Review by SoulRaiderX
"Pink does more than you think!"
Every Kirby game owner has seen Kirby ride his warp star in his games many times in the past, but have we ever envisioned racing on one? Well Kirby lovers, stop dreaming. This is your one-stop game for fast-paced air riding action, Kirby style!
Although the graphics are not too impressive, they're fine for a Gamecube game.. Not once did the frame dip below what it should have during all of my races, which is great. There aren't really any snazzy effects used in the game itself or anything, but simple is sometimes better. For this game, I'd have to agree, seeing as any graphical additions might cause some lag, and the game still plays fine without anything extra here and there.
Kirby, King Dedede, and Meta Knight are playable in Kirby Air Ride. Although Kirby is the only real character that is able to fly other warp stars, DeDeDe and Meta Knight still have their advantages and disadvantages. The amount of playable characters is really small; however, the game makes up for the 3 by offering numerous unique warp stars that Kirby can access. The monsters on the game courses are some we've seen in past titles and nothing really new can be offered here.
The first shining point of this game will have to be it's sound. The Kirby series is known very well for it's unique and brilliant musical numbers, and this game also chimes into the tracks by adding on catchy and swift tunes as you race along your course. The sound effects used are not too strong, but they don't hurt the overall gameplay.
This would be the second shining point of Air Ride. This portion will be broken up into smaller paragraphs for indentation purposes.
The controls themselves are very simplistic. There are 2 features of the Gamecube controller being used; the joystick and the A button. The simplistic feeling may be a downside, but it really isn't; as stated earlier, simple is much better in this case.
There are 3 modes available for play: Air Ride, Top Ride, and City Trial. Air Ride is for multiplayer mode, VS computers or your friends, on different race courses. Top Ride is somewhat of a multiplayer minigame, where you have a top-down view of the race and not just your star. City Trial is adventure mode, where you can roam around the city and exchange warp stars at will. You are able to move freely on and off of your warp star in order to make the exchange. While you roam the city, different events occur and different powerups appear for your star. Unfortunately, you have a time limit, and once it hits 0, you are pushed to an event with the star you were currently on.
There are 14 stars available for use, each with their unique design and features, as well as King DeDeDe and Meta Knight. There are 4 extra City Trial stars that are unavailable in any of the other modes. In addition to stars, there are 11 unique abilities available from absorbing enemies on the course. Unfortunately, there are only 9 courses available, which is a major downside. Luckily, each course is lengthy, comes complete with it's own beautiful music, and has it's own distinct design.
This is a major flaw in the game. There is absolutely no storyline. Not even in City Trial, although there are some interesting events held there. There are also some returning character from previous Kirby games, but no story.
This game would be an excellent addition to any Kirby fan's collection of games. It presents brilliantly composed music, simplistic yet fun gameplay, and an addictive adventure mode. Complete with 14 stars available and 4 extras, as well as King DeDeDe and Meta Knight and some powers for Kirby to absorb, Air Ride is not to be looked down upon. Unfortunately, it only has 9 courses and the graphics are average, but the gameplay choices make up for it. No storyline is also a definite negative. This game deserves a 7/10 for what it has to offer, as it makes up for the majority of the slight downsides.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 03/31/08
Game Release: Kirby: Air Ride (US, 10/13/03)
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