Nintendo sure loves giving their little pink puffball plenty of bite-sized spin-offs. Blowout Blast puts classic Kirby gameplay in the third dimension but is that enough to warrant downloading to your 3DS?
Kirby's Blowout Blast is quite a simple game at its core. Although he can't transform into any configurations, Kirby must work his way through stages while trying to maximize his score. You do this by inhaling as many enemies as possible and exhaling them into more enemies in order to achieve the highest score you can. Your chain resets after some time or whenever you exhale or get hit. Therefore, the key to getting a high score is to suck and spit enemies with utmost precision and efficiency. The stages themselves are extremely short which makes mastering them a breeze. Certain score thresholds grant you anywhere from a bronze to a platinum medal and earning gold medals will unlock bonus worlds and even a Secret Path if you manage to do so in all of the levels. Overall, the score-chasing gameplay is simple, easy to pick up and play, and can be enjoyable for gamers of all ages.
Thankfully, the classic Kirby charm is present complete with familiar enemies and colourful environments. Learning how to take out each enemy type effectively can be quite rewarding. Speaking of enemies, you'll also fight a few bosses including Lololo and Lalala (originally from Adventures of Lolo), Kracko, and King Dedede. These bosses are incredibly easy so you won't find a need to strategize or memorize patterns. Fans will delight in the classic Kirby music as well with many recognizable yet fresh takes on tracks from the series' history. In the end, when it comes to Blowout Blast's sights and sounds, there definitely isn't much to complain about.
Unfortunately, Kirby's Blowout Blast falls flat in a lot of ways. For starters, the main campaign can easily be completed in one sitting. On top of that, the repetition involved with beating the stages becomes apparent about halfway through seeing as the levels themselves don't differ much from each other. However, the biggest downside is the fact that every stage is ridiculously easy to master. If you have a basic understanding of video games then achieving at least a gold medal on every stage is an easily accomplishable task. When you combine the lack of challenge with the short and repetitive campaign, you're left with a disappointingly unsatisfying adventure.
One inclusion that would have remedied the repetition factor and lack of difficulty is leaderboards but there aren't any to be found. Not only that, there is no multiplayer in any form or any additional modes or mini-games. The only extra (besides the unlockable bonus stages) is that you can scan amiibo in order to unlock different music for the hub area. In other words, even the amiibo implementation leaves a lot to be desired. I honestly can't believe that Nintendo is charging gamers for this bare-bones experience. Instead, it should have been a My Nintendo reward or a bonus mini-game in a full-fledged Kirby title. As it is, it's hard not to feel cheated for purchasing Kirby's Blowout Blast even with its familiar and charming graphics and sound.
Although it's set in the delightful Kirby universe, there's no denying that Blowout Blast is little more than a bare-bones and unchallenging experience. That being said, if you want to teach a toddler how to play video games then this is a solid entry point.
- + Easy to pick up and play
- + Contains plenty of classic Kirby charm along with familiar enemies and bosses
- - Short and repetitive campaign
- - Super-easy gameplay that barely provides any sense of challenge
- - No leaderboards or additional modes