Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn (3DS) Review

SuperPhillip Central's next review takes us back to one of Kirby's past adventures, but this time it's on the Nintendo 3DS as one of the system's final major releases. It's Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn, and SuperPhillip Central has an in-depth review for you.

A game so fun that you'll end up in stitches

2010 saw the release of the original Kirby's Epic Yarn, a game that weaved its charm through each and every one of its threads. While the game was an excellent one, there was a single issue that many more experienced players took issue with--you simply couldn't die. Instead, when Kirby took damage or fell into a bottomless pit, he'd lose beads that would serve as currency for the game--as well as act as the means to earn medals depending on how many beads were collected in a particular level.

It's nine years later and the big home console version of Kirby's Epic Yarn has shrunk down to the small screen--the Nintendo 3DS's small screen, to be exact--with Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn. Taking to heart the complaints that many had with the game's difficulty, a brand-new Devilish Mode has been added. In this optional mode, Kirby is routinely pursued by a flying devil creature who, depending on the level, attempts to attack Kirby in several ways. Whether it's with a thrust of its tail, dropping spiked balls from the air, or drilling across the screen, the devil wishes to take out our pink protagonist. While this pesky creature can be defeated, it's only temporary before it returns to cause more havoc in Kirby's adventure.

"Heeeeeeeere's Johnny!"
In Devilish Mode, Kirby gets five shards of health. For every time the devil successfully damages Kirby, or if Kirby takes damage from standard enemies, hazards, or pits, he loses a shard. Lose all five shards, and you fail the level. Most players will find that finishing a level with at least one shard is still a cakewalk, but proficient players and completionists in general will want to try to hold on to full health when they reach the goal. 

You see, for every five shards of health you collect of the 250 total across the game's levels, you earn a piece of exclusive furniture for Kirby's Pad--a room where you can place furniture and customize its overall appearance. It further goes to getting 100% completion on your save file, which for some will probably be the stronger incentive. 

Be it Waddle Dees or fire-breathing dragons, no foe will put an end to Kirby's appetite for adventure.
Devilish Mode isn't the only new addition to the 3DS version of Kirby's Epic Yarn, as new copy-like abilities have been added. These power-ups found in levels give Kirby various abilities such as a sword to slice through enemies like a pair of scissors through cloth, the power to throw explosive bombs, and the power to roll up balls of yarns out of thin air. 

The inclusion of abilities such as this ball-conjuring one make for an easier go of things.
Ironically, in having these new abilities, Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn is somewhat easier than its Wii counterpart, which is the total opposite of what the developers probably intended. The reason for this is that many of the puzzles within the game can simply be solved through sheer brute force rather than through smart planning and thinking. This is exemplified most apparently in the abundance of solid orange blocks that Kirby comes across in his journey. Generally, these are destroyed by grabbing an enemy with Kirby's lasso and throwing the foe into the block or through environmental means. With the newfound abilities added to this 3DS version of Kirby's Epic Yarn, these become mindless as you can simply break the blocks with them with no puzzle solving skills whatsoever.

Finally, two side games have been included as new additions to Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn, one starring Meta Knight and the other starring King Dedede. Meta Knight's is an auto-scrolling flight-based action game where the goal is to defeat as many enemies as possible while collecting beads and avoiding attacks. King Dedede's mode is essentially a runner-type game with a similar goal of collecting beads while evading hazards. Both consist of four levels each, and while that's on the short side, these encourage multiple runs to achieve that elusive "S" rank for each and every level. Of the two, I had more fun with King Dedede Gogogo, as the levels there didn't outwear their welcome unlike Meta Knight's levels.

Just as the band Rush sang, "Fly by knight."
Kirby's Epic Yarn is as charming and delightful as ever with its transition from the big screen to the small screen. The yarn and fabric aesthetic goes a long way in both presentation and in gameplay as well. For instance, when Kirby dashes, the yarn making up his body unravels into a car, and when he floats slowly down to the ground upon a jump, his body turns into a parachute. That isn't even speaking of the adorable objects Kirby can transform into, such as a tank, a train, a U.F.O., and even a shoot-em-up-like spaceship. 

Turning into a car when Kirby runs? That's like this level--sweet!
Levels are lovingly crafted and show off developer Good Feel's creative designs. The aesthetic on display here shows up in the level and boss design as well, whether Kirby's pulling a shower curtain open to reveal a hidden item or unraveling a boss's head to reveal its weak point. Collectibles in the form of treasures and beads are smartly placed, some being deviously located, either in the challenge of finding them or reaching them. 

Kirby might not have a license for this tank, but he does have a license for fun,
which Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn delivers in spades.
Now, it's hard to say if Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn is the definitive edition of the game or if the Wii original is still at the top of the bead-filled mountain. It really depends on what you value more--do you like a higher resolution and co-op play? Then, go for the Wii original. Do you prefer more content and a challenging new Devilish Mode (while making note that the base adventure is easier than ever)? Then, check out this 3DS port. As someone who adores portable play and loves the majority of new features added to this 3DS version, Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn gives enough extra to not make for a threadbare minimum port.

[SPC Says: B]

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