Friday, July 28, 2017

Kirby's Blowout Blast (3DS) Review

It's Kirby's 25th anniversary this year, and Nintendo has been celebrating with a duo of Nintendo 3DS eShop releases. The first that we'll cover is Kirby's Blowout Blast, a score attack game featuring everyone's favorite pink puffball. How did it shape up overall? Here's SuperPhillip Central's review to find out!

Move, jump, suck, shoot, repeat.

Packaged with last year's Kirby: Planet Robobot were two side games included in the package. One of these was Kirby's 3D Rumble, and like all the other side games found in Kirby's Nintendo 3DS retail releases, a larger version of Rumble is now available as a separate Nintendo eShop download in expanded form, Kirby's Blowout Blast. 

Kirby's 3D Rumble amassed arena levels together where the goal was to suck up foes and launch them into others to earn chains in order to score the most points. The latter still remains for Kirby's Blowout Blast, but now there are levels to venture through from point to point. These are extremely linear and limited in where you can go, offering quite little in the way of exploration, but they do offer better variety than the arenas found in 3D Rumble. That said, there are multiple occasions in Blowout Blast's levels that amount to closed off arenas where all enemies must be subdued before Kirby can move on. These feature enemy placements that are obvious in where the maximum potential for points are most of the time.

Unlike many other Kirby games, don't feel bad for these Waddle Dee;
they are of the antagonistic, attacking variety this time around.
Levels are limited in scope, and so is Kirby's repertoire this time around, hearkening back to Kirby's very first adventure in Kirby's Dream Land, where all the pink puffball could do was float in the air, inhale enemies, and spit them out. This arsenal of moves is all Kirby needs in Blowout Blast, as the goal is to inhale foes and spit them into other enemies to score points. Inhaling two or more enemies at once not only earns more points depending on how many foes are sucked up, but spitting them out into other groups of baddies causes a chain of points to rack up for the player. It's something that is visually appealing, yes, but it also serves as the primary incentive to pursue playing the game, long after the credits reveal themselves.

Aiming is easy, as you can simply hold the button and let go once you're satisfied with where to shoot.
In order to unlock the brunt of Kirby's Blowout Blast's levels and content, you'll need to smartly navigate levels, figuring out the best ways to score the most points. Plenty of enemy and inhaling opportunities present them, and knowing which groups of foes to suck up and which ones to shoot one of Kirby's shots into makes all of the difference in racking up a sensational score. 

At the end of a given level, your score is tallied up, and you're given a trophy of bronze, silver, gold, or platinum material to denote how well you did. Now, you can merely run through the five worlds of 4-5 levels each and see the game's end within the two hours maximum it takes. However, by acquiring a gold trophy or better in all of a given world's levels, you unlock an EX version of that world. These levels are more challenging versions of the ones you've faced, featuring new obstacles and enemy placements. If you're able to get a gold or platinum trophy in every level of the game, you unlock a special final level, which is an ultra-challenging (at least for Kirby's Blowout Blast standards) endurance run through five stages with limited health recovery options. 

Looks like a convenient arrangement of foes to score big on and blast, Kirby!
Kirby's Blowout Blast features a lot of touches and nods to Kirby's Dream Land, such as familiar tunes, environments, and even boss battles. It was really cool as a Kirby fan to see old favorites like Lololo and Lalala, Kracko, and of course, King Dedede himself to take on in 3D arenas. Every thing looks splendid with the 3D slider turned all the way up, and it helps in distinguishing how far away enemies are, allowing for better accuracy in unleashing Kirby's spitball shots.

Jeez, King Dedede. Would a breath mint have seriously hurt you?
Like many games from Nintendo's owned studios in recent years, Kirby's Blowout Blast is compatible with amiibo, specifically the Kirby line and the Kirby, Metaknight, and King Dedede amiibo of the Super Smash Bros. line. These offer new music for Blowout Blast's hub as well as shiny statues to fill said hub. The use of amiibo here is harmless, not locking significant content behind a paywall for players, but for those that use amiibo, they receive a nice bonus here.

At first, I was worried that Kirby's Blowout Blast would be quick to speed through, especially for a $7 game. However, I received more than my money's worth thanks to the joy of replaying levels to aim for platinum trophies. What was a breezy game to complete became quite the challenge, particularly in the EX worlds, where one mistake easily makes the difference between a platinum trophy and a gold. If you find yourself put off by the light challenge of Kirby's Blowout Blast at first, don't shrug off the game thinking that's how the entire game will turn out. Though, if your only goal is to beat the campaign, then you will be missing a lot of what Blowout Blast has to offer.

Kirby's Blowout Blast is by no stretch of the imagination trying to be a full priced game. Those looking for a full fledged adventure should look towards Triple Deluxe or Planet Robobot for their Kirby fix. Those who desire a simpler journey featuring the pink puffball as well as those who wish to chase high scores and earn gold and platinum trophies for their efforts will find Kirby's Blowout Blast to, well, be a blast.

[SPC Says: B-]

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