GAME NAME: Kirby: Mass Attack
DEVELOPER(S): HAL Labs
RELEASE DATE(S): 28 October 2011
How do Hal Laboratories do it? The concept behind the Kirby series is straightforward: float around from platform to platform, eat the bad guys, consume an aspect of their power, beat the boss and go to sleep. But somehow every Kirby title manages to offer something unique and fresh while sticking to its simplistic, charming gameplay.
When Kirby: Power Paintbrush was first released on the DS many people were sceptical as to how the game would work using a stylus-only control scheme. The game was a huge success, making most of those same sceptics express a preference for the new control style. Kirby: Mass Attack uses the same stylus/touchscreen controls and it once again works like a charm. Players take control of up to 10 mini Kirbys and while this might seem like a daunting task the simple slides and swipes make navigation and execution a breeze.
Players start each stage with a single puny Kirby, not very powerful or effective in any way. However after eating numerous fruit items they are rewarded with another little Kirby. This continues until there are ten Kirbys on the screen, ten Kirbys that players must control. Everything is about strength in numbers and completing most tasks will not be within your capabilities unless you have the right amount of Kirbys. This gameplay concept is highly challenging as mini Kirbys die off almost as quickly as you can gather them up again.
The stage design is as bright and colourful as only a Kirby title can be. More traditional stage designs have been uses as opposed to Kirby’s Epic Yarn and for veterans of the series there are a bunch of familiar surroundings. The music is nauseatingly happy, cute, fun and joyous – the complete opposite of a Mariah Carey Christmas album. At first you get the impression that the music will eventually drive you up the wall but surprisingly this is not the case. The music adds to the environment and helps bring the Kirby world to life.
While the latter stages of the game might prove to be extremely challenging and sometimes frustrating they still manage provide enough incentive for you to go back and collect hidden medals which will unlock a bunch of mini-games. The games themselves are enough reason to perfect some of the more demanding stages.
Kirby: Mass Attack is one of the final first-party Nintendo titles to be released on the DS. The 3DS is now in full swing and with titles like Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7 available Kirby: Mass Attack could easily be overlooked. This is unfortunate as this game is what the DS was designed for and what helped it become so popular in the first place. Luckily the 3DS is backwards compatible which leaves you with no excuse for not having this title in your game collection.