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Platform

Wii

 

Genre

Platformer

 

Publisher

Nintendo

 

Developer

HAL Labs

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

October 24, 2011

 

 

- A little bit of everything Nintendo does right all in one fun package: the return of a classic Nintendo character, classic old-school platforming gameplay and excellent family-focused multiplayer

 

 

- With a more than generous supply of extra lives that can be accrued, even during the supposedly tougher boss fights, there isn’t a very demanding or challenging difficulty in defeating enemies and advancing throughout each individual level

 

 

Review: Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii)

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Kirby's Return to Dreamland

Score: 9.5 / 10

 

kirby's return to dreamland          kirby's return to dreamland

 

Beginning with the original Nintendo Entertainment System way back in 1985, and continuing onto the SNES, N64, GameCube and Wii since then (and all the handheld systems for that matter), what Nintendo has always done better than anyone else making games in the years since is to constantly bring a stable core of gamer-favorite characters back to the forefront in new games. From Mario and Donkey

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Kong to Yoshi and Link, each new Nintendo gaming system has featured classic character appearances in new titles on the new respective Nintendo system, and selling millions of units of games doing so.

Another one of those old-school characters is the pink and plushy, marshmallowy morphing Kirby, who first appeared on the

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SNES but has since bounced his ball-shaped way onto more than 20 titles since then. The latest, and maybe one of the best, is Kirby’s Return to Dream Land on the Wii. It features great old-school platforming gameplay, a fun, family-friendly storyline, inventive and colorfully beautiful levels and a familiar cast of characters with Kirby being the big shining star.

But what really places this Kirby adventure on the mantle of one of the Wii’s best new titles is the incredible multiplayer that is such an entertaining blast to play. In my household, the multiplayer usually consisted of three at a time (up to four can play at once), and without question, the gameplay enjoyment was raised to an entirely new level when all were playing simultaneously. Despite large and colorful explosions of all kinds of enemies and on-screen effects from bursting and destroyed environment features, never is it difficult to follow your particular controlled character in the gameplay goings-on, running completely smooth. There is a rubber-band effect also to assist multiplayer sessions, where characters that may get stuck behind the others are propelled forward to join their fellow gamers in their progress.

Kirby’s distinctive feature is the ability to inhale and copy the characteristics and attack abilities of enemies, then using those characteristics/attack abilities in turn against the very enemies attacking him. In Kirby’s Return to Dream Land, his copying abilities include Fire, Sword, Whip and Ice, while his Super Abilities the fantastically full-screen explosive attacks are the Ultra Sword and Monster Flame. His moves include his primary one: gulping enemies and other objects (along with health-increasing food) that can steal the enemy’s abilities or be used as projectiles by being spit out at other enemies.

 

kirby's return to dreamland          kirby's return to dreamland

 

As expected, the storyline is completely within the Nintendo modus operandi of family friendliness and old-school platforming. One ordinary day in the vibrant world of Dream Land, an alien spaceship crashes near Kirby and his friends, scattering the craft’s parts throughout the landscape. The alien captain, Maglor, enlists Kirby’s help in finding the strewn parts so he can return home. Naturally, Kirby agrees, and he and his friends search all the unique sections of Dream Land such as Onion Ocean, Raisin Ruins and Cookie Country on Planet Popstar for the missing parts.

Gamers get to choose from four cute and cuddly characters to play Kirby’s Return to Dream Land: the original pink Kirby, Meta Knight, Waddle Dee and King Dedede (more than one gamer can choose to play as Kirby, each with a distinctive color).

The gameplay encourages cooperative multiplayer, as characters can transfer health from themselves to unhealthy fellow gamers when necessary, and puts teamwork at the forefront, where downing the big bosses and collecting the necessary ship parts becomes a collective effort. By collecting enough ship parts, mini-games like the ninja star toss are unlocked, too, an added gameplay bonus.

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land features a little bit of everything Nintendo does right on the Wii all in one pleasurable package: the return of a classic Nintendo character, classic old-school platforming gameplay and excellent family-focused multiplayer.

– Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(November 21, 2011)

 

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