Review by MachRider37
"Fun. Kirby Style."
Kirby Air Ride is a kart racer/Super Smash Bros. hybird that is excellent on all accounts, in both single player and multi player. It feels especially fresh in these dog days of rehashes.
This game has a Super Smash Bros. Melee look and feel to it,(obviously due to HAL making it) and that is a very good thing. The menus are clean and well done, and it has a very smooth presentation. Very user friendly.
The graphics are definitely pretty and colorful, giving the game a vibrant and fresh feel, but they are certainly not an example of the GameCube's power. The textures are sometimes rather bland.
Ya either love it or ya hate it, and I love it! Alot of the songs are very well done, (particularly Celestial Valley and Frozen Hillside) and the sound effects get the job done well, with the various blips and bloops of Kirby sucking up an enemy.
Why everyone hates the controls I'll never know, but they are pretty good if you ask me. You use A/L/R to drift, charge for a boost, or brake. The only problem is the vehicles don't have the best of balance, which isn't a big problem, imo. A slightly bigger problem is that some vehicles I find are totally useless, such as the Bulk Star and the Slick Star. The goal is, like all kart racing games, to finish in first place above your computer controlled opponents. Instead of the usual weapons, you use kirby's inhale powers to absorb various enemies along the course, and usually, along with them, their powers. Most of the powers are standard kirby fare: sword, fire, bird, mike, bomb, etc. City Trial is also very good. You and your friends can cruise around the city looking for better vehicles, and then battling it out in the city, until time runs out, and you and your vehicle compete in a random challenge, such as Drag Racing. Top Ride is also good, but nowhere near as good as the other 2 modes. You basically turn in a top view race course to get first. Like I said, not the best but still not too bad.
Replay Value: 10
It's made by HAL, so the secrets and unlockables are MANY (more than SSBM even). You can expect sleepless nights trying to get vehicles and new skins for kirby & co. and that's a very good thing. LAN also adds ALOT of replay if you have broadband adapters and friends with copies of the game.
I highly suggest buying, especially if you like to have parties or have friends come over, but, as always, rent if you're not sure.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/20/03
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