Friday, October 25, 2019

Super Kirby Clash (NSW) Review

Allow SuperPhillip Central to take you into your weekend with a free-to-start game that launched last month on the Nintendo Switch. Without further ado, let's team up and take on Super Kirby Clash together with SPC's review!

A Gem Apple a day keeps the Kirbys at play.

Team Kirby Clash Deluxe was a free-to-start game on the Nintendo 3DS that pit a team of four Kirbys against various large-scale enemies and bosses from the Kirby franchise. Super Kirby Clash is essentially a revamped version of the 3DS game with higher definition graphics, a lower frame-rate, and new battles thrown in. What it lacks in complexity, Super Kirby Clash more than makes up for in a solid boss battler with some addicting hooks.

The battles in Super Kirby Clash have you pairing up with three other Kirbys in Story Quests, which are offline, solo affairs where you're teamed up with three AI Kirbys--and Party Quests, which are played either online with three other random players, or offline with up to three other local players. The latter type of quests rewards more experience points, which in turn, levels up Kirby to be stronger in battle. Story and Party Quests not only have different orders of bosses you face, but they also have different Heroic Missions to complete, making both types of quests worth playing, as completing various Heroic Missions earns Gem Apples.

If you're looking for complex and deep battles, you won't find them in Super Kirby Clash,
but for me, that accessibility made for part of the game's charm and appeal.
Gem Apples are the premium currency of Super Kirby Clash. These are required to enter new battles for the first time in the game's Story Quests. Once they've been spent on a battle, that battle is available for play without ever needing to spend a Gem Apple again on it. In this sense, Gem Apples are the keys that open the locks to battles. However, even after unlocking a battle, you need to have enough Vigor, which is the game's implementation of a stamina system, to attempt it. If you don't have the necessary Vigor, you must either spend Gem Apples to recharge your gauge, or simply wait for a little while until the gauge restores itself.

This hub is where the quest board, Gem Apple tree, adventurer bell, and shoppe are located.
These Gem Apples are also used to purchase items and equipment in Super Kirby Clash's shoppe. As you progress through the game and beat various bosses, reach new levels, and complete Heroic Missions, you gain the ability to purchase higher level weapons and armor. These cost Gem Apples to buy, as well as Fire, Water, and Light Fragments, which are collected from completing quests. The more powerful the weapon and armor, the more Gem Apples and Fragments you'll need to fork over. Super Kirby Clash introduces even stronger weapons and armor than what were found in Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, and these can be enhanced to a greater level.

Ooh. Bad look, Kirby. You're wearing white after Labor Day.
There are four roles in battle that your Kirby can take on, and these can be switched between before and after battles at your leisure. The Swordsman is the most balanced of the four roles, able to slice, dice, and carve up enemies, as well as summon an aura-like shield that can protect nearby players. Meanwhile, the Hammer has the most powerful offense in the game, but this role is also incredibly slow and charges attacks even more slowly. Next, the Mage has the power to blast a time beam at foes which can temporarily stop time, allowing your team to deliver damage while the boss is frozen solid. Finally, the Healer has a considerably smaller range of attack, but is a big time help for healing teammates with its potion when the need calls.

What kind of sorcery is this? The Electric Dragon is frozen solid by the power of the Mage!
Now, while I found it necessary to have a team possessing one of each role, it became apparent that getting Platinum Medals on quests relied on having at least two Mages to help stop enemies in their tracks, thus stopping the clock in the process. That way, we could whittle a foe's health down while clearing a quest quickly enough for the medal requirements.

Battles themselves in Super Kirby Clash are rather basic affairs where each role has a simple move set, all revolving around pressing the attack button and an analog stick direction to perform a different offensive move. Some moves can be charged by holding the attack button down to deal more damage, pending you're able to make contact with the enemy. Other moves are dealt by running towards the enemy and pressing the attack button. It's easy to learn and has the level of accessibility one would expect from a Kirby game.

Of course, bosses and foes don't just sit there and take damage from you. They're always on the move, engaging in their own offensive moves, and making battles considerably challenging with their unique move sets, attack patterns, and abilities. If a member of your team's health bar depletes, they faint in battle, able to picked up by another teammate. However, the more you revive in a battle, then longer the process takes. If all players perish in battle or if time runs out on you, it's game over, and you'll need to either start the quest anew or pay a Gem Apple fee to continue.

When you've knocked down a boss to its last half of health, it will become furious, using even more powerful and hard-to-avoid attacks. During this stage of battle, the boss eventually drops four Power Tablets that when collected allows your team of Kirbys to unleash a devastating comet attack to the enemy, usually dealing a powerful amount of damage in the process based on player button press timing.

Battles conclude with your team's performance being rewarded with a medal of some type: from bronze up to platinum. This is also where the Heroic Missions come in. Each battle in both Story and Party Quests have a range of Heroic Missions to tackle, and these have different goals such as clearing the battle in a certain amount of time, beating the battle as a specific role, not taking damage and earning a certain medal, among other challenges. Gem Apples are usually the rewards for completing these, so to make any kind of progress in the game, it's somewhat of a good idea to try to complete them. That said, there are also Heroic Missions for non-battle-related accomplishments, such as buying gear from the shoppe, collecting a given amount of Fragments or Gem Apples, or calling in for some help from other players' characters via the hub world bell.

It wouldn't be a Kirby game without the opportunity to beat Whispy Woods down to a pulp.
Despite Super Kirby Clash being a free-to-start game, it doesn't fall into the trap of being obnoxious with its wish for its players to spend money. In fact, you can easily play through the majority of the game's content without dropping a single dime on it. By paying out of pocket, you're merely expediting the process of clearing quests, walloping bosses, earning more Gem Apples, completing more Heroic Missions, leveling up, getting better gear, and so forth. A patient player, especially one with an online connection or other local players to enjoy the game with, can get through Super Kirby Clash as cheaply and as cost-efficiently as they desire. Thus, it's pretty darn cool that even with its monetization practices, they're completely avoidable and you can still enjoy the game without them.

Team up with three other players offline or take the battles online with some spotty Wi-Fi connections!
Super Kirby Clash isn't the Kirby series' most innovative or entertaining experimental spin-off, but it does offer a wealth of gameplay without the need to spend money--depending on your level of patience, of course. It lacks complexity, which may turn off a good portion of potential players, but for a game that one can pick up and play and then put down after an enjoyable bite-sized session, Super Kirby Clash is a winner. Besides, what do you have to lose but a little time--it's a free game to try out anyway!

[SPC Says: B]

No comments: