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Kirby's Epic Yarn Hands On Preview

Whipping > Eating.

Kirby may be pink in his upcoming title, Kirby's Epic Yarn, but he's anything other than the familiar pink pudgy ball that many of us grew up with.

Though Kirby himself has gotten a brand new makeover, the game doesn't stray too far away from its roots. While players aren't going to find themselves wandering through Whispy Woods, they are in for a whole new unique experience where the gameplay is rivaled only by the art style.

Continuing on that thought, the art direction in Kirby's Epic Yarn is nothing other than amazing. Set within a world comprised entirely of yarn and material, every aspect that players will encounter is a unique experience.

One of the first things I noticed immediately was the lack of Kirby's ability to suck in air and float/fly around the level. Instead, Kirby has traded in his ability to stuff himself full of massive quantities of air, for a whip-like strand of yarn that is used to perform a multitude of tasks.

To defeat enemies, players will toss the whip, which promptly unravels the enemy, and depending on the type, may even curl them into a yarn ball that can be used to defeat other enemies or break obstacles. Certain blocks can also be unraveled using the whip, but the best part of the weapon that I experienced was using it to attach to objects on screen.

Some of these objects are merely sticker like squares, that when peeled away reveal hidden gems, stars, and even chests containing treasures (of which there are three contained within each level). Around each level are also attachment points that Kirby will use to latch his yarn whip onto in order to perform action such as scrunch the on-screen fabric in order to make a platform closer, or swing off of.

Interacting with the environment was incredibly fun, but some of the best moments were those when players can go behind the fabric. Appearing as a little bump in the fabric world, Kirby will go from foreground to background in order to reach new areas of the level in search of treasure, gems, and stars.

Collecting the three items seemed to be a major task within the game, and although I spoke to the representative as to the exact purpose of the items, he couldn't give me a definitive answer, only speculation. So, perhaps the gems will be used to open new worlds eventually, or perhaps players will need a certain amount in each level to move on. Right now, I unfortunately couldn't tell you.

What I do know, is that at the end of each level, the Kirbys come out and do their classic jolly dance, and though I couldn't hear it myself, I was assured that the song they dance to is the same one from the NES Kirby.

Though everything about the game that I had the opportunity to experience was great, none was better than the 2-players co-op play. As New Super Mario Bros Wii has proved, playing with friends and family only increases the enjoyment of the experience (most of the time anyway). As the representative and I so intensely discussed, similar to New Super Mario Bros Wii, players can either take on the quest together responsibly, or make it an epic quest to see who can annoy and thus kill the other character first.

Thankfully, sidescroller and Kirby fans will not have to wait very long for this title as it will be releasing this year.


 

Comments

Anonymous

06/15/2010 at 09:51 PM

Sounds really good. The trailer didn`t blow me away but I can`t deny the gameplay could be fun as hell and the co-op is a great idea.

Jason Ross Senior Editor

06/15/2010 at 10:22 PM

I love me some co-op Kirby, and the art style looked absolutely stunning to me. That was one of my favorite things about Yoshi Story. I haven't gotten a chance to play it yet, and I might not even for a chance to cover other stuff, but I definitely want to!

Kathrine Theidy Staff Alumnus

06/16/2010 at 12:57 AM

Kirby games are always fun. I should track down the few I'm missing before this one launches.

Jason Ross Senior Editor

06/16/2010 at 02:44 PM

I still have to stop by, it's on my to-do list. I'll try to persuade the guy to give extra kirby stickers, but no guarantees!

Anonymous

06/21/2010 at 11:07 AM

This game is a HUGE disappointment for Kirby fans, what is Kirby without his ability to float, suck, and copy? Its not Kirby. This game would be perfect if they changed it from Kirby to Yoshi, It honestly looks more like a Yoshi game to me. Picture the whip as Yoshi's tongue. With that said the game looks amazing, fun, and new. I will buy it, but I'm disappointed to see Kirby as the guinea pig for this new formula. I know it will be fun to play, but it just isn't Kirby. I sure hope that another Kirby game will appear on Wii in the future that sticks to the roots of Kirby games we know and love.

Jason Ross Senior Editor

06/21/2010 at 11:17 AM

Wow, I have to disagree. The game fits Kirby entirely. The ability to transform has been shifted, yes, so now Kirby has innate transformation options, as well as stage-specific ones, like the classic UFO ability, but the enemies, the stage design, and even the way the game felt to play are all very reminiscent of Kirby games.

Just because there's no copy ability and Kirby can't fly doesn't mean it isn't a Kirby game. There's been Kirby games before that excluded those abilities. In fact, didn't Kirby's Dream Land leave Kirby copy-less?

As far as another Kirby game, the Nintendo rep demoing the game couldn't tell me what happened to "Hoshi no Kirby," the game that was canceled for the GameCube and perennially is on Nintendo's release lists as "TBA." We'll have to wait until the next release list update to find out for sure.

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