NS Review – Kirby’s Blowout Blast (3DS)

I can’t say that I’m the biggest fan of Kirby and the various games they star in; I mean, I played a lot of Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, but I couldn’t shake the overwhelming impression of the games being a little too easy for me. I understand that these games are aimed at far younger gamers than I, but a little challenge wouldn’t go too far amiss. So, with Kirby’s Blowout Blast soaring out of nowhere, is this adventure of the Pink Blob going to satiate a larger audience?

Blowout Blast, being an expanded version of what is essentially a mini-game in Planet Robobot, doesn’t have much in the way of a narrative, but that isn’t a necessarily bad thing. The lack of a story in the game perfectly suits it’s place as a game that you can play in short bursts. There’s never any worry about missing anything in the game if you’re playing briefly, although it is remarkably more-ish too and can be hard to put down without hammering through at least a few levels each time.

Mechanically, this is an action-platformer taking place over multiple small isometric view levels. The whole concept of the game is to suck in enemies and spit them back out as projectiles. However, the more enemies you inhale, the larger the projectile and the higher chance the player has of chaining together attacks for both higher points and for taking down multiple enemies with a single shot. This means that strategic thinking is needed to get through the levels effectively with all of the medals that can be gained.

Each level has a four medals that can be gained by achieving set parameters within each level. These range from taking no hits to defeating every enemy and can be very hard to get all of them on a single run. Also, how many of the medals the player obtains on a level dictates which trophy (gold, silver or bronze) Kirby gains for that level. Then, by gaining gold trophies for every level in a set, the player unlocks a new set of harder levels to play through. Needless to say, there are a lot of levels, and trying to gain a gold trophy for some of the harder levels is nothing short of frustrating at times.

Also, as another fun gameplay feature, each set of levels ends with a boss encounter. These encounters aren’t overly challenging, but do require a lot more thought than any other enemies in the game. The bosses involved are mostly returning villains from previous franchise instalments, but that doesn’t detract from how enjoyable these encounters are, instead it makes the finales of each set of levels an interesting change of pace from the other levels.

Aesthetically, Blowout Blast is absolutely beautiful. The levels, although simple in construction are all bright, colourful and full of character. All of the instantly recognisable enemies from the franchise, and Kirby himself, are adorable. The music is ludicrously chirpy, with each set of levels having its own incredibly infectious tune to get stuck inside the player’s head. The whole package is a wonderfully cohesive and (I hate to use this term) charming affair, and most of that comes from how it looks and sounds.

So, should you buy and play Kirby’s Blowout Blast? Well, if you like Kirby I would definitely say yes. The Pink Blob is back and is part of a fantastic little platformer (even if an enhanced sub-game). Even if you aren’t a fan, this wonderful little game is a paltry £6.29. There’s a lot to the game, once you include all of the EX levels and the attempt to gain gold trophies in every level, so it is more than worth the cost. In short, this mini game is absolutely anything but mini.

Kirby’s Blowout Blast is now available in Nintendo 3DS eShop.
Thank you Nintendo UK for kindly supplying the code for this review.

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