Kirby Mass Attack Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Gameplay, Presentation, Unlockables and content, Difficulty
Bad: Single player only, Story
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
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Kirby, possibly Nintendo’s cutest character, returns to the DS in a new all touch screen adventure. Nintendo’s original pink ball of fluff is back in the nontraditional Kirby Mass Attack. Mass Attack takes players on an adventure featuring up to ten mini Kirby’s. These Kirby’s do not have copy abilities, but can dispatch enemies in their own way.

Let’s move on to discuss what is HOT and what is NOT about Kirby Mass Attack.

HOT

Gameplay

Like Epic Yarn and Canvas Curse, Mass Attack does not employ Kirby’s traditional powers. Instead, players guide up to ten Kirby’s with the touch screen. Controlling any number of Kirby’s with the stylus is very smooth and feels natural. The Kirby’s can get from place to place by walking, running, jumping, or being carried on your magical stylus rope. Your Kirby’s will automatically start attacking any enemy they come in contact with. Enemies can shake off some of your pink puffs, but the more numerous your group, the more powerful their attacks. With Kirby Mass Attack, HAL Laboratory presents players with one of the best touch screen only experiences within the DS’s vast library of software.

Players start with only 1 Kirby and earn Kirbys by filling a meter to 100. The meter is filled when the Kirby eats fruit. Each Kirby can withstand two hits. One hit turns him blue and the second turns him into a ghost. Luckily for players, a ghost Kirby can be caught and returned to life as a blue Kirby. Blue Kirby’s can be healed to pink again at healing stations found in each level. The gameplay is simple, easy to learn and strangely addictive. Controlling ten Kirbys seems like a difficult task at first, but the controls are so responsive that controlling ten is only slightly different from controlling one.

At the end of each level, a player is graded on performance: Gold medal, Silver medal, Bronze medal, or no reward. Gold medals require perfection: No Kirby’s can be hit. Silver medals are awarded for no Kirbys knocked out (put in ghost mode). Bronze medals are awarded for no Kirbys lost. If one or more of your Kirbys is knocked out and resurrected from ghost, then you will get a Bronze medal. To receive no medal upon completing a stage, you must lose a Kirby or use a shortcut. In addition, the lollipop power up from previous games returns, but it has been given different properties. The lollipop is now “jumbo” and makes your entire group large and invincible. Other items you can pick up include Kirby medals and rainbow medals which unlock additional content.

Presentation

If you have played any of the previous Kirby games for the DS, you know what to expect. More of the same, however, is not necessarily a bad thing. Mass Attack employs the same extremely cute aesthetic as Squeak Squad, Superstar Ultra, and Canvas Curse. Somehow, HAL Laboratory has managed to make each and every character cute, including the “scary” bad guys.

The stages are lush with color and the music is bright and joyous. The entire package is capable of putting smiles on the faces of children and adults alike. The first time I saw my army of mini puff balls jump onto a giant gorilla, punch him repeatedly in the face, and ultimately slam it into the ground, I grinned like a school boy. If that mental image doesn’t make you smile, just imagine ten mini Kirbys. Now imagine those Kirbys ran into a giant lollipop and suddenly there are ten giant Kirbys running through stone barricades, flattening enemies and wreaking havoc. This game is like a slice of happiness in video game form.

Unlockables and content

There are two lists of unlockables in Kirby Mass Attack. The first is the Checklist: A compilation of achievement- or trophy-like challenges which reveal themselves as you complete them. The second is a list titled “Extras.” Collecting the medals spread throughout the worlds gives players access to mini games and other features on the Extras menu. Some of the mini games are very simple and won’t hold your attention very long; however, the shooting game (Strato Patrol EOS) and the mini RPG (Kirby Quest) will probably keep you interested longer than whack-a-mole (Field Frenzy), pinball (Kirby Brawlball), and the quick time event race course (Dash Course). In addition to regular medals, there is one rainbow medal in each level. If you collect all of them, you will unlock the fifth (secret) world!

Between the main game, gold medals, mini games, the secret world, and checklist challenges, there is enough to keep gamers playing for quite a few hours. If you complete all of this quickly, there’s always the option of playing through this charming game a second time!

Difficulty

The game starts out very easily; however, difficulty does ramp up as the game continues. Being crushed sends a Kirby directly into ghost mode and many crushing traps can actually trap your entire army of Kirby’s. Though there are difficult sections, the game is never frustrating. To add to the challenge, gamers can challenge themselves to get gold medal/no damage runs of each stage.

NOT

Single player only

This game is single player only. One of my favorite parts from Super Star Deluxe and Super Star Ultra was the cooperative feature available. Even Kirby Squeak Squad at least had multiplayer mini games. Kirby Mass Attack is a game for only one player in any mode. The stylus control would not lend itself very well to two players, but the mini games could have at least featured some 2-4 player fun.

Story

Kirby games never have a powerful, moving or revolutionary story. They are cute and simple, and that’s just the way Kirby is. Kirby’s motivation throughout the game is to save the world from the big bad guy and to reunite into one Kirby. Though it is lacking character development and an intriguing plot, it is not lacking in charm.

VERDICT

Editor's Choice AwardKirby Mass Attack has some of the best touch screen controls around, cute visuals, a focus on simple fun, and gives players a genuine feeling of happiness while playing. Mass Attack is a wonderfully charming break from the current climate of M rated games and any Kirby fan or platformer fan should at least give this game a try.

Kirby Mass Attack Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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