Kirby's "Breakout" Role
Kirby is one of Nintendo's most flexible characters. He extends his services far beyond the field of the typical platformer and into such genres as racing (Kirby Air Ride), golf (Kirby's Dream Course), and yes, even arcade-like experiences (Kirby's Pinball Land). He even forgoes the traditional platformer archetype with games like Kirby Canvas Curse and Kirby Mass Attack. In 1996, the pink puffball returned to his adventures outside the platforming realm with Kirby's Block Ball, a Breakout/Arkanoid-inspired take on the franchise.
|The stage selection screen of Kirby's Block Ball|
|Arkanoid-- Kirby style.|
|Some blocks need more hits than others.|
Every fourth and fifth levels in each stage is a pre-boss and boss fight respectively. The pre-boss battle has you collect star blocks which will serve as a temporary safety net and cover the spikes in the following boss battle. The boss battles have Kirby beating on one of many familiar adversaries of Kirby's past. Some bosses just move around the arena, waiting for Kirby to smack them a dozen times or so until they are defeated, while others can grab Kirby and send him flying into danger's way. While the boss fights aren't generally particularly challenging, they do offer a nice change of pace and some well earned variety.
|Battle bosses big and small.|
|One of the four bonus games-- Up Cloud.|
Kirby's Block Ball is a heavily inspired take on Arkanoid (or Breakout if you're much older) with a kooky Kirby coating to make things seem more original than they are. Gunning for the high score of each stage will last players a while (and it's the only way to unlock Stage 11) and the game is perfect in short bursts. Managing four paddles at once in later levels might be too tasking for some players such as myself, but if you stick with it, you'll find yet another wonderful gameplay experiment featuring everyone's favorite pink blob Kirby.
[SuperPhillip Says: 7.75/10]