Everyone's favourite pink puffball is back for a new adventure. After being rendered in yarn and clay, Kirby's in his original form yet again but this time he's a little more tech-savvy so let's see if he's made of sterner stuff.
Planet Robobot begins with a robotic alien race abruptly taking over Kirby's home planet of Pop Star. The scenery transforms into a mechanical mess and Kirby won't sit by and let that happen, so it's up to him to get to the bottom of it and return his peaceful land to normal. I found the themes of manifest destiny and draining a land of its natural resources to be a bit serious for a Kirby game but it's handled quite well in its playful setting.
As expected, the visuals are colourful and bursting with life. Even though the environments are mechanized, there's still a delightful charm to it all that never ceases to keep a smile on your face. Watching Kirby get smacked into the camera is always hilarious. You'll also meet a few familiar faces such as Waddle Dee and Meta Knight. Each stage is intricately designed with every object, enemy, and background adding to the wondrous setting. Whether you're exploring a casino, trying not to get hit by cars in traffic, or sliding on ice; you're in for a treat. The music is just as catchy and lighthearted as always with many well known tunes and fresh ones, too. Overall, Planet Robobot looks and sounds like the Kirby game that fans deserve.
As I've already mentioned, Kirby's back in his original form which means that the gameplay will feel right at home for any fan of the series. You'll come across many new features but there's no denying that this is classic Kirby action at its core. You'll find yourself inhaling enemies, copying their abilities, solving simple puzzles, and occasionally battling bosses but a few notable changes help freshen up the decades-old formula. First, you get to pilot a robotic suit once in a while. Running around in this suit plays basically the same as without it but the enemies that you copy drastically change the suit's appearance and abilities. It's great fun stomping around in that thing.
Throughout the campaign's dozens of stages, you'll encounter a large assortment of situations. The robot suit allows you to solve unique puzzles that involve using its hand as a screwdriver, pushing large obstacles, carrying massive blocks, and drilling through tough surfaces. At points, you'll even transform into a jet and play through stages as if you're in an old-school shoot 'em up. There's so much to do on Planet Robobot that you'll be hooked until you master every stage and find every single Code Cube.
Besides the varied campaign, there's plenty of additional content to work through. Kirby 3D Rumble trades in the 2D platforming gameplay for 3D arena combat that tests how efficiently you can defeat foes. Team Kirby Clash lets up to four friends battle grueling bosses together. Thankfully, you only need one copy of the game seeing as it uses Download Play. If you don't have anyone to play with then you can always invite computer allies to join you. After beating the story mode, you unlock Meta Knightmare Returns that allows you to play through as Meta Knight and The Arena which is basically a boss rush mode. As you play, you'll uncover a wide array of stickers that you can decorate the robot suit with. Also, if you have any amiibo and a capable 3DS then you can use them to acquire power-ups while any new Kirby character grants you a special ability. Finally, StreetPass is implemented very well. I was at the mall today and when I got home, I received a Maxim Tomato from someone and also had people register on the local leaderboards. How cool is that?
There isn't much negative to say about Kirby: Planet Robobot but here goes. Although there are innovations here and there, the gameplay really doesn't deviate much from previous games in the series. As a fan, I didn't mind at all but I can see how some gamers may be put off by how familiar everything feels. My only other complaint is that it's way too easy. I've played and completed every Kirby game and I must admit that very few of them provide a significant challenge but I breezed through Planet Robobot with no problem whatsoever. Heck, I even defeated the final boss on my first attempt. I know Kirby can handle a tougher adventure than this!
Kirby: Planet Robobot is a fantastic entry in one of Nintendo's most beloved series. If you own a 3DS and have a soft spot for little pink puffballs then don't miss out on this mechanical adventure with Kirby in his shiny new suit!
- + Familiar Kirby gameplay that stays enjoyable throughout with a few fresh twists
- + Memorable environments and catchy music
- + Extra modes are great fun to play around in
- - Although it has new features, the gameplay doesn't differ much from previous titles
- - It's way too easy even for a Kirby game