Nintendo has continued its support of the 3DS, mostly with remakes of older games from old consoles and this is still happening with the port of the Wii game, Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Thanks to not having a Wii, this was a gem that I missed, so the chance to finally check out this unique journey of our favourite hungry pink ball is something I wasn’t going to miss.
Kirby is wandering through the world when he eats a tomato, which turns out to be an evil sorcerer named Yin-Yarn resulting in his banishment to patch land. Here Kirby runs into Prince Fluff, a blue looking version of Kirby, and goes on to save Patch Land which has been torn apart. It’s a light-hearted silly story… you know, a Kirby game.
The most obvious change to the game is the beautiful and creative yarn design. Kirby, like the other characters and enemies in the game are made from wool outlines which isn’t only clever, it’s gorgeous. The detail in the yarn, and the complex design of characters and their animations as they move or transition to different states is a treat to witness.
Anyone that knows Kirby at all, especially if they know him from Smash Bros, is that he is iconic for his ability to eat anything using a vortex of a bite, and that he can balloon up to fly. Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn takes a different approach by removing both iconic moves in his yarn state. This seems surprising, but instead of gaining enemies powers by sucking them up, he gains it by flinging his slingshot to collect powerups, so it still feels like the Kirby you have played before. The flying isn’t missed as the platforming isn’t built around that.
2D platformers tend to age well, and despite this game being eight years old it feels as fresh as any new game would. The platforming feels good, and thanks to Kirby’s yarn state, he changes into different forms like a car to go fast, which is a fresh spin on the classic character. It’s a quirky way to have Kirby be the same Kirby, but different.
The Levels themselves are cleverly designed and are nicely varied, with excellent stage music. Levels range from classic 2D side scrolling, to needing to travel up, to fun moments where Kirby becomes overpowered such as becoming a giant, or as a flying saucer. If there is one thing that can be said about the game, I never got bored.
The fact that I didn’t get bored is even more surprising due to the game’s biggest flaw, its simplicity. Kirby games tend to be easy, geared more towards the younger gamers among us. This can be fixed by including harder modes for older gamers, but that isn’t Kirby’s jam. If you are hoping for a 2D brutal platformer like Super Meat Boy, then Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn is probably not for you.
The rebuild comes with some interesting tweaks, and one addresses the difficulty with devilish mode available for each Level. This mode switches Kirby’s inability to die with a health bar and introduces devils which appear throughout the Level which can come at some inconvenient platforming times. Early on Devilish Mode levels are still easy, but it does ramp that difficulty up. A big win is they don’t force you to play on normal to unlock the harder difficulty either. If you want it a little harder, you can play Devilish mode Levels.
If you haven’t played Kirby’s Epic Yarn and enjoy simple charming platformers as much as I do, then I can’t recommend Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn enough. If you have but wished that it was harder, then there may be enough here for you too. It’s a charming fun romp that is cute as all hell… you know, Kirby.
Released: March 2019
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS