Review by WindYoshi DX

"Kirby's Air Ride, A Game That Faces Unfathomable Hate"

Kirby’s Air Ride was one of my most anticipated Gamecube games ever, despite the fact it had almost no hype. Now that it has finally been released in U.S. lets get on to my review.

Game Play: 10/10
You will always hear people spouting off, ''This game is too easy, dumb and simple because you only use one button''. Well I believe this is not the case. The controls are, A,L or R: brake, Control Stick: turn left and right. Sound simple? Well guess what, it is. Although it can be tough to learn. When you approach sharp turns you have to hold brake, when you do this the boost meter will charge up. When the meter is full let go and BOOST! If you want you can touch no button and you will still accelerate. Overall the controls may be confusing at first, but give them a try, master them, and you will see why this game is great, the gameplay is it's core.

Story: 5/10
Well lets see. Story. There really is none in kirby's Air Ride. This game is just about all out fun. There is objectives to complete, but they in no way represent a story. This game has no story but it also isn't a game that truly needs one.

Graphics: 8.5/10
The graphics are pretty good. Not amazing. A lot of the textures are bland, and the character models aren't the most detailed ever, but they are pretty good, probably around or a little above super Smash Bros Melee graphics. But that is in no way a bad thing, the game doesn't need amazing graphics to be a hit.

Sound: 9.5/10
The sound, another place where this game shines. The soundtrack consists of a lot of Kirby esque music. Pretty much half new tracks and half Kirby classics. The sound effects are well done also, you should expect nothing less from Hal. I can't really describe the music. It has upbeat and ambitious tracks. If you can understand that. If you have played a Kirby game before you know what I am talking about. Plain and simple, this game has great music.

Fun Factor: 9.5/10
Fun Factor. As I have mentioned before this game can be really fun once you get used to it. When I bought this game I was expecting an instant hit. Well when I first played it I was very disappointed. The controls were awkward and the races were to hard for me to finish first. At that point I almost could agree with Ign's ridiculous 5.2 rating. But as I spent more time with this game and got a hang of the controls and all the modes it became clear to me that this game is amazing. This is the kind of game you need to give some time, a chance. And when you get a hang of it, you'll have some of the most fun to be had on the Gamecube.

Replay Value: 9/10
Well as I stated in Fun Factor, once you get used to the game the fun don't stop. Kirby's Air Ride has three modes to play.

Air Ride Mode: Air Ride and the other two modes can be played with 1-4 players. In this mode you choose a level and race. This is fun in multi-player, but in my opinion not as fun as the other modes single player, well sort of. This mode does have very good courses though, they are fun and filled with shortcuts, furthermore this mode has the best music.

Top Ride Mode: In Top Ride Mode you have a race on a small course from an overhead view. This mode is very similar to my Nes favorite Super Sprint. It may be a simple mode but it is a blast.

City Trial: In City Trial you must ride around a city collecting power-ups for your star. After the time is up you and your beefed up star are faced against many different random tasks. Like Target Flight, Drag race, Kirby Melee and even Vs. King Dedede. My favorite mode.

There are also many unlockables including characters and new rides. And if you have a broadband adapter you can quadruple the fun and play up to 16 players with LAN connection.

Pros & Cons

+ Awesome multi-player
+ Really fun Gameplay
+ Tons of unlockables
+ Nice sound effects and music

- Hard learning curve for some
- May be ''kiddy'' for some
- May give you a life threatening disease with it's ''simple'' controls

Rent or Buy
Rent first if you aren't really sure, but I would buy just for the replay value.

Final Score

Game Play: 10/10
Story: 5/10
Graphics: 8.5/10
Sound: 9.5/10
Fun Factor: 9.5/10
Replay Value: 9/10

Final Score: 9/10

Overall, Kirby's Air Ride is a great game with tons of replay value and it can be quite fun. Don't give into the doubters, try it first for yourself. This game did not sell as well as it deserved to sell, this is an amazing game. Kirby's Air Ride is a game that should be in every Gamecube owners library.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/15/03, Updated 11/16/03

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