|System: Wii U|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Angelo M. D'Argenio
Remember Kirby Canvas Curse, the innovative DS game that had you controlling Kirby with the stylus instead of a controller? Well it looks like it’s finally getting a sequel, and it’s not coming out on handhelds at all! Instead, it’s aiming to release for the Wii U so that you can control all of this touch screen greatness on the big screen. The game is called Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, and I got a chance to check out the game at this year’s E3.
Kirby seems to be in the habit of turning into different arts and craft’s supplies these days. He turned into yarn in Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and now he and everything around him is turning into clay. Every world in the game has a sort of clay motif, with everything from blocks and rocks to having kind of mushed up fingerprints as if they were molded by a school child. When you open door and barriers, they smush together as if being molded away. Even the user interface is made out of clay, with Kirby’s very own health bar sticking up out of the screen as if it were pushed through a Play Doh spaghetti maker. It actually makes me wonder why Nintendo decided to go for a Wii U release for this game, as these pop up textures would undeniably look cool in the 3DS’s 3D mode.
The gameplay, however, doesn’t quite translate over to the clay motif. Instead, it is basically a direct copy of Kirby Canvas Curse. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it was a Kirby game where Kirby didn’t inhale enemies. Instead, he was forced into the shape of a ball and could only roll around the screen. Tapping Kirby made him spin forward, killing enemies that he ran into. However, to really navigate the world you had to draw rainbow paths for Kirby to roll on. It wasn’t as easy as simply drawing where you wanted him to go, however, because physics would come into play. So you’d find yourself making loops to increase your momentum, making plateaus to launch Kirby off of, and even drawing walls to prevent Kirby from rolling into hazards.
Rainbow Curse plays the exact same way, except instead of using the DS touch screen to draw these rainbow paths, you will be drawing it on the Wii U Gamepad. This brings up another reason why the game is a strange choice for the Wii U. On your TV screen you will be able to see all of the action play out in brilliant HD. Except, you won’t ever be looking at this screen. Instead, you’ll be looking at your gamepad at all times. The gamepad shows exactly what is happening on your TV, just at a much lower resolution. So, in actuality, the TV is totally optional here, yet you’ll be sitting in front of it nonetheless.
Kirby has a couple new abilities this time around. The most notable is the new “star dash.” Scattered around each level are tiny mini stars for you to collect. When you collect 100 of them, Kirby will glow. Tapping and holding on Kirby at this point will make him grow to twice his size and releasing will cause him to barrel through any obstacles or opponents in his way. If you keep collecting stars, you can keep your star dash going for a good portion of a level. There are even some huge stars that will give you 100 stars at a time, instantly activating the star dash. Usually this is used at points where the star dash is used to solve a puzzle.
Kirby will have a number of new transformations as well. Aside from a ball, Kirby will turn into a tank and many other forms that haven’t yet been formed. Each of these forms are still controlled with the touch screen. The Tank, for example, taps on enemies to shoot at them, but still can roll up drawn paths and dash by being tapped on. Unfortunately this actually caused you to randomly draw paths when you didn’t want to, which was a bit of a problem.
Each level also has a lot of hidden extras There are numerous treasure chests hidden on each level and to be able to 100% the level you will need to collect them all. You’ll also have to clear all the bonus stages which have special timed goals and obstacle courses for you to clear. Aside from that, each level will give you a medal ranking which is based on the number of stars you collect. There’s a lot to do here and the replay value is off the charts.
Overall, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse was a fun game. It certainly kept me playing for a good half hour. I just, don’t particularly know why this is a console game and not another handheld title. If you don’t mind being tethered to your TV without looking at it, definitely pick up Kirby and the Rainbow Curse.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: July 15, 2014