"World on a String!"
Here’s a review with probably the highest score I’ve ever given to a video game. Why? Because it deserves it! Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a dream come true for those who have been waiting for a console iteration of a Kirby adventure for over 10 years, but it’s also a dream come true for anyone who’s into the platform genre.
Before E3 2010, we didn’t even know this game existed, but once people found out about it, there was no doubt about its inevitable success. Most Nintendo fans were more than pleased with the idea of a Kirby made out of yarn, battling his way though exciting levels made out of patchwork, fabrics, strings, buttons, and pretty much anything that you would find in someone’s sewing basket. Granted, the unique visual style might not be initially appealing to everyone, but its undeniable charm will end up conquering even the most cynical players. Not only that, but the aural presentation is perfect. Great tunes, dozens of them, accompany your every move throughout the game, changing as you visit the different worlds.
- Kirby features lots of varied environments -
So you’re wondering – How did Kirby turn into a mere string of yarn and lose his enemy-swallowing abilities? Well, it turns out the mysterious evil sorcerer, Yin Yarn, is very sneaky and is causing some trouble in Dream Land. Apparently, he prefers things made out of yarn and fabrics, so he’s set out to transform the world into one of his liking. Kirby is distracted trying to eat a delicious, red “metamato” when Yin Yarn sends him straight to Patch Land via his magical sock. Here, Kirby meets Prince Fluff, and together they’ll have to figure out how to stitch back together each of the worlds in despair. Narrated like a children’s tale, the story isn’t the biggest thing the game has to offer, but its charm will draw you in, even if you don’t like it (or pretend not to like it).
In Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Kirby can’t swallow enemies, but at least he has a lasso he can use as a whip to turn them into buttons and strings, or he can roll them up into a ball of yarn and throw them at other possible threats. Not only that, but he can also turn into a car and dash, a submarine to go underwater, or a parachute to slowly drift down to safe ground. As if that wasn’t enough, many other surprising transformations await throughout the game.
Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a side-scrolling platformer, so you’ll constantly advance through levels full of obstacles, platforms, and ever-changing surfaces. Not everything is what it looks like, so you’ll have to use Kirby’s new skills to unveil hidden pathways, secret goodies, and so on. If you pull from a button or undo a zipper, you might find a treasure chest behind it, a door to access a background area, or a nice set of shiny beads. Everything counts towards your score and achievements, so you’ll have to pull some strings to make it happen.
- You'll find hidden goodies behind every flap -
The controls are a piece of cake, as the Wii Remote is used horizontally, using the D-pad to control Kirby and the 1 and 2 buttons for the lasso and jumping, respectively. If you double-tap the directional pad, you’ll turn into a speedy car, and if you hold 2 after a jump, you’ll float down. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the game is easy. It actually starts very easy, and then it quickly becomes challenging. Getting through the levels is not difficult, but collecting all of the objects, achieving the gold rank, and obtaining significant scores is tough. I found myself repeating levels and even some of the exciting but challenging boss battles because I just couldn’t swallow my pride. However, if a kid wants to play the game, they shouldn’t have a problem with it, as the controls are accessible and the level design is clever but manageable.
Beads are the currency of the game. The more you get, the higher your score, and the more you pick up as you avoid damage, the more beads will show up. However, there will be other items to which you’ll have to pay attention. There are patches to unlock new levels and some that will help you with your home décor. Yes, home décor. Everyone likes Kirby in this innocent little adventure, so he’s rented a space of his own that he can call home. Here, you’ll be able to use different items you’ve discovered through the levels to decorate it. He can even reupholster furniture and interact with some objects. This cute distraction reminds me of Animal Crossing. There’s even a fabric and a furniture shop, where you can buy new items to spice up your pad.
Kirby also has a few neighbors in Quilty Square who will move in as you decorate new spaces; they’ll bring new challenges like finding the monkeys that are hiding through the levels. While playing the main mode is where it’s at, these little additions make sure that players who are really into the game will be able to enjoy it even longer. If you can’t resist the look of what you’re doing or where you’re at, you can even snap a photo and save it for posterity.
- King DeDeDe had to be there! -
I like to leave the best things for last, so I have to tell you about the awesome co-op support Kirby’s Epic Yarn has to offer. The game is really fun for anyone who wants to play on their own, but it really shines when you turn on the second controller and have someone string along as Prince Fluff. This little blue guy with a crown is nearly as adorable as Kirby, although I guess he’s a bit rougher around the edges - due to his royal background, probably. When you have a second player, you can achieve amazing things together. Both players have the same abilities, including the lassoing of enemies and the incredible transformations. Also, they can jump on top of each other to reach higher platforms, lasso one another for a quick throw against an enemy, and control together some of the wacky machinery they turn into towards the end of some levels.
This game really stirred the fabric of my soul. I’ve played plenty of beautiful games, as well as a plethora of extremely fun games, but I had never seen it come together in such a combination of colors, textures, and magnificent level design. Even though Super Mario Galaxy 2 is pretty close up there as one of the top Wii adventure games available, I have to give this one the perfect score because they tried an amazing feat and they got it right. If you’re not too scared of pastel colors and stringy levels, you have to give it a try.
GameDynamo's Score for Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii)
An enthusiast of gaming adventures as well as party and puzzle games. Writer, editor, translator, graphics designer, and a multitasker at heart. Maria has worked in the gaming industry since 2007, though she's been a gamer since the eighties. She proudly wore her Spain jersey when they won the 2010 World Cup!
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