Ever since Nintendo's E3 press conference the second I saw Kirby's Epic Yarn I knew it was the game for me. Being an immensely large fan of Yoshi's Story on the N64, this was all thanks to the visual style, music and child-like pop-up book appearance. Yoshi's Story was a game that always stuck with me over the years, in my eyes the game had it all.
No game experience had ever come close to that of Yoshi's Story, that is up until now. When I was lucky enough to of had the opportunity to play Kirby's Epic Yarn for the Nintendo Wii.
Kirby is of course quite a well known franchise of Nintendo's that is now being revived, Kirby's first game of course being Kirby's Dream Land (Game Boy) which was developed by HAL Laboratory Inc. Kirby's Epic Yarn however is being developed by Wario Land: The Shake Dimension's development team Good-Feel, while also being supervised by HAL Laboratory. This of course doesn't mean it's going to be bad as HAL aren't developing it, on the other hand I don't really think it could have been much better. Being the first platform based Kirby game on home consoles since 2000, Nintendo, Good-Feel and HAL Laboratory have done a great job reviving the puffy loveable character.
As well as going with a distinct visual style the gameplay has slightly changed from what players of Kirby games will be used to. He no longer sucks up his opponents for their abilities like a mini vaccuum, Kirby instead has an attack which is a thread of yarn with Kirby's trademark star at the end of it, if held down when attacking an enemy they then turn into a ball of yarn, which can then be used as a projectile.
The demo I played was the E3 demo, that comprised of three levels which included a boss, the demo managed to show off a large portion of what the game has to offer, for example automatically turning into Sub-Kirby when going under water, Car-Kirby when double tapping, unzipping a piece of the level and of course Robot-Kirby.
The controls have been made very simple, making the player have to remember as little as possible to move our inflated friend about, there was also no nunchuck was needed for the demo and the controller had to be held sideways while playing.
The d-pad controls Kirby, with the added feature of pressing down in a doorway enabling him to go into the building, Kirby's location is then represented as a soft bump in the building. Pressing the direction you are moving twice in concession turns Kirby into a little car which travels a lot faster than regular Kirby.
You've then got the 1 button to jump (holding it down while in the air enables him to turn into parachute Kirby gliding him down to safety) and 2 to attack (holding it down turns the enemy into a ball of yarn) the attack button of has other uses of course though, for hanging onto buttons, tearing away squares of fabric or opening zips. Those were the basic controls that were shown in the demo though.
However there was also robot Kirby which required you to tilt the Wii Remote while still using it sideways to aim the cannon of this version of Kirby, however these are only small occurrences I through-out the game.
Kirby's Epic Yarn really does seem to have been one of my favourite games from E3, maybe even my favourite, and I'm extremely happy I had a chance to play it, my only negative point is that I feel I should have played it multiple times. Overall the game was everything I expected it to be, challenging at times, yet easy at others, stunning visuals added with a huge punch of cuteness, it is now set to be released during the first quarter of 2011, and I urge all Nintendo Wii owners to pick this one up.