Monday, June 8, 2009

Kirby Squeak Squad (DS) Review

The Legendary Starfy makes its North American debut today at retailers everywhere. When I first saw Starfy, I got an immediate Kirby vibe from the game. Thus, why not mark Starfy's premiere with a Kirby game?

The pink puffer returns.

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That lovable pink powderpuff is back onto handhelds with his latest adventure, Kirby Squeak Squad for the Nintendo DS. Squeak Squad returns to conventional button and d-pad controls unlike its Canvas Curse follow-up which solely used the stylus. The stylus is used in this game but not as its main draw (forgive the pun). You use the stylus in game to use power-ups and items stored in Kirby's belly. They can be used by double tapping the bottom screen. Also, items and abilities can be combined to form helpful items and new abilities.

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Uh-oh. Looks like trouble.

The premise of the game is quite simple as all Kirby games have been. Kirby is one day sitting in the grass behind a delicious-looking piece of cake. Suddenly when he goes to consume it, a member of the Squeak Squad comes and takes it away from him. Now Kirby must enter through various locales such as grassy plains, rustic castles, and sandy beaches to get his prized possession back. Each level is filled with enemies that Kirby can consume to transform in order to counter any obstacle or enemy that he is presented with. Such abilities include: fire, fighter, bomb, ice, tornado, and UFO. Need to hit down a stake? Use the hammer ability to smash it down. Need to light a fuse? Suck up an enemy for the fire ability to ignite that sucker. Sometimes you will need to hold onto a certain ability for a later part of a level. The aforementioned belly system where Kirby can hold five items and/or abilities in his stomach helps out immensely at this juncture unlike previous Kirby titles where you needed to hold onto an ability that you didn't want in order to use it in a later part of a level.

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From grassy plains...

Speaking of levels, level design is pretty fine-crafted. Never did I question the developer's design decisions or find that a challenge or boss was unfair. The game is pretty easy to complete with only a rare instance where the game became out of the norm in challenge. A typical gamer could probably beat the game within six to eight hours truthfully. However treasure chests are strewn about levels encouraging replay value. Treasures unlock hidden content such as new colors for Kirby, artwork, and more. Bosses cap off each level ranging from ridiculously easy to frustrating all abound.

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...To the fiery depths of a volcano...

Overall, Kirby is certainly not revolutionary or does anything to impede on its typical formula, but for what it's worth Kirby Squeak Squad is a fun, albeit short adventure. Those looking for a large challenge will need to float elsewhere. Those wanting a cute platformer starring Nintendo's signature pink puffball will find a lot of enjoyment in this game.

[SuperPhillip Says: 7.0/10]

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