Nintendo at E3: Kirby Trailer Review


By Mary Rakas
Nintendo had a strong presence at this year’s E3 event. A plethora of new game trailers were released June 13 and 14, ranging from classic series like Mario and Metroid to newer series such as Rocket League. Not least among the trailers is one for a Kirby game, which can be described in one word: euphoria.

For those familiar with the pink puffball, ‘appetizing’ would also be a fitting description. The yet untitled Nintendo Switch game appears to be a brand new adventure, and is slated for a 2018 release. Despite the absence of other details, much can be gleaned from the gameplay that is shown.

Most importantly, Kirby 2018 is borrowing from past titles in the franchise. Harkening back to the N64 days, players can once again combine multiple copy abilities to create unique special effects. Ability combos originated in The Crystal Shards and haven’t been seen since its release in 2000. A vastly limited version of the combo system was included in Squeak Squad on the Nintendo DS, but it wasn’t even in the same ballpark. Combo abilities have been missed.

Kirby 64 was arguably one of the best titles in the series, due in part to the ability combos. Among other options, players could make fire arrows, a giant snowball, and even a lightning boulder with which to fight off enemies. Kirby 2018 appears to expand on those options. Water bombs and a water hammer are shown in the trailer, along with an infatuation move that turns enemies into allies. An electric whip is shown too, and it’s wielded with enough skill to challenge the Belmont clan. It’s nothing but good news for fans. Adding new abilities will be a great way of providing variety and replay value, both in combat and puzzle-solving elements. (I’m thinking a toaster oven would be a nice, random ability to include).

One thing missing from the Kirby 2018 trailer is evidence of mini-games. This feature has become a staple in the franchise. From silly button-mashers where players compete to eat the most food, to others that improve memory and hand-eye coordination, there was something every type of gamer could enjoy. Mini-games are an essential feature to any Kirby game.

Two more ingredients will make Kirby’s latest adventure a recipe for success: multiplayer mode and difficulty level. Traditionally, only mini-games have been multiplayer. Titles such as Return to Dreamland for the Wii U have broken the mold, enabling co-op functions in mini-games and the main levels alike. If that trend continues, it will only serve to enhance the gameplay experience. Many times, games are more enjoyable when played with family and friends.

Kirby games have also been notoriously easy. Granted, the series as a whole is aimed at younger, more casual gamers. The SNES original and DS remake of Kirby Super Star, as well as Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, have been exceptions to the rule, offering more challenging puzzles and boss fights. However, these three games have still been described as somewhat easy. If Nintendo ups the difficulty, Kirby 2018 will be sure to draw in even more fans.

Though extra gameplay options aren’t shown, the new title may be too early in development for concrete announcements to be made. Further updates and trailers will no doubt be forthcoming as the release date closes in. Hopefully, mini-games and a co-op option for the main quest will be part of them.

Based on the E3 trailer, it looks like Nintendo cooked up a tasty treat with Kirby 2018. Players definitely have something to look forward to.

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