Review by Marth9

"Kirby's first racing game... And its not that bad, either."

After hearing sometime when the N64 just came out, I heard that a new game called Kirby Air Ride was coming out. I did not like Kirby, nor did I hate it; but I just wanted more games in my game collection. Until eventually it got delayed, and delayed, and delayed. Then, two years after the gamecube came out, in 2003, Kirby Air Ride finally hit the stores. I bought it a week after it came out. I played it, and I thought it was really fun. But after a while the fun sort of started to die away...

Graphics 8.9
For some reason I think that most Kirby games have great graphics. This game is no exception. The graphics are wonderfully done, with Kirby looking like it should, a nice giant pink puffball. The race courses are well made; it fits in with the background and racers. However, some courses in the game look too... childish. The machines were also designed well, and I think the graphics, are great. Nice job, Nintendo.

Sound/Music 6.9
The sounds are really great. Why? When you hit speed boosts, it sounds like your actually gaining speed. When flying in the air, it sounds mythical and amazingly wonderful. I'm not kidding; the sounds are great, and you can't deny it. The problem is the music. Sure, the music is ok, but after listening to it after a long period of time, it starts to make you feel drowsy. But it does not matter that much though, with it's spectacular sound, it makes up for it's mediocre music mark.

Gameplay 7.5
In Kirby Air Ride, there are three modes to choose from. The modes are Air Ride, Top Ride and City Trial. In Air Ride, you race around 8 race tracks (excluding the secret one) and unlock up to 16 machines. In Air Ride there are 120 tasks to complete, some rewarding, and some just to fill in a square. So Air Ride is just like any normal racing game. The other mode; Top Ride, is a tiny bit different, but not by much. In Top Ride you race from a birds-eye view, in 2D. There are also 120 tasks to complete, but the machines are different. There are only 2 machines in top ride. The free star and steer star. The free star goes wherever you tilt the control stick; while the steer star only moves either left or right on the control stick. There are only 7 race courses, and no unlockables tracks or machines. So I think that Top Ride is the least liked, as there is not much to it. The other mode is City Trial, and in my opinion, is the best. You start off on a compact star, and ride around the city collecting items and finding new machines to ride on. But there is a certain amount of time. After you are done, you go into the stadium and do certain types of events such as Destruction Derby's and Drag Races. Just like Air Ride and Top Ride, there are 120 tasks to do. So in total, there are 360 to complete, with over 100 unlockables total. So it gives a pretty good replay value.

Controls 7.1
Kirby Air Ride only uses two things on the controller. The A button and the control stick. The control stick to steer, and the A button to do almost everything else. The machine accelerates by itself. So the controls are perfect for beginners, which is great.

Replay Value 5.6
With 360 tasks for you to do, this game should keep you busy for a while. But after a while, you may get bored. But even after you complete every task, what is there to do? Listen to music in the sound test? Play City Trial? After you do all the tasks, you get nothing except bragging rights.

Buy or Rent?
I suggest to buy this game, but I also suggest to rent. Why? You need to try this game first before buying it. Remember, there is no point in buying a game if you don't know if it is good or not. But I suggest to rent it before you buy it. Try it before you buy it, as I always say.

Graphics: 8.9
Sound/Music: 6.9
Gameplay: 7.5
Controls: 7.1
Replay Value: 5.6
Total Mark: 7.3

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 11/17/05

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