E3 2011 Performance Review: Kirby Wii delights, but also worries \:0

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THE SWORD OF WADDLE DOO'S BANE, THE ULTRA SWORD

Kirby, Nintendo’s cute ball of murderous pink fluff, returns in a more traditional take than last year’s Epic Yarn. Less yarn, more difficulty and more friends find their way into Kirby Wii, a fun four-player action platformer that hews closer to Kirby Superstar and New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

Though I only played with two other people for the demo, players can select Kirby, King DeDeDe, Metaknight and/or Waddle Dee. I played as Kirby, who seemingly has an advantage over the other players, since the little fella can vacuum up baddies and absorb their powers, adding more options to his arsenal, which the other fellows are stuck with their innate abilities (MetaKnight always has a sword). He also had a more important role to play as he was the sole character who could suck up obstacles and shoot them out of the way, and even summon a giant sword to chop away obstacles that got in all of our way at several spots in the demo level. Since Kirby’s the one hoisting all the weight, sucking down enemies and things and clearing paths, does that make the other characters — and players — feel inadequate? I felt kind of bad for my human partners, who just sort of flailed about as I did most of the “work.”

Especially so during the boss fight, where I was only one granted a valuable bomb ability. I chucked bombs at the boss, who floated mid-air out of reach of everyone else, and everyone else croaked. I was the only left to claim victory. And yes, the adorable Kirby victory dance is back, as are hitching rides on friends’ backs and “kissing” each other to share recently-grabbed health items, just like in Kirby Superstar. It feels so much like the classic SNES title, it’s a wonder they didn’t just call it Kirby Superstar 2.

So, yes, a good time was had (finally!), but I do worry that players who don’t pick Kirby might get left out of a lot of the fun.

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