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Kirby: Mass Attack – A Hidden Gem Among E3 Giants

Posted on June 8, 2011 by (@NE_Austin) in DS, Features

I was waiting in line to try out Nintendo’s new Skyward Sword demo when one of the gazillion representatives who seemed almost entirely uninterested in video games (I give them credit for pretending, though) walked up to me with a DSi XL and a game that I had heard very few things about. It was Kirby: Mass Attack, the incredibly interesting and intriguing side-scrolling RTS made for the old school DS that I had avoided playing like the plague for two reasons:

1) I’ve never really enjoyed Kirby games. They aren’t terrible, but I never found them to be my cup of tea. Like Call of Duty. Or that lady down the street who keeps trying to take me out to dinner.

No thanks, but no thanks.

2) The idea of a sidescroller controlled entirely with the touch screen just seemed goofy to me, and when there was Zelda to be played, I wanted nothing to do with it.

Lo and behold this rep would walk up to me, tethered to her DSi XL as if it was some sort of punishment, while I was waiting in line for Skyward Sword, and I figured “What the hell, I need to pass the time anyway!” and grabbed the DS from her to give the game a shot.

Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

The game was entirely in Japanese, which made it slightly difficult* to understand the on screen instructions, such as when a large tree began blowing me away and the game was attempting to tell me what to do. This was frustrating at first, but if there’s one thing that has been done right with Kirby: Mass Attack, it’s making things intuitive. This is due in part to the choice to have the game control entirely with the touch screen. Hold down an area to move, grab and slide to “throw” your Kirbys at enemies, etc etc. I figured all the controls out within a few moments, and was soon streamlining my way through enemies, levels, trees (yea, seriously, a ton of trees died because of me), and over platforms with ease.

Oh, but the trees.

If there was one enemy that took up about 80% of my frantic killing during my time with Kirby: Mass Attack, it was trees. Plain ol’ harmless trees. And most of them were even smiling. Yet still, I had no choice but to destroy them mercilessly, for they were in my way. I probably cut down more trees in those 10 minutes than the population of America has in the last 10 years.

Now we know why Nintendo got such a bad rating from Green Peace.

Aside from all that, though, there was something incredibly cool about the idea behind K: MA. It was sort of like a cross between traditional Kirby games and something like Pikmin or Little King’s Story, with you controlling the action from above and the characters completing things as best as they could. The only gripe I really have is that levels were ever so slightly uninspired, with pretty generic platforming and “puzzles” topping it off. Ultimately, it works because of the interesting controls and concept, but it could use a little extra development time to create some depth to the level design.


Image References: Here, and here.

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