Sep 1, 2011

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Review: Kirby Mass Attack

Review: Kirby Mass Attack

Kirby has always been the stand out Nintendo series. This is due to all the varied games in his long standing history. For a while, traditional games were dominate on the DS, but with the release of Kirby Mass Attack they’re equal. Mass Attack tries to change up the formula by adding ten Kirbys battling enemies though various settings. However, is this premise solid enough to hold you, or will you break down and buy a 3DS for new games?

After a small introduction that explains how our hero became ten heroes, you will start your journey in the familiar setting of a forest. Unlike many other Kirby games, you can’t absorb enemies and are forced to enlist more help. Every 100 items consumed will give you another Kirby, but naturally, different items will have different values. As you enlist more help, the world will open up more than before. This is achieved by allowing you to use ten items, break items faster, defeat enemies, and even open more stages. Before you start any stage there will be a basic number between one and ten. Each denotes how many helpers you will need to complete the stage. Having more can easily affect difficulty in a good/bad way, but having less can cause you to fail some stages.

A prime example of making a stage harder and the games innovation is the broken tree. On this level you will need to reach the top of a broken tree by moving from side to side. Moving to each side will cause the level to shift, but staying there too long will break the tree, killing you. Sadly, moving is easier said than done considering it’s done completely with the stylus. Be forewarned: this will cause insane wear/tear on your lower screen (perhaps it’s Nintendo’s plan to kill your DS so you upgrade?!).  I’m kidding of course, but the game seriously uses the stylus a lot. Doing anything requires quick use, but is in no way that accurate. It wasn’t uncommon to die from delays or failures. Attacking, which is achieved by pushing a Kirby with the stylus, will also cause you some failures/back tracking.

While the stylus gameplay is less than desired, the level designs make up for it. For the most part levels are your standard Kirby fare, but some, like the tree, change the game. For instance, one of the bosses is defeated by pushing down the sides of a seesaw. Another welcomed addition is all the various paths. Many of those paths are unlocked by having all ten partners. These paths usually will lead to missing coins and maybe a special boss here or there.

Throughout the game there will be various coins that unlock minigames. Each of these minigames are very different. One of them is a game similar to bullet hell games (though very manageable), and another is about stopping a meter on certain points. Depending on where you stop, it you will ideally do a random attack through the many years of the series. You could easily spend hours playing these games alone, as most are quite amusing.

In the end, Mass Attack could have had better controls, but I don’t know what else would work with the various helpers.  This aside, there is a lot of fun to be had, and the various playthoughs required will add to the fun. You can easily get 20+ hours out of this game and not do everything; best of all, it looks perfect on the 3DS, too! If you’re looking for something to delay your 3DS purchase till this holiday than there is no better choice than this.

Kirby Mass Attack
Platform: DS
Genre: Puzzle Platformer
Release Date: 9/19/2011
Developer: Hal Laboratory
Publisher: Nintendo
ESRB Rating: E
MSRP: $29.99