The Kirby series is one that Nintendo doesn’t seem afraid to play around with. Aside from his usual adventures, Kirby has had his own racing game, a pinball game, and even a TV show. While that last example was probably meaningless, Kirby’s latest adventure is a follow-up to the now 10-year old Kirby: Canvas Curse, and it unfortunately leaves much to be desired.
What Is It?
The game’s plot is vintage Kirby–extremely lighthearted and all about happiness turning to sadness turning back into happiness. The story begins with Kirby having some fun with Waddle Dee until some portal in the sky sucks all the color away from Dream Land. Upset, a paint brush enlists the help of the round puffball to bring color back to the once vibrant Dream Land.
There’s no dialog spoken, but the music and animation just screams cutesy Kirby.
Why Should I Care?
Of course, there aren’t many people that play Kirby games because of the story. It’s the gameplay that takes front and center.
But therein lies its problem. Like Canvas Curse on the DS before it, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is something people will either love or hate.
All the gameplay is done via the stylus and touch screen, and all you can really do with Kirby is draw platforms for him to roll on. Tapping on Kirby allows him to roll faster, which also doubles as sort of a rolling attack. It sounds simple, but it oftentimes isn’t mainly because since you spend 98% of the time drawing lines, it’s easy to touch Kirby instead, causing him to roll right out of the platforms you draw on his path, which can lead to unnecessary damage and death. It’s also pretty annoying seeing Kirby bounce off walls instead of progress through the level, ruining each stage’s pacing.
Fortunately and unfortunately, once you get the hang of the game’s controls, the game rolls a little on the easy side because the levels are all quite linear. The boss battles are also pretty simple for the most part, but as you progress through the game you’ll come across the same bosses, only slightly more challenging and of a different color. This was annoying in the 1990’s, so it’s ridiculous knowing this sort of laziness in game development still exists now.
Now if the game doesn’t become easy enough, you can also have a few friends join in with Wii remotes to play as Waddle Dee. The funny thing is these secondary players might have a better time playing because for them it’ll control like a traditional Kirby platformer, where running around and jumping isn’t overly complicated. Of course, the person with the GamePad can easily ruin the fun by drawing lines to inhibit the movement of the other players, but that’s a different issue entirely.
What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?
While rolling your way through the game will be an absolute breeze once you get the hang of it, there is a considerable challenge when it comes to unlocking everything. And if you haven’t rage quit due to lack of patience with the controls or its overly simplistic atmosphere, you’re probably immersed and how fantastic the game’s claymation style looks.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is drop dead gorgeous, but the problem is it might be hard to notice because the bulk of your time will be spent looking at the GamePad and not your TV.
Anyway, a lot of the extras come in the form of extra modes and levels not included in main quest, and there are a lot of collectables that just are cool too look at because of all the time and effort put into the game’s visuals. The game also supports the use of a Kirby, Dedede, or Meta Knight amiibo, but they obviously aren’t necessary especially considering they make the game even easier.
In all honesty, this could’ve been better served as a 3DS game. Then again, it wouldn’t look as pretty. Or maybe it could’ve been the first big mobile release for Nintendo with their recent announcement of them entering the mobile gaming industry.
When it’s all said and done, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is kind of like a Denny’s Restaurant. It looks fantastic, but it’s an acquired taste. Once you have a taste, it ends up being really bland unless you’re really drunk and can’t tell the difference.