAL Laboratory has crafted a distinct identity for the Kirby series, making it feel unique among other titles in the genre. Familiarity aside, though, Kirby’s Epic Yarn has a handful of gameplay elements tossed in that make it stand out among its predecessors. Because the game is set in a world of fabric and yarn, your environments are interactive and play a big part in level progression. Pulling on a dangling button brings pieces of the fabric closer to Kirby, adding that much-needed platform for getting across wide gaps. Pulling on ribbons removes patches, revealing items and doorways. Hanging from buttons allows Kirby to catapult himself to higher ground. There’s a lot of interactivity between Kirby and his environments, and it’s all most certainly welcome.

Transformations are an integral part of the Kirby franchise. Due to his current yarn state, Kirby can’t do much inhaling, but he can still transform. Aside from turning into a car while dashing or a parachute while free-falling, Kirby can also enter portals spread across levels to turn into a number of different things. In his Saucer form, Kirby can abduct enemies and use their energy to zap other baddies or open passageways. Rocket Kirby flies upward and is armed with guns for shooting down aliens, Space Invaders style. Mentioning more of Kirby’s transformations would probably spoil the fun in discovering them, but suffice it to say that Kirby can take on many forms, all of which are enjoyable.

Cool cloth elements and awesome transformations aside, if you’re expecting an action-packed tough-as-nails platformer, then Kirby’s Epic Yarn probably isn’t for you. If you just want a solid platforming experience that flows seamlessly and provides a ton of charm, however, then be prepared to walk away impressed. Kirby’s Epic Yarn is, for all intents and purposes, a perfect portrayal of what good, clean fun is all about. No, there’s no real challenge to any of the game’s levels; but that doesn’t stop this game from being incredibly fun to play. HAL has created a paradox with Kirby’s Epic Yarn. It throws the whole “easy games are boring” mantra out the window by providing an experience that’s delightfully free-flowing and makes you want to keep going.

To accompany this rich gameplay style are stunning visuals and an endearing soundtrack. Everything in the game, from the beautiful levels to the charming characters, looks absolutely amazing. The subtle touches that HAL added to the game’s mechanics are also great. If, for example, Kirby enters a door and walks around behind a piece of fabric, you’ll be able to see the pink hero moving around in the background. The game’s soundtrack is equally charming. Throughout the course of Kirby’s journey, you can hear cheery feel-good themes that only accentuate the game’s colorful vibe. There are a few cut-scenes in Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and these feature a bit of narration. The voice actor’s storytelling fits with the subject matter, but admittedly, it sounds pretty cheesy overall.

If you come into Kirby’s Epic Yarn expecting a lighthearted platformer that drips of pure unadulterated charm, you’re bound to have a blast. Sadly, every game has to come to an end, and Kirby’s latest adventure isn’t long-lasting. You can easily get through the game in about 5-7 hours. Luckily, there are extra things to do. Decorating the apartment complex in Quilty Square brings new tenants in, and these bouncy little folks will gladly play hide-and-seek and bead-collection minigames with Kirby. You can also take all of the furniture you’ve uncovered throughout your adventures in Patch Land and decorate Kirby’s abode, but this addition isn’t deep or entertaining.

What is highly entertaining, though, is the game’s two-player co-op mode, which allows you to get together with a friend and experience this artsy game as a unit. Because of the game’s inviting approach, co-op mode actually works and provides a far better experience than, say, New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

A lack of challenge has led to the demise of many platformers in the past. Oddly, that’s not the case with Kirby’s Epic Yarn. It is easy to play and requires no real skill to master, but it’s a load of fun regardless. You’re bound to enjoy Kirby’s Epic Yarn for its great platforming and cool transformations, but you’ll love it for all of the bright, colorful, and ridiculously adorable charm that it exudes. Play this game, and enjoy it for what it is: A bright and cheery platformer that’s low on challenge and extremely high on fun factor.

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