2015 didn’t feel like a good year for Nintendo produced games. I can’t remember purchasing one single title that was a first party game that genuinely held my interest or that of my wallet. Luckily, Kirby has once again shown up and allowed me to experience a solid game with some great new ideas that only Kirby could work with. Kirby: Planet Robobot is a new and exciting game from HAL Laboratories and is a shining beacon for the Nintendo 3DS library.
I haven’t had a particularity close relationship with Kirby over the years, I played some of the original games for NES and GameBoy, they were a blast back then, I cleared them numerous times. I even remember playing Kirby Dream Course, it was a spin-off but it was fun for a golf game. My favourite Kirby game though, was Dream Land 2. That is, until I got the opportunity to play Kirby: Planet Robobot.
We all know the basic idea behind what Kirby does, he can inhale his enemies and either swallow them for their unique powers or spit them out like a projectile. It’s been Kirby’s thing for a long time, and this game is no different. It’s the inclusion of a massive robotic armour that Kirby pilots that is now the star of the game.
Kirby’s world is invaded by a robotic alien armada that wants to steal resources from the planet Pop Star, all the locals like King Dedede and Meta Knight attempt to fight back but are powerless against the invasion from outer space. Luckily, Kirby is around and is more than capable at restoring his planet to it’s former glory.
Kirby is a tour de force all on his own, with over 20 power ups to use and new ways to take out the bad guys. There are some really smart inclusions here, but I loved the Ryu throwback of the fighter power, or the Doctor Kirby form that throws pills at the enemies. There are tons of abilities to discover and it is more exciting to discover them on your own rather than me describing them to you.
This carries over to your new mech suit, too. Your suit can scan abilities and allows for the suit to absorb enemy powers just like Kirby in a cool way. The suit functions well on its own, but it’s the powers the really bring out the excitement in Planet Robobot.
From the beginning, this game looks great. The effects from each character, the way the world moves while you’re smashing through enemies. It might be a platformer at its core, but it’s got the heart of a bigger and wider world. The world is colourful and exciting to be in. The 3D is utilized well here and playing with the slider all the way up was a norm for me here. It’s beneficial to play like this.
The controls are intuitive and produce just the right effect, taking Kirby where I wanted him to go. It’s a simple controller scheme but simplicity is what makes games more enjoyable.
Playing on a New Nintendo 3DS yields some cool effects if you happen to have some Amiibos on hand. Waddle Dee allows Kirby to parasol his enemies to death or to float through a level, Meta Knight for example, allows Kirby to suit up and dress like Meta Knight and use his sword. It’s my first amiibo experience for the 3DS but it worked well and I enjoyed it.
The biggest gripe with Planet Robobot is the lack of any serious challenge. This is an unfortunate trend of Nintendo’s the carries through to this game. Currently as I am writing this review I’m stocked with well over 30 lives that I can use without any fear of anything in game. That said, there are multiple code cubes that serve as keys to move forward, by adding multiples it’s a good way to return to a stage and attempt to grab them all.
Kirby: Planet Robobot is a short and sweet platformer for the Nintendo 3Ds. It’s a solid title that stands on its own two (robotic) legs and leaves a good impression. The unfortunate lack of challenge seems to continue here with Planet Robobot as the game feels like it doesn’t want to give you too much to deal with as you pass through the six world stages. There’s more to this game than difficulty though, it got great controls, beautiful stages, variety with power ups and a ton of charm. The mech Kirby pilots may be the biggest thing to happen to the Kirby series in years and is easily the best part of this game.