Review by paleselan
"This Game is No Dreamland"
About two months ago I reviewed Kirby Mass Attack, for the Nintendo DS. I praised the game for trying something new, but criticized it for getting too repetitive, and not diversifying the gameplay. My same complaint still stands with the new Kirby game. Although there hasn't been a traditional Kirby game like Return to Dreamland in 10 years, the gameplay quickly grows stale.
The game begins with Kirby and friends discovering a destroyed spaceship. The alien inside requests Kirbys assistance, and Kirby decides to fix up the spaceship for the alien. Kirby completes worlds by collecting parts to repair the ship. The plotline is terrible, with only one incredibly predictable twist. But, this is a Nintendo game we're talking about, so I didn't have any expectations for the story to begin with.
This is a traditional Kirby game, so the basics are here. Kirby can suck in foes and spit them out at enemies. He can also swallow enemies in order to take their powers. Although there are over twenty different powers, most are rehashes of the previous. It's the same attack with a new color smacked on top. Due to this reason, after two worlds the game got stale for me, and I didn't have as much fun playing the game. There are some mega-attacks, as I call them, that give Kirby a god-like attack, able to destroy anything. These bursts of power were fun to play with, but there weren't enough of them.
The multiplayer takes on a Super Mario Bros. Wii type approach, with drop in/ drop out co-op, but with a few weird key differences. All the players share the same pool of lives. So, if you're playing with a younger sibling that continuously dies, then that'll hurt you. Then, if the main player dies, everyone gets sent back to the checkpoint. This multiplayer begs the question: Why wasn't it the same as Mario's? It would've worked way better.
As with the rest of the game, the visuals are not stunning, just okay. It does look like a gamecube game, but that's not a large complaint since the Wii can't take that much more. The music is cheery, as with most Kirby games, and is the only part of the game that makes is past okay.
The story itself can take five to seven hours to play through, which isn't bad for a platformer. There are also 120 collectable gears to collect throughout the game, so if you actually want to replay a level, there's an incentive. Furthermore, there are three minigames included with the game, Ninja Dojo, Scope Shot, and Arena. Although these can prove well as a distraction for fifteen minutes, it'll do nothing to encourage a player to come back to the game.
Kirby's Return to Dreamland is not for most people. It can get bland quickly and doesn't provide much reason to come back and play. But, this game would do great with kids, especially those that don't like difficult games. Those up to ten years of age will find redeeming qualities in this title, but most others should avoid it. With so many great games out this holiday season there's no need to waste your time on this one. If you're looking for a great 2D platformer, buy Rayman Origins, it's even on the Wii.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 12/13/11
Game Release: Kirby's Return to Dream Land (US, 10/24/11)
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