A heart for you! And a heart for you! And a heart for you! And a heart for you and I’ll be replacing you sorry!
Kirby: Star Allies was released on March 16, 2018. It got pretty average reviews. Stephen Totilo was quite meh on it, and in fact, everything he says in his review is pretty on point. It looks nice, the levels are super linear affairs from left to right, the puzzles are simple and the inclusion of “friending” enemies makes the game super easy. Compared to past Kirby games, it may seem as a massive disappointment, a very by-the-numbers release.
There’s the rub though; I haven’t played many past Kirby games.
The last Kirby game I played was Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, way back in 2004 (hiiiiiiiiiii my youth). It was really fun! It was also really quite a handful, with so many secrets to find, many of which required specific powers to open. Don’t have hammer? Ha! Come back again later.
Star Allies on the other hand, is far, far more forgiving with its secrets. All of the “side rooms” that hold a switch to open a secret level or a “glowing puzzle piece” needed to complete the celebration images need specific powers. Conveniently, those powers (or enemies that have said powers) are either in the room, or right outside it, so it’s just a matter of making a new friend and bringing them along to solve the puzzle.
Speaking of making a friend, the A.I. is quite competent when fighting the bosses as they’ll try to dodge attacks and land hits when the opening is there and their HP bars aren’t too shabby either. When they get downed, Kirby has the chance to even revive them at 50% HP (but when Kirby is down, it’s game over).
The game itself is quite short, only spanning 4 worlds and one super final boss. Each world has its own set of bosses of course, but they’re quite the pushovers, even without the A.I.
Yet the game was exactly what I needed.
As I get older (goodbyeeeee my youth), I don’t have as much time to play video games anymore. Heck, I don’t even have as much patience for games either - that means super tough games such as any of the Souls series, or hyper-competitive games such as fighters, are no longer on my radar*. I simply don’t have the time nor motivation to dedicate to those super tough games that I used to play in my youth (also probably attributable to platinum’ing Demon to Dark Souls 2).
In that sense, having an easy-breezy game like Kirby: Star Allies is perfect because it’s such a quaint, enjoyable romp through super colorful worlds, cute character designs, and fun music.
It’s also important to note that each character (including the enemies which can be turned into friends) have a wide assortment of moves - almost as complex as a fighting game character.
Do I need to use every move in Cleaning Kirby’s repertoire? Of course not, but I’m still going to because it’s fun!
There’s also a ton of (free) DLC that’s incoming, with some already released at the end of March. The DLC adds “dream friends”, characters from past games and enables them to be summoned during the main campaign through the “Dream Palace” (it’s a one-off location). Most importantly though, you can use the Dream Friends in the “Guest Star ???: Star Allies Go!” mode, where you take control of a character that’s *not Kirby* and run through the gamut of stages like time attack. It adds a bit of replay value, but a lot of charm to the game. There are other mini-games as well, but they’re quite simplistic.
Kirby: Star Allies isn’t the best game for the Switch at the moment, nor is it the best Kirby game ever. What it is though, is pure fun and charm mixed up in a package that promises a pleasant, quiet time.
*I’m probably picking up Monster Hunter: Generations Ultimate when it releases as one of my friends is heavy into MH and I like to game with him. Ah multiplayer...my greatest weakness.