|Posted on December 13, 2011 at 3:25 PM|
A strange spaceship crashes on Pop Star and kirby and his friends (Waddle Dee, King Dedede and Meta Knight) found out that inside the spaceship is an alien creature named Magolor and he finds out that the ship was missing a lot of pieces and all of them are scattered around Pop Star ! but kirby and his friends are willing help him out to recover all of the pieces and fix the spaceship so that it can fly again !
The story is allright, the story does has some impressive and even a few epic moments, but there is one plot point that is really "cliché", not because you can see it from a mile away, but because it's been done before... but hey, what can I say, it's a kirby game so there is some charming moments in there as well to make it up to its faults, but as it is, it felt a little lackluster and it could've been better.
Kirby's Return to Dream Land (also known as "Kirby's Adventure Wii" in Europe and "Kirby of the Stars Wii" in Japan) is a 2.5D side-scrolling platform game in which it only uses the Wii remote sideways. The game starts you in the level select screen so that you can select which world to go and then which level to go in an area where you can run around and go through one of the doors that represents the levels, and the main goal of all levels is to get to the end of them, but there are also some boss stages in each world as well, you play as kirby, you can inhale indefinitely to suck in nearby objects and enemies, and the inhaled objects can either be propelled back out as projectiles or swallowed, however there are certain enemies that when swallowed kirby will gain a copy ability, and it depends on what that certain enemy is, for example if kirby swallows someone who has the ability of fire, kirby will gain the ability of fire, and such, The game is pretty much a reminiscent of the traditional kirby formula when it comes to gameplay, and there are some returning gameplay mechanics like each copy ability for example has multiple forms of attack that are summoned depending on the button-presses you are making, just like in Kirby Super Star for the SNES and a lot of copy abilities from other kirby games such as the cutter, the tornado, the fighter, etc.
However, there are some new gameplay features that are available in this game as well, for example there are some special enemies in some certain levels where one swallowed, you will gain a "Super Ability" which is a more powerful version of a copy ability, but these are only limited to certain copy abilities though and not all of them... and with this ability you are able to destroy multiple enemies at once as well as parts of the environment that are marked with a star by just shaking the wii remote or pressing the 1 button or both or moving the d-pad.
Another new thing in the game is the ability to inhale multiple objects and enemies simultaneously by shaking the wii remote or wagging the d-pad, and then expel to create a massive energy star that can hit more enemies because of its size ! and also in the game there is some new copy abilities such as Water, Whip, Leaf, etc. and lastly is a guard button, where you press the A button in order for kirby to defend himself.
And another thing to mention is that there is also a secondary task in all of the levels, where you must also collect the missing starship pieces called "energy spheres", where some of them are hidden and some of them require you to do a certain task in order to collect it, but if you're skillful, you might collect them all since they require you to pay attention to what certain task are you going to do, and once you know, you might be lucky to collect the all with ease, but some of them require you to use the Super Abilities in order to destroy certain environments or activating a switch to reveal a secret portal where it will take you to a test in which you must progress through the level quickly before some wall-like force will push you and crash you into a nearby wall if you don't hurry,
One last thing to mention is the inclusion of "drop-in drop-out" cooperative multiplayer ! in which up to four players can join in play this game by just pressing any button on the other controller ! and the second, third and fourth player have a choice of playing either as Meta Knight, King Dedede, and Waddle Dee or even another Kirby ! sadly, only the first player can only play as kirby. One of kirbys friends have their own abilities (Meta Knight always uses a sword, King Dedede always uses a hammer, and Waddle Dee always uses a spear) so they can't copy abilities like kirby, but the other kirbys can ! and while in cooperative multiplayer, you can easily defeat enemies and bosses and do other things that you couldn't do in single player like for example the ability to be carried by someone playing in the game, someone carrying an object for you and more.
The gameplay is really amazing and fun to play ! with so much variety put into it and with some charming and cool designs too ! coupled with tight controls, a fun multiplayer and fast paced gameplay too ! but the game might be too easy for anyone who is a veteran in videogames and not to mention that the game could've been a little better in some certain areas, but as it is, the gameplay really is great and it can be perfect to play for everyone !
The game looks really good, there are some stages that look just amazing and every single background is really detailed with a lot of things that makes it look deep and even atmospheric ! sadly, your attention will be focused mainly on the gameplay most of the time, and some stages look rather simple, but the colorful charm and great amount of detail just makes this game look really good !
Music and sound
The soundtrack in this game, while it is very good overall, it's not as memorable as in its previous title: Kirby's Epic Yarn, but still, there are some songs that are very catchy and some that really set the tone of the game, it's just that the songs, like the graphics, are not going to grab your attention whatsoever thanks to the gameplay.
The sound are allright, there are some sounds that they are just like the ones from other kirby games, even from a spin-off ! but most of them don't have a lot of impact, but all of them are reminiscent to the older kirby games, so I guess I can give credit for that, as for the voice acting... what voice acting ? there is no dialog in the game excluding the time where you can talk to Magolor, and that's just text only ! but kirby can grumble depending on which action he's doing, (like getting hit or grabbing an energy sphere) and he sounds just like how he should sound, and the game supports a variety of languages depending of what you speak.
As I've said before, the game does has some deep and atmospheric environments thanks to its graphics, sadly, they're just there for show only, but as a kirby game, it does has some charming moments just like any other kirby game, but I felt like it lacked a little more, but that doesn't mean that it's bad or anything because of that, and comparing this to last year’s Kirby's Epic Yarn, it is very fast paced when it comes to gameplay and has a lot more content as well, but it downgrades some of the cutesy nature and some of the charm in the environments.
As for the replayability, there is some stuff to do in the game ! depending on how many energy spheres you can collect, you can unlock a lot of thing in Magolor's spaceship such as some challenge rooms, where the game does raises up the difficulty ! and some copy abilities rooms, where you can see and try some copy ability's depending on which room you are, and some minigames that you can play with your friends as well ! sadly there's only two of them and that's it, but there's also more content when you beat the main game like an Arena mode, a sound test and another main game called the Extra mode ! where the game raises up the difficulty more by having harder bosses, a health bar reduced in half, some energy spheres are more harder to obtain, and much more. But that's not all, when you beat the extra mode, you can unlock the True Arena, a much harder version of the Arena mode, and beat both of these and you can actually play them again but with a different character like Meta Knight, King Dedede, and Waddle Dee ! so in other words, this is the only way to play as these characters, and lastly, complete both arenas and get 100% completion on Main and Extra game and you will unlock a special video !... but the special video isn't that rewarding to be honest...
This game is amazing thanks to it's fun to play fast-paced gameplay and good presentation ! it could've been a little better in some parts like the story and some other things, but as it stands, it's pretty much a well-written love letter to the older kirby games and it truly shows and it is amazing at it ! so if you love the kirby games and love the traditional gameplay mechanics from the older titles, then don't hesitate and get this game ! but if you don't like easy games or you're worried about some aspects of the game that I've mentioned, give it a rent and see how it will hold up to you, but as for me, this game gets a 9/10
This review can also be read here