Kirby games are best known for platforming and the iconic sucking and swallowing of enemy powers – but Kirby has also been the proverbial lab rat for Nintendo and its wacky ideas for almost as long as his existence. Kirby’s Avalanche, Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble and Kirby Mass Attack are just some of the many Kirby games that have adopted a new gameplay style, which have all simply come and gone. They never seem to stick around and have been one and done affairs; and no, Kirby’s Super Star Stacker doesn’t count as it’s only a remake. Heck, even my favorite, Kirby’s Epic Yarn is only getting a spiritual successor in Yoshi’s Woolly World (which looks great too by the way).
Now, finally, we have a true sequel to a Kirby spin-off series, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. This is a sequel to 2005’s Kirby: Canvas Curse, which saw Kirby in mostly ball form being controlled and guided by the player via stylus. It felt gimmicky and blatantly obvious that this was Nintendo’s push for touch-screen gaming, but the game was actually very fun, good-looking and above all, different. Now the sequel is arriving for Wii U with the same gameplay mechanics made entirely possible by the Wii U gamepad touchscreen. Is this a push to say the Wii U can do things other consoles can’t? Of course, but that’s not going to stop me from enjoying this all the same. Now if only we can get some more Kirby games revisited, like Kirby Air Ride.
What are some downsides to this? Well, my take is that Nintendo may abandon the original Kirby gameplay style if this catches on; a victim of this was Wario. Once WarioWare became Nintendo’s hot ticket for Mario’s evil brother, Nintendo has abandoned the Wario Land series – and I loved Wario Land and Wario World. It’s also not a good sign when last console Kirby platformer, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land wound up a sleeper hit on the Wii and is one of those rare gems you have to get now before the prices continue to soar.
So we’ll see what happens. It’s funny how the character that can take on all powers and do all things actually transcends that in the gaming industry as well by being in more than just platformers, but racers, puzzle games and fighting games, too.