Review: Kirby Mass Attack
For years Kirby has reigned as Nintendo’s most adorable mascot, while he’s been tested over the years no one has been able to match him.
So what’s more adorable then Kirby? Ten Kirbys!
<a href=”http://panicgamer.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/kirby_mass_attack.jpg”><img title=”kirby_mass_attack” alt=”" src=”http://panicgamer.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/kirby_mass_attack-300×218.jpg” width=”300″ height=”218″ /></a> Multiple Kirbys do the most adorable pummeling
In Kirby Mass Attack the villain Necrodeus finds Kirby too strong and splits him into ten smaller Kirbys that he’s able to defeat easily. After he’s toppled the first nine Kirbys and ready to pounce on the tenth a star shows up representing Kirby’s heart and speeds away urging the last Kirby to follow in order to defeat Necrodeus.
The game starts with you in charge of one Kirby, as you work your way through the levels you’ll find assorted fruits either right out in the open or by defeating enemies. Eat 100 points worth of fruit and you’ll be awarded an extra Kirby to control, you can have up to 10 Kirbys at any given time.
Controlling 10 Kirbys would be an ordeal if it was the “traditional” way with the D pad and face buttons. For Kirby Mass Attack everything is controlled by the stylus and it gives the feeling you’re telling the Kirbys what to do instead of controlling them directly.
Tap anywhere on the screen and the Kirbys will run to the point, keep the stylus pressed on the screen and your merry band of Kirbys will keep walking in that direction. Double tap any spot on the screen and the Kirbys will pick up the pace and run to the spot. When you run into an obstacle that you have to get over you have two options, you can either hold the stylus on individual Kirbys and flick them to higher levels or you can hold the stylus down on a Kirby and then have them float along a line you draw on the screen.
Movement is intuitive and easy to learn with the game showing you more control options as you play so by the time you master certain moves new ones are ready to learn. It’s a fantastic learning curve that will fit almost everyone’s style of play.
When it comes to battling enemies you send in however many Kirbys you have to pummel the bad guys in the most adorable fashion possible. If an enemy is too strong and you don’t have enough Kirbys an enemy will be able to knock off your Kirbys forcing you to launch another attack. Depending on the type of enemy you’ll have to decide what course of action is best. You may have to wait until it’s defenses are down, charge in full on and overwhelm them, or flick individual Kirbys to attack only certain parts of their bodies.
While traversing each level your Kirbys are bound to get a bump on the noggin (or worse) and when that happens a Kirby will go from it’s cheery pink color to a pale white with a sickly look on it’s face. If one of your white Kirbys gets injured again it will leave this mortal coil and start flying up off the screen. If this happens you need to flick your healthy Kirbys to grab a hold of the departed Kirby and bring him back. He’ll still be white but he’ll be playable. If you miss saving a Kirby that flies away you’ll be one Kirby down until you eat enough fruit to be awarded another Kirby.
At certain parts of every level there’s bands that heal your Kirbys by passing through them. Take the white Kirbys you have and toss them through the band and viola! Your Kirby army is at full strength again!
You’ll want to keep your supply of Kirbys on the high side for two main reasons.
1. There’s certain elements on each level that require a certain amount of Kirbys to activate. A switch will have an 8 on it and unless you have 8 or more Kirbys you’ll be unable to unlock that part of the level.
2. Each world is broken down into levels that require a certain number of Kirbys to gain access. The outer layers of the world only need a few Kirbys but in order to make it to the core of the world you’re going to need a full set of Kirbys to gain admission.
<a href=”http://panicgamer.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/kirby-jump.jpg”><img title=”kirby jump” alt=”" src=”http://panicgamer.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/kirby-jump-300×218.jpg” width=”300″ height=”218″ /></a> They fly through the air with the greatest of ease.
If you don’t have enough Kirbys to activate certain switches the first time or just want to replay a level it’s easy to go back and restart any level you choose. There’s also a nice addition of a warp in the middle of each level that allows you to go back to a level, perform a certain action with the number of Kirbys you need for a switch, and then leave the level instead of having to go through the rest of it.
These are the little touches that HAL Labs is known for that makes their games so easy to play. You’re never made to feel like replaying levels are a punishment for not doing things the first time.
Kirby games have always had extras and Kirby Mass Attack is no slouch in that department. The first extra you’ll notice is an achievement list that has you unlocking certain awards by your performance on a level. Get through a level without injuring a Kirby? Get an award. Defeat a certain boss? Get an award.
The awards help add some legs to the game by giving you certain goals to accomplish while playing.
There’s also bonus games that you’ll unlock along the way and I just want to say this…
Kirby pinball is good enough to be a title on it’s own. Heck, Kirby Mass Attack is worth buying if you’re just interested in the pinball game. I want to see the pinball bonus game in Kirby Mass Attack available in the eShop at some point.
While some of the bonus games are simple none of them are bad and pinball? Holy cow let me just say that the pinball is great. It’s you playing through different tables trying to defeat certain bosses and it’s done to perfection. What starts as a diversion in the game turns into a competent and polished pinball game that will have pinball fans hooked.
There’s other games as well and most hold up very well with a matching game and an overhead SHUMP style game (overhead view with one character trying to shoot down bad guys that appear on the screen) to name a few. The bonus games are terrific and are a draw outside of the main story.
The graphics are done perfectly. Kirby’s faces and mannerisms are shown off perfectly by the power of ten. The little Kirbys have so much character and it’s great watching them follow your commands on the screen.
The sound is great with all the sounds we’re familiar with in the franchise.
Music is just one rung below the best the series has to offer. Thankfully this means it’s still top notch. There’s very peppy tunes that will keep you happily tapping along while you order your army of Kirbys to get their heart back and defeat Necrodeus.
<strong>Why it may be helpful for people with anxiety</strong>
<li>Kirby is adorable</li>
<li>Plenty of things to do in story mode and extras</li>
<li>Easy to pick up and play</li>
<strong>Why it may be unhelpful for people with anxiety</strong>
<li>Only stylus controls means that if you have cold/numb hands controls could be difficult</li>
<strong>Why you should be playing this game</strong>
Kirby Mass Attack takes everything great about Kirby and just gives you more of it. The controls are simplistic yet will have you working towards entering and exiting worlds flawlessly.
The level design is terrific, especially with the ability to revisit levels and then leave mid level with warps that make sure you don’t get sick of replaying certain parts of the game. That coupled with the bonus games give so much quality content that I cannot give one argument for anyone not adding this game to their collection.
HAL Labs shows us yet again that Kirby is a top tier franchise and gives him the respect he deserves.