Yes, I know it is a confusing title. It will make sense later. So first, let’s do a little bit of a recap of what we have talked about thus far. Well, I’ve actually been doing most of the talking here. Anyway, I have mentioned two games in the Kirby franchise so far and as one might has guessed, that is not a lot of them. It would actually take forever if I were to go through them one by one all month. Especially since I’ve been going at the pace of once a week. So, I had this crazy idea. What if I tried to just put together an idea of what a Kirby game is generally like to try and give of a sense of the character before I talk about the latest game in the series. That proved to be a bit more difficult than initially expected. First off, Kirby games are plentiful. There are many different game throughout the series, which is understandable since we are talking about a character that was first introduced in 1992. 30 years is a good amount of time for different games. Now I’m going to start off simple for a while and we will go from there. First off, the series is typically a platformer centered around swallowing enemies and spitting them out. He also has the ability to puff himself up and float in the air for a brief period of time. Later on, certain special enemies would allow Kirby to copy their abilities to use in battle. A good portion of the games are centered around going through different worlds while using these abilities to fight whatever evil creature is behind everything and putting a stop to their evil plans. This is pretty typical hero stuff. Although I do appreciate that Kirby usually doesn’t need a reason to go do any saving. There are no bananas stolen or princesses captured. Usually he just wakes up from a nap to find out that the world is ending and he figures that he should probably do something about it. That or he is just REALLY cranky. Hopefully you guys use the sleep powerup often so Kirby isn’t overworking himself. Sometimes he ends up finding new and creative ways to use his inhaling and/or copy ability to move through the game. This trend is especially prevalent in more recent Kirby games starting with Kirby: Return to Dreamland, or as I like to call it: Kirby: Return to Formula. That isn’t a bad thing mind you, just an observation. The main formula now is traditional platforming with an additional playstyle added in for fun. How well it works depends on the game.
Now you might be wondering then, what was the formula for Kirby games before Kirby: Return to Dreamland came out on the Wii? To be honest, I have no clue. That isn’t to say they didn’t have games that were similar to traditional Kirby adventures like Kirby Superstar Ultra. Although even that game is an amalgamation of different game times reminiscient of typical games in the series as well as fun minigames. Truth be told, a good amount of the games in the Kirby series seemed as if they decided to just take a gimmick and run with it. They wanted to really experiment with Kirby and see what they could get away with doing. Probably the biggest example of this in recent memory is Kirby’s Epic Yarn. In this game you play as Kirby after he has turned into yarn. I’m not even joking. Basically the whole world has been turned into yarn and Kirby has to stop that from being a permanent edition to Planet Popstar. You mainly fight enemies by grabbing yarn and throwing them as well as occasionally transforming into things like a giant tank. Also, you get a side job as a real estate agent. Yes, that is a feature in a Kirby game. No, I don’t know why. Just roll with it. Sure it doesn’t look like a typical game in the series, but at least it’s fun to play through. In fact, Kirby has had a lot of games that feel more like spin-off titles due to them not adhering to the original formula. Some of them have you controlling multiple Kirbys, some have you competing in different races, some have you controlling yourself by drawing pathways to take. There are so many ways they choose to experiment with Kirby. I’m not really sure why. Maybe because he is so kid friendly? At least when you don’t think what happens to the creatures he swallows. The only thing that really seems to connect these different games is that they seemed to have been made with the hardware in mind. They seemed to want to experiment with the capibilities of the system. Potentially that was so they could design different ways for people to experience the series. Although it is a little rough if you start with a game that doesn’t use his main abilities.
So on one hand we have a formula centered around the abilties the little pink puff ball has been known for since before I was born and on the other we have Kirby just having fun doing whatever he wants in his other games. It is kind of like someone decided to turn a minigame idea into a full game, which might explain why despite being so different from what might expect from a Kirby game they are still fun to play. Truth be told, I am glad they do experiment and try different things with him, since that way it feels like they just want to create fun games using new ideas. You don’t see any other Nintendo properties experimenting nearly as much with their characters .Mario doesn’t count though. They throw him in every profession as long as they think he can swing it. The spinoffs are pretty good though. The weird thing about Kirby spinoffs is that they don’t really feel like spinoffs. Sure they do play completely differently than what we are used to, but it is never usually an alternate version of Kirby you play as and he always stars as the main character. Usually the villain in these types of games causes the very notion of reality to change and so Kirby just adapts to it so he can save the day. He’s a very flexible character isn’t he? To be honest, this series does have something for everyone. There are multiple kinds of games you can play which can either be relaxing or incredibly difficult. There are plenty of items to collect for those who like to go for collectibles. Ig you know what you are doing, speedrunning isn’t that bad either since the levels are always the same layout and most of the early bosses are usually pretty easy. I will not say that I have played many Kirby games. I’ve barely played the spinoffs. However, I can say from looking at a bunch of the different games in the series that they all seem fun and kid-friendly. Well, at least on the surface. Things get a little bit darker when you start to get to how absolutely crazy the villains in these games are, but that’s not something to worry about right now. Look, all I want to say is that whether you play a standard Kirby platformer or not, it will most likely be an entertaining experience. It’s definitely worth checking him out so that you know him from something other than Super Smash Bros. Give it a shot. See you next week.