Kirby’s Epic Yarn: Jeremy’s impressions

by: Jeremy -
More On: Kirby's Epic Yarn Experience Nintendo Tour
Kirby’s Epic Yarn was probably the title that I was looking forward to the most as I was preparing for the Experience Nintendo Tour. The title, which was revealed back at E3 2010, marks Kirby’s first console platformer in a decade, since 2000’s Kirby 64.

If you want to read the rest of my thoughts on Kirby’s Epic Yarn, you can find them after the jump.

<As I have stated previously, please excuse the “scatterbrained” style of these impressions as I am trying to relay the countless thoughts that ran through my head during a brief gameplay session with the game.>

First off, let me just say that I find it hard to describe just how beautiful of a game Kirby is on the Wii. The graphical style of the game, thanks to the developers over at HAL Labs and Good-Feel, is truly something to behold. I never thought that we would be including a Nintendo Wii game in the list of titles contending for best graphics in the year 2010, but we may just be doing that with Kirby’s Epic Yarn. As I am sure that you have seen in the many videos and images that have been released, everything in the game is based on the yarn / string art style. Every aspect of the game reflects this graphical presentation: characters, enemies, backgrounds, you name it. Everything in the game looks as if it was stitched together and made of cloth. Even the ground has a subtle “give” to it when characters walk, like when you are stepping on a bed or mattress. Add in this incredible style with amazingly smooth animations and you have something that needs to be seen to be believed, especially on the Wii.

The build of the game that we played was the same one that was demoed at E3 2010. The game is played using the Wiimote on its side, like a classic NES controller. You won’t have to worry about waggle controls that have been shoe-horned into the experience. Kirby’s Epic Yarn plays like a tried and true Nintendo platformer in every way. The game is all about collecting items, be it beads or flowers, and defeating enemies. Most of the enemies that you will face will be “pulled apart” by their strings literally. Again, this looks really great in motion and really adds to the graphical effect of the game.

This time around, Kirby, or Fluff (second player, new character)won’t be relying on the consumption (eating) of enemies and objects though, everything relies on your yarn whip. Kirby (and pals) still proves that he is the master of transformation though as you will be turning yourself into a parachute, rocket ships, cars… even a giant mech… in order to make it through the stages. All of these tactics will be required in order to traverse through the various platformer levels in the game.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn includes not only a single player adventure, but also cooperative multiplayer gameplay. A second player, when involved, takes control of Kirby’s new friend Fluff and has all of the same abilities and weapons as Kirby himself. The two players can work together to reach areas of the level that they may not be able to reach on their own by grabbing hold of one another and throwing their partner to the desired destination. The same tactics can be incorporated in attacking enemies as players can launch one another towards the bad guys in order to inflict damage. As I mentioned earlier, there is even a portion of the level that we played where the two characters, Kirby and Fluff, will join together to form a giant mech and assault the enemies. During this process, one character controlled the arms and attacks of the machine while the other controlled the movement through the stage. The two players have to work together, especially in areas like this, in order to complete / reach their goals.

In the short period of time that we had with the game, it didn’t seem like it was possible for you to “die”, rather the stages seemed more like a collection of puzzled based platforming levels. Players needed to worry more about solving the puzzles in the environment in order to open up their paths than they did with fending off enemies and bad guys.

I would have loved to have spent plenty of more time with Kirby’s Epic Yarn, but the build present at the event was just 2 levels. I feel that this game could potentially be Nintendo’s sleeper hit of the season and be a major powerhouse in terms of sales on the platform. The appeal of the game should stretch across the Nintendo fanbase, from young to old and casual to hardcore. Kirby’s Epic Yarn launches on October 17, 2010 in the US.

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