Once I was done checking out the 3DS games available, I headed down the stairs to play with the Wii games on display. One demo unit had Kirby Wii available, a new entry in a series I've always been a fan of. After a detour through Patch Land for Kirby's Epic Yarn, Nintendo is returning to the classic look and feel of the older Kirby games; how well does it work?
The best comparison for this game is New Super Mario Bros. Wii; it's fairly basic, classic Kirby gameplay, but with four players in on the action at one time. You can play as Kirby, Meta Knight, Waddle Dee or King Dedede, dropping in and out whenever you'd like. Only Kirby is able to inhale enemies and take their powers, though; the other characters will have their own attacks, like Meta Knight's blade or King Dedede's hammer. All four will be on screen at once, scrolling the screen left or right or up or down, and hopefully your friends are the cooperative type and not the competitive type; it's not very easy to beat up on your friends, but if you're uncoordinated you can run into trouble.
The game feels a little bit slow, which I suppose isn't terrible with so many people involved, and the Kirby series has traditionally featured a bit more exploration and vertical movement than Mario and other platformers. In later levels, there's more of this to be sure, though there's also a more frenetic pace offered, as you'll find yourself chipping away at blocks and trying to avoid cannon fire. Kirby has some new abilities to help make his way through, including some new Super abilities that completely lay waste to your enemies. While we were playing, I was able to get my hands on an Ultra Sword, which is an enormous screen-filling blade that took out nearly everything it touched. It didn't last long, though, so I made sure to use it as much as I could.
As an added bonus, players can ride other players, and you can even wind up with a four-character tower of people, with only the person on the bottom controlling. I'm not entirely sure what the benefit of doing this is, but it's pretty funny.
Overall, Kirby Wii plays a lot like an older Kirby platformer, just slowed down a bit, but having multiple players on screen at once adds a lot of energy to the game. Kirby Wii is slated for a late 2011 release.
- Jim Avery for news10.net