I wasn’t sure I wanted to write this article, but being an avid Kirby fan, I felt I was compelled to.
The new Wii U title, Kirby & The Rainbow Curse, begins in a very beautiful setting. The bubbly animation has been replaced with claymation style art. The colors are extremely bright, vivid, and finally presented in 1080p, making this game truly a picture of beauty. The songs and sounds blend in with everything you’d expect from a classic Kirby game. The intro menu is decorated adorably and everything feels in place.
Confusing cutscene begins as soon as you start the game. This involves a magical rainbow fairy, Elline, stumbling into Kirby’s homeland of Dream Land. She appears to be running from an angry paintbrush, Claymia, who in rage of losing her, sucks all the color from Dream Land, freezing everyone and everything in its place; this includes Kirby and his apple. After Claymia leaves, Elline gives Kirby his color back, unfreezing him from an infinite eternity of sitting. This must have been very difficult for him though, because he has apparently become incapable of using his hands and feet. He he really would have been just as useful remaining frozen.
This is when you take control of Elline, the magic fairy that is now a paintbrush capable of creating roll-ways for Kirby to uselessly move forward on (sounds familiar right?!?). Kirby cannot walk, he cannot use his arms, he is incapable of swallowing any enemies and/or using their strengths. His job could be done by a pinball, a well-rounded stone, or any other spherical object. The purpose of this game is to direct Kirby with the stylus, creating paths for him to roll on while collecting stars and other goodies.
While this makes excellent use of the Wii U Gamepad, it becomes easily boring after a few hours and simultaneously frustrating because you are staring down at a pad rather than using any of your TV; if you are exhibiting this game solo, you may as well just leave that baby off and save some money on your power bill. The game can also be quite difficult at times, but I’d rather see games pushing the player as opposed to holding their hand throughout gameplay.
This new game makes a great addition to the Wii U game library, however, I do not feel it does the same with the Kirby collection. Perhaps I am too nostalgic to give this the most fair review, but I remember falling in love with Kirby Super Star (http://kirby.wikia.com/wiki/Kirby_Super_Star), owning that game with my little brother when we were much younger. Now THAT was an awesome Kirby title!…I smell a retro review coming on now. Back to my point though, this installment is a fun use of the gamepad and truly does have a beauty about its vibrant color claymation scheme that draws anyone in, but the lack of arm/leg use with no explanation is not only confusing, but annoying. Even Canvas Curse (http://kirby.wikia.com/wiki/Kirby:_Canvas_Curse) included copy abilities, while Rainbow Curse only allows Kirby to transform into vehicles.
This game was received mostly well by critics and fans alike, ranging from 7-9/10 by big name review companies; user opinions are similar, around 4/5. Overall, the game had massive potential and was the latest Kirby title released in over five years. The game was good, but it was lacking. I felt as though it would have been a better installment on the 3DS or a smartphone, which Nintendo recently announced they might be dabbling in. I feel the last few Kirby games have been transforming into way too craft-sy things, and I extremely dislike the lack of copy abilities. Bring back the old Kirby and leave the fun arts-and-crafts-style-gaming to the portable gamers.