Kirby: Squeak Squad
Review by xcamel24
"Traditional Kirby is back."
Since the days of the Game Boy, Kirby has been around platforming on Nintendo's consoles. He isn't the biggest of Nintendo's franchises, while Pokemon, Mario, Zelda, and Metroid are arguably larger and bigger than Kirby, Kirby still has a place in the hearts of many gamers. And in Kirby Squeak Squad, those fans will be pleased.
So it isn't much of a story. Kirby is out one day, preparing to enjoy a snack of Strawberry Shortcake, when his shortcake is mysteriously grabbed by an unknown enemy. Kirby then sets off to find his shortcake, and finds out that the Squeak Squad has come to Pop star to steal their treasures, and now Kirby must right their wrongs. All the usual characters will come into play here, King Dedede makes an appearance, as well as the famed Meta-Knight, both for boss battles. Anyways, Kirby has never needed much of a story to go on an adventure, and such is the case here.
Game Play: 10/10
Ah the wonderful fun of Kirby. This game in terms of platforming is one of the most fun games I've played in quite a while (save for New Super Mario Bros.) Now this Kirby game does do a little something different from past 2-D Kirby games, it gives you the ability to store extra items and powers in your stomach (on the touch screen.) This turns out to simplify the gameplay a bit (much like the touch screen item did for New Super Mario Bros.) and make things easier. On the flip side, they don't recover Kirby's health after you complete a level, making these sometimes a necessity to have. But basically, you run, jump, swim, and float through levels just like you would in any other regular Kirby game. It is enjoyable and fun. Kirby can also gain the powers of enemies, a Kirby standard. While the moves aren't near as complex or interesting as they were in Kirby Superstar, they are fun to use even though some of the new powers really aren't that great.
While they look good and flow well, there is a downside to the graphics here. Most of the animations are recycled from the GBA games, in particular, Kirby and the Amazing Mirror. While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it doesn't break any new boundaries graphically either, so it is really neutral stance. While Kirby and the backgrounds and enemies look great, again it doesn't push the DS to its limits or do anything new or wonderful graphically.
OK, so Kirby is a happy themed game, and most of your music is VERY happy. There are a few new themes to encourage this. In terms of new songs, however, there are very little. Many are recycled from Kirby: Nightmare into Dreamland, and Kirby and the Amazing Mirror. Again, while recycled isn't a bad thing here (looks at the ATB in Final Fantasy) it really isn't anything new or ground breaking. It is quite pleasant, and all the tunes are very catchy, which keeps the sound at a pretty decent score. In terms of quality, it is quite good, until maybe you plug it into a sound system or speakers (yes, DS can do this with the right cables via the headphone jack) then it might sound a little rough. With headphones, however the game sounds great, and the stereo speaker sound is good too.
There are a lot of levels in Kirby Squeak Squad, and 8 worlds, but all in all it will probably take 5 or less hours to complete. However, collecting the 120 treasures is going to take some more time. And for each treasure you collect you can do more things, like Sound Test, or painting your Kirby a different color, and more. While the replay isn't perfect, you'll probably want to play the game again, and perhaps again, because it is loads of fun and the game play can be addictive.
Here is one problem with Kirby Squeak Squad, is the lack of Button Configurations, and the lack of difficulty through the first 1/2 of the game. Nintendo games on DS typically have had custom controls, and for good reason. There are some gamers who like SNES based configurations better, using the 4 face buttons, while other newer gamers like the 2 front buttons and 2 top buttons primarily. Unfortunately, anyone who would prefer the SNES controls will be up a creek without a paddle. This game has the A and Y buttons set to jump, and the B button to inhale/attack, which is like a GBA game. While most people can probably accustom to this, it isn't normal at first when games like New Super Mario Bros., Yoshi's Island DS, and the two Castlevania games all use B for jump and contain Custom controls. Also, this game is pretty easy. Easy enough to beat the first 3 worlds in probably an hour so. Worlds 4 and 5 get a little tougher, but not by much. Once you get to World 6 up until the end you should probably find some nice challenges there, but by then its already been labeled easy. I went through the game without any game overs, something I normally am incapable of. If you're looking for the next Devil May Cry in terms of challenge, stay away from this title.
Over all: 8/10
While Kirby Squeak Squad doesn't do anything ground breaking, it still brings in classic platforming chocolaty goodness that is worth any platforming fans time. Anyone a fan of Kirby, Mario, or classic Metroid games will enjoy this true and tried platformer.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/02/07
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