Kirby's Epic Yarn
Developer: Good Feel
Publisher: Nintendo of America
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Release Date: October 17, 2010
Kirby has returned for his latest platform game since the Nintendo 64. Kirby has taken on a new look in this adventure Nintendo Wii title and his abilities have changed from sucking in air to whipping a yarn leash. The scrapbook and quilt feel to the stages, coupled with the crafting elements, will give the player a different experience from other Kirby titles and other games.
The interface was made for simplicity. As Kirby gains jewels (which are sequins and other crafting embellishments), the meter at the top is a string that is being loaded with beads. The string gets beaded to reach various points of accomplishments, which are bronze, silver and gold embellishments. If Kirby takes a hit from an enemy, jewels will fall from Kirby, thus taking beads from the meter. This serves as Kirby's health meter, although Kirby does not die when all the beads are gone from the string.
The pause menu is also extremely simple and include the most important functions. The "Continue", "Start Over", "Controls" and "Quit" display on the left side of the screen. To the right, it will show what treasures are still hidden for Kirby to discover. There is also an inclusion of a photo album, players can take a snap shot of their screen to view for their enjoyment and to show off to others.
Kirby's voice will ring in the player's ears after playing the game. Although he does not say anything, the little noises he makes is just too adorable for words.
The music for Kirby's Epic Yarn is just magical. It enhances the experience that the game gives the player, some of which actually bares a strong resemblance to Vince Guaraldi. For those who are not familiar with Vince Guaraldi, he was the late pianist best known for composing the music for Peanuts cartoons, which featured Snoopy and Charlie Brown. The music selected compliments the game as it sets the mood for the stages, leaving the experience feeling complete.
The characters are cartoon-like art, with a twist. The development team, Good Feel, who is known for Wario Land: Shake It, turned Kirby into a piece of yarn. Kirby is on a mission to defeat the evil Yin-Yarn for turning everyone on Patch Land into yarn. The stages are enhanced with many crafting elements, from stitching and crocheting to scrapbooking. When Kirby pulls a string, that particular piece of material on the stage, pulls back to unveil a hidden area for Kirby to explore. Not to mention, Kirby can also go behind-the-scenes by finding his way under the top layer of the fabric of the stage, in which the path he takes puffs out. Kirby then resembles a cat underneath the covers of a bed.
The colors of the game are a variety of pastels that put the player in a mellow mood. Kirby can use his yarn leash to grab onto the embellishments on the stage. He can swing from buttons and also use his leash to peel off patches to discover hidden treasures and extra jewels and embellishments to raise his beaded health meter.
Not only are Kirby and his new friend, Prince Fluff, made of yarn, but also the enemies and the bosses. Although the stages feature a scrapbook-like appearance, some of the elements, including the water, smoke and fire are also yarn. There are also blocks, that Kirby must bash to get through, that are made of yarn, as well. When Kirby turns into various objects, say a car, the car is still yarn and the transformation that takes place, does so with ease and no hindrance in the graphics. When Kirby defeats a boss, that boss is turned into a strand of yarn that then stitches a new part of Patch Land together.
The gameplay incorporated simple mechanics. To use the yarn leash to either whip an enemy or latch onto something, the player simply presses the "2" button. To defeat an enemy, Kirby can just whip his leash at them to unravel them or, if the player holds down the "2" button, Kirby will also roll them up into a ball of yarn to throw at another enemy or to break blocks. To turn Kirby into a car to speed through an area, double tap the direction on the D-Pad in which Kirby is meant to travel in. Slamming to the ground is performed in the traditional way, jump with the "1" button and then press down on the D-Pad. Since the game is rated "E for Everyone" the simple mechanics make it easy for players of all ages to pick up and play.
To ensure that they kept changing it up, they changed Kirby up a bit in each land. Kirby can turn into a dolphin, a train, a space ship or even a giant robot to help defeat enemies and perform special tricks to reach the game's objective. Any crafter can certainly relate to the objects and work put into the game. The elements are so detailed that Good Feel must have a crafter among them, or worked with crafters to perfect the feel.
Kirby's Epic Yarn's only flaw is that, the game ends. The game was made where anyone can pick it up and play, the level design is simple yet ingenious. This allows for a younger player to be able to get through the stages, as well. This does not take away from the magical experience that the game gives the player. This just shows that the game was rated accurately. The player will receive either a bronze, silver or gold medal at the end of each stage, depending on how many jewels, beads, and such were accumulated. The player will want to go back in to get a gold on the stages and make sure that they collect all the patches and treasure chests that are available in each stage. The game can also be played by two players, giving the player more of a reason to keep playing the game. The co-op mode allows for special stunts that cannot be performed alone. If there are objects that cannot be reached by Kirby alone, take a friend and roll him into a yarn ball and throw him at the object to obtain it. Not only that, the player is given an apartment, in the game, that they can customize with various objects that they have found in the stages, such as a couch or a lamp.
Kirby's Epic Yarn gives us an entirely different Kirby game that is created from yarn and will take the player on an ingenious adventure through Patch Land, on their mission to defeat the evil Yin-Yarn. Kirby will be transformed into various objects to reach the objective of the stages. The music coupled with the graphics, complete the game's magical feel. While the game is not a challenge to experienced gamers, it will appeal to gamers of all ages and is game that everyone will definitely have to add to their gaming library.