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Chris Kavan's Video Game Reviews (451)

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God of War 4/5
Doom (2016) 3.5/5
Armada 3.5/5
Detroit: Become Human 4/5
Destiny 2 4/5
Horizon: Zero Dawn 4.5/5
Oxenfree 4/5
Murdered: Soul Suspect 3/5
Kirby Star Allies 3/5
Celeste 4.5/5
Dark Quest 2 3/5
Just Cause 3 3.5/5
Guacamelee! 2 4/5
The Incredible Adventur... 4/5
Rise of the Tomb Raider 4/5
Dead Rising 3 4/5
Layers of Fear 3.5/5
Prey 3/5
Zero-K 2/5
Tales from the Borderla... 4/5
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 4.5/5
Hammerwatch 3/5
AereA 1/5
Divinity: Original Sin 4.5/5
The Yawhg 4/5

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Kirby Star Allies   Nintendo Switch 

Kirby's Epic Snore    3/5 stars

As it has been ages since I played a Kirby game outright - I am not versed in how the game have evolved - or lack thereof - since its inception. In fact, the most exposure I've had to the series over the better part of a decade or so is playing as Kirby in the Smash series. That being said, as our crew is always hard-up for local multiplayer games, we transported a Switch to our house, hooked it up and hoped for the best. Sadly, while this version of Kirby looks very bright and shiny, the gameplay is best reserved for families of younger children as the difficulty and fun factor falls somewhere between head trauma victim and "fun" grandparent. That is to say, it's incredibly easy, linear and pretty damn boring all told.

Presentation: The best part of this Kirby game is how it looks. Vibrant colors make this a very nice game to look at. Both characters and levels pop, the music is catchy, the text is free of annoying grammar mistakes - overall, the game looks great. While this title may no differentiate itself from previous Kirby games, I'm not exactly an aficionado of said games, thus the look very much matched the game.

The game is a 2.5d game - mix of 2D platforming with 3D elements. It throws in some very basic puzzles, some very static abilities (fire, ice, electricity and uh - food creation), very basic bosses and nothing much else spectacular. The Switch controls are a bit hard to get used to (use the controller if at all possible for this on) as the JoyCons are tiny, even in dainty hands. But they would be great for the kids - who this title should be clearly aimed at.

Story: A dark heart streaks through the sky - pieces of it fall on Kirby's land and corrupts those who touch it with negative emotions. Thus our pink, rotund hero sets off on a journey, with some help from friends along the way, to set things right and send all those negative emotions packing. It's about as straight-forward as things get. The game lets you choose from a variety of characters to either inherit their powers as Kirby or join you as a friend (up to three others). The game usually makes enemies available whose power will help in that certain level (fire, ice, water, electric, cutting, etc) - and you can imbue friends with said power (fire sword, electric hammer - you get the idea) as well. There are bosses to fight, with most being completely forgettable other than the crazy final boss, who felt like it came out of a completely different game.

The game attempts to give you reason to return, unlocking mini-games and offering collectible puzzle pieces and secret stages to unlock. But even with all this, and some post-game content, you can easily finish this in maybe a dozen hours, unless you really like torturing yourself with playing the same boring levels over and over again in order to track down extra pieces.

Gameplay: Kirby is Kirby - the pink blob inhales enemies, gets their power and carries on. The Star Allies refers to the three other friends that can tag along - either as AI controlled bots or local co-op friends. At certain points you must use allies to open doors or use specific abilities (like a rolling or flying or creating a bridge) as well as utilizing abilities to solve basic puzzles (lighting a fuse with fire and such). Dying is almost impossible in this game and you have so many lives to build up even the very occasional death won't set you back.

Level design is also pretty basic, with little standing out in memory. Each level has a special puzzle piece to find, some contain access to secret levels, but none are that hard to find, even with just cursory exploration involved. This a very family-friendly game, and I think those with younger children will enjoy it, but for a group of adults, it's about as boring as it gets.

Replayability: About the only reason to play any of this game over again is to collect puzzle pieces which unlock various scenes from past Kirby adventures. Still, that isn't exactly a great incentive to go though the boring, rote levels, no matter how pretty it looks.

Overall: Nintendo has done a good job, overall, with first-party titles on the Switch. Sadly, I can't include Kirby Star Allies among them.

Presentation: 4/5
Story: 3/5
Gameplay: 3/5
Replayability: 2/5
Overall (not an average): 3/5

 

 


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