2016 can easily be considered the year of great returns, in between DOOM that rages in the sales charts and a Uncharted 4: End of a Thief which brings Sony's home console more and more to the stars, even Nintendo together with its trusty portable console wants to participate in the great videogame party. Recently Fire Emblem Fates it has brought even more luster to the Japanese software house but, as tradition has it, every now and then it is right to restore one of the most successful IPs to glory; obviously we are talking about Kirby. Just two years after the incredible and acclaimed Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Nintendo and HAL Laboratory are back again with the iconic and plump pink ball, created in 1992 by the brilliant Sakurai under the influence of the great Satoru Iwata, in a new and exciting chapter: Kirby Planet Robobot. In a videogame industry stuck not on marketing and profits but on ideas, accompanied by a fairly mediocre historical period in terms of quality and innovation, Nintendo will be able to hit the mark again by bringing back to glory a series that goes on (between ups and downs) for over 20 years? Get comfortable and let's find out together!
Return to Dream Land
In a period of prosperity and peace in that of Dream Land, our hero is immersed in actions of utmost importance and delicacy: eating and taking sweet regenerating naps under the shade of a tree. Unfortunately, everything has a beginning and an end and therefore, in a lightning-fast way, on the planet Pop an imposing alien spaceship bursts in bringing with it devastation and dangers caused by the bombardment of mysterious enemy artifacts planted in the valleys, obviously accompanied by treacherous new enemies. The situation is serious enough to awaken the ardor of Meta Knight and the power of King Dedede in order to protect the planet but, due to the overwhelming power of the enemy, Kirby's two bitter rivals are overwhelmed and captured. Our hero will therefore find himself alone in facing the unknown and unstoppable threat relying solely on his own strength and rarely on some unexpected ally.
In short, it is now the secret of Pulcinella, in the Kirby games the plot is less and less. Don't worry though, the frenzy and pace of the game will make you overlook this detail as always and will still make you enjoy a new adventure with predictable twists, yes, but with an ending that will give you many joys.
Ro (bo) bot Kirby in action!
The real novelty of Kirby: Planet Robobot is the introduction, obviously exploiting the personality and skills of the new enemies, of the mechs in the gameplay of the title. In fact, sucking up the new enemies, or rather their armor, Kirby will be able to use a real mech that will completely upset the character's asset making it a real war machine. Between mechs with rotating blades, armed with cannons that demand justice or flamethrowers ready to make a nice barbecue of enemies, our hero will finally have the right weapons to defend and save his beloved planet.
While the arrival of the mechs has brought a breath of fresh air and new lymph of fun to the series, on the other, unfortunately, it has highlighted the real big problem of the title: the ease in which the various stages and / or Bosses are completed. Ok, we all know that this game is primarily reserved for a very young audience, but in my opinion it is not possible to conceive a platform in which every concept of personal challenge that can be posed to the player fails. The power of the various armor present in the title, also associated with a fairly deficient AI of the game, make the arrival of the mechs the real Achilles heel of Kirby Planet Robobot.
Evolution of a solid videogame base
HAL Laboratory, without producing a similar copy, strongly wanted to recycle or better use again the best that had been done with Kirby Triple Deluxe. At the graphic level we find an unchanged game interface with the character design of the various characters of the title attached, being a title that constantly exploits (at the player's personal choice) the constant change of 2D / 3D graphics, I was able to see a net drop in frame rate during the most excited phases; for example in a Boss Fight or during the battle phases with the mech. In terms of gameplay, leaving out the introduction of mechs already mentioned above, three new powers stand out:
- Kirby Doctor: he will be able to throw pills and beat up his opponents through his medical record
- Sensitive Kirby: through the acquisition of powerful mental powers, Kirby will make all opponents fly away
- Kirby Poison: allows you to smear the protagonist's surroundings with poisonous pools, so as to cause damage over time to the enemies that pass over them
The level design of the various game stages, compared to the previous chapter, has been improved to the point of never having (even at a distance of different worlds) repetitive levels that would lead to the adult player but above all to a little one to get bored. To make the gaming experience of Kirby Planet Robobot is the compatibility (as happened in many other titles of the big N) with the Amiibo, collectible figurines depicting the famous Nintendo icons. On the occasion of the advent of this feature, together with the title will also arrive four new Amiibo of the series called "Kirby Superstars" which will be of fundamental importance within the title. The peculiarity of these new figurines are, in addition to mere aesthetic purposes, also to have a close compatibility with the game by giving the pink ball some special and exclusive power-ups:
- Kirby Amiibo (Kirby Series): UFO, can only be used once a day
- King Dedede Amiibo (Kirby Series): special hammer
- Meta Knight Amiibo (Kirby Series): special sword
- Waddle Dee Amiibo (Kirby Series): special sun visor
Have you been good and diligent Amiibo collectors? Have you bought the huge “Super Smash Bros.” series? Well, know that they too will be compatible with the title; for example:
- Mario's amiibo: fire skill
- Peach's amiibo: sunshade ability
- Link's amiibo: sword skill
- Kirby's Amiibo (Smash Bros. Series): Kirby will use the moves already used in the famous fighting game created by Sakurai, it will be as devastating as the mechs
The search for collectables and the new methods introduced will make the title as long-lived as ever
The single player mode of Kirby: Planet Robobot it will not entertain you for long, from personal experience in not even six hours I completed the title without any kind of problem, but if you have the sacred fire of extreme collecting in you ... know that through the search for stickers, cosmic cubes and much more to inside of each single level the game experience will last for at least ten hours as they are hidden in a really difficult way. Another novelty promoted by HAL Laboratory is the introduction of two new game modes in the title. The first is there 3D Kirby Challenge, an isometric single-player action puzzle in which our hero will have to suck in objects or enemies and eliminate all opponents in as few moves as possible. By engulfing multiple enemies at the same time, Kirby will be able to unleash a powerful Star Bullet that will blast the remaining opponents with its explosion, maximizing the score.
The second novelty instead is the Kirby team in action, an action game with RPG elements that allows players to fight alongside CPU-controlled allies, or team up with up to three other players in local multiplayer or download mode to defeat the most powerful enemies as quickly as possible . Kirby can choose from four classic RPG-inspired classes, such as Heroic Sword, Master Hammer, Mystic Doctor and Magic Beam. After each battle, all Kirbys will gain experience and have the potential to level up, improving their abilities for future encounters. During battles, enemies will also be able to drop four parts of a magical tablet, which when joined together will allow players to unleash special cooperative attacks. Finally, we leave you with the game's launch trailer, enjoy: