NS Review – Kirby Star Allies (Switch)

Kirby Star Allies Switch Review

Well here we are, comfortably into the second year of Nintendo Switch, having enjoyed a first year jam packed with all the big hitters from Nintendo themselves. In the wait for Smash Bros, Pokemon, Metroid Prime 4, plus some other first party treats yet to be revealed (perhaps?) it’s time for the not so big stars of Nintendo to have their turn in the Switch spot-light. With Yoshi on the horizon, as well as Hyrule Warriors and Tropical Freeze Wii U ports due next month, first during this slightly quieter period, it’s the turn of our little pink friend Kirby.

And this time he’s here with his friends. Loads of them. The main mechanic of Kirby Star Allies is the ability to throw hearts at the many enemies that roam the beautiful range of platform levels, which, in turn, means they will join your team. You can ‘tag’ up to three characters to join you at any one time, then sending some love to a fourth means you simply need to choose which of your current line up you will replace.

Kirby Star Allies Switch Review

These ‘virtual friends’ help you along your way, even in single player mode. They respond to the scenarios you find yourself in, rushing in to help out, take out enemies or combine with you to create special abilities or solve puzzles. Combine fire with a pole to light a fuse, add ice to rocks to create a sliding ice hockey puck that slides around the level taking out enemies and activating switches. Or, make a flame sword, form an umbrella to shield an electric current from a waterfall; with such a range of enemies and abilities to mix and match I was constantly finding new things to do as I explored the many many levels.

Much like the many previous Kirby titles that have graced the Wii, Wii U and 3DS in recent years, including Kirby Triple Deluxe and Planet Robobot, Star Allies is at it’s best when you’re experiencing one of many many impressive one off set pieces. From forming a team of four and rolling, smashing your way through obstacles and enemies, to forming a run away ‘train’ of characters, let loose along a series of paths, or shooting through the sky as a ‘friend star’, these action packed moments are great fun to play, and I was itching for more of them as I progressed through. I was not left disappointed, but to tell you about any more of them would be to spoil too many of the games highlights.

Whilst you certainly don’t buy a Kirby game for the challenge, the majority of levels made me feel like I was playing a game for beginners. With the literal sign posting, making sure you know what abilities are needed, the conveniently placed enemies, available to join your team or for you to inhale for yourself, as well as hints and tips on the loading screens between sections, you don’t have any excuses to fail. Other than the tougher Boss rush mode that unlocks after the main game is completed, I was casually breezing through most levels. Don’t get me wrong, I found myself stumped a few times, challenged as I was determined to find every secret level and collectible on my first play through of each level. Completing the main story also unlocks a Speed run mode, bundling together level highlights for you to enjoy over again.

Kirby Star Allies Switch Review

Kirby Star Allies looks wonderful and sounds pretty awesome too. Visuals look polished, it plays super smooth and the various music tracks that play along each level are fun. With the familiar Kirby sound effects too, from the thud of getting hit to the level complete ditty it’s the Kirby you know and expect. With returning characters recently added via DLC, including some from Kirby’s Dream Land 2 and 3, the classic themes continue. But all this said, it doesn’t feel like it should be a full priced game. Compared to something like Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2 or Zelda, I don’t think you’re going to get the same value for money. But, if Kirby is your thing, or you want something to enjoy with the kids, or maybe just fancy something fun and easy to play, Kirby Star Allies is an easy recommendation.

Thanks to Nintendo UK for supplying the download code for this one.

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