Kirby Robobot Review
Kirby Planet Robobot is the latest Kirby game to grace the 3DS, where planet Popstar has been invaded and mechanised leaving Kirby to once again save the day by eating everything in site.
The first thing I noticed about Kirby Planet Robobot was how beautiful it looks on the New 3DS with the 3D on max. Nintendo have truly mastered the art of 3D and this 2.5D platformer is far better off for it.
As it’s a Kirby game you eat your enemies to steal their powers, and there are loads of different power ups. You are constantly being introduced to more and new power ups as well as being able to effectively choose which of a few abilities to use each level. There really are oodles of different power ups keeping the game fresh and fun to play. I particularly enjoyed the Ness styled ESP power up. Some power ups even have a very cool and handy (especially on bosses) effect on block, such as disappearing and then reappearing with an attack when you block at the right time.
Some of Kirby’s abilities are very rare and hard to find such as the UFO.
In good ole Kirby tradition, when you pause you can see the moves of your current ability which handy for new abilities and to see new moves that have been added, it’s really a necessity now as the fighter ability has 4 pages of moves.
The music and sound effects are very charming and fit with Kirby perfectly, with cheerful music and Kirby making cute little sounds it really adds to the happy enjoyable atmosphere of the game.
The level design is excellent, every level is fun and unique with the exception of the bonus “Ex” levels which take gimmicks from previous levels and make them more complex. Unfortunately there is a bit of this taking earlier gimmicks and making them more complex in later levels as well but not enough for it to become boring. The aesthetics of each level are beautiful ranging from mechanical forest to a frozen ice cream styled level where giant soft scoop ice creams fall on top of Kirby. The only slight issue I have with the level design is that there’s no exploration that’s been seen in previous Kirby games, the levels are very linear despite switching regularly between foreground and background. You won’t find many easier platformers than Kirby Planet Robobot but that just doesn’t matter, this game is an absolute joy to play.
Making a splash with the new poison ability.
There are stickers to collect to add some replay value as you won’t get them all in your first play through and most of them are randomly acquired so you’ll end up with lots of doubles. There are also three code cubes to find within each level other than the “Ex” levels which have two. These code cubes are needed to unlock the bosses of each world but you don’t really have to go out of your way or really even look for them to collect them all. When you’ve found all of the code cubes in a world you unlock the “Ex” level. However in later levels you do start needing the right power up at the right time to get some of the code cubes. I found that if an enemy is by itself in a later level, you probably need that power up for something. Though most times I enthusiastically butchered that enemy as I was enjoying just playing through the levels without thinking too much.
So Kirby still has his traditional copy abilities, the game looks great, sounds like a typical Kirby game but what’s new other than robotic themed levels? The Robobot Armour is what! This big mechanical Kirby suit brings a new lease of life to Kirby not seen since Power Paintbrush/Canvas Curse on the DS or Epic Yarn if that was your thing. Now Kirby’s super awesome armour absorbs enemies giving it similar powers to Kirby on a larger scale and it transforms with each power up to look very cool. You can tell a lot of love went into the designs of the Robobot Armour power ups.
The Robot Armour really does make Planet Robobot.
The story of Kirby Planet Robobot is almost nonexistent with only a little story being told before each boss at the end of each world. Even with this teeny tiny bit of story there still manages to be a few twists in it which is nice that it’s not just straightforward.
There is some Amiibo integration which unlocks a power up and/or gives a healing item and can be used once per level so if you have enough Amiibo you really can just choose which ability you want to use. It’s basic but good to see Nintendo using Amiibo and also not using them as paid dlc.
I very much want these new Kirby Amiibo.
From the get go there are two other game modes besides story mode. These are Kirby 3D Rumble, a sort of Sonic 3D type mode where Kirby fights waves of enemies trying to rack up a big combo. It’s something different but somehow didn’t maintain the charm of the 2D platforming in Kirby.
There’s also Team Kirby Clash which is where the multiplayer comes into Planet Robobot. This mode is like a Kirby action rpg in which you fight bosses as a team of up to four or one cpu amigo. There are four different powers to choose from and you roughly level up once per boss with a max level of 10. It may be short but is a fun side attraction and a good bit of Co-op multiplayer.
Once you’ve completed the excellent story mode, you unlock two more game modes. The Arena, a boss rush time attack mode and Meta Knightmare Returns, a time attack of the whole game where you play as Meta Knight. Meta Knight has his own move set, similar to that seen in Smash Bros. Not only that, but the game has been made harder with a few slight differences in bosses and fewer healing items. Meta Knight also collects energy for super moves, healing or being able to move faster for a while. Luckily there are save points dotted around so there’s no need to keep your 3DS turned on for days to complete this mode.
A very pretty collectors edition.
As far as streetpass goes, it’s limited but there. When you streetpass you can swap some stickers and trade times for the time attack modes, it then lists how many people’s times you have beaten.
All in all Kirby Planet Robobot is a fantastically fun game that has quite a lot to do with the different game modes and good replay value if you like time attacks or want to collect all the stickers and code cubes. As far as a Kirby game goes the only things I could possibly ask for on top of this game are some more exploration within levels and multiplayer in the story mode levels, perhaps making the Meta Knightmare Returns multiplayer would have been good. I would whole heartedly recommend Kirby Planet Robobot to anyone who vaguely likes Kirby or 2D platforming as at every point of the game is was absolute joy to play.