With the overwhelmingly positive adoption of the Nintendo Switch by the masses since it’s release it would have been all too easy for Nintendo to remove support completely and leave the 3DS system to fade away. Thankfully though, since the launch of the Switch, the 3DS has actually had some of it’s strongest and largest scale games released as the doors opened on a new business model for the 3D handheld. Wii ports. There have been a number of them over the past couple of years and the latest is Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn. A remake of Kirby’s Epic Yarn, originally released for the Nintendo Wii back in 2010. This remake remains mostly faithful to the experience of the original but has added in a few ‘extra’ additions and systems to attract new players to the series as well as giving people that did play it back in the day another reason to jump back in.
The story of the game is quite straight forward and the tone for the whole game is set fairly quickly after booting up the game for the first time. After stumbling across and attempting to suck up a tomato, Kirby discovers it’s actually a trap set up by the evil Yin-Yarn who then teleports Kirby to a magical world known as Patch Land, a place constructed completely of yarn and various fabrics.
While in Patch Land, Kirby crosses paths with Prince Fluff who needs his help recollecting the Magic Yarn to help piece Patch Land back together, stop Yin-Yarn and get Kirby back home. This sets in motion the key motivations for the game. As mentioned this is by no means and incredibly deep story but it’s one that younger audiences will be able to grasp and understand and one that will provide enough motivation for older players to keep progressing.
The 3DS port is a very faithful recreation of the original Wii game, the story is the same, the levels use the same layouts and there is the same peaceful tranquillity experienced while playing this relaxing platformer.
As in the original, Kirby is unable to die which does make the game quite accessible to all audiences but also removes some of the overall challenge of a platformer. When colliding with enemies Kirby will just experience a push backwards and when falling to what should be death Kirby is lifted back up to safety.
But while there hasn’t been any new levels or story content included in this version at all, there have been a few new features put in place to change up the gameplay a bit. A new Devilish mode has been introduced for the levels that provides Kirby with a health bar and causes a looming, reoccurring enemy to pop up and follow you at times throughout the stages. This does increase the challenge a bit and allows Kirby to die but it’s somewhat offset by the Ravel yarn abilities Kirby is able to utilise in this version that leave him somewhat overpowered.
Because there aren’t any check points throughout the stages the game is quite punishing if you do happen to get a bit reckless and die while playing in Devilish mode. You’ll have to restart the stage again and re collect everything all over.
Those collectables can be used in a sub-game that resides inside Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn where you can use them to buy items to put on display and build out Kirby’s apartment in Patch Land.
One of my favourite things about Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn was that it’s stages are varied both in setting and design. This constantly kept things interesting and never made the game feel repetitive to get through. This combined with the incredibly peaceful and well crafted soundtrack made the game quite a therapeutic experience. Sometimes it’s nice to adventure through a world with minimal consequence and where everything isn’t out to get you.
Players that have played the original Wii release will notice one big difference with the 3DS version. There’s no co-op mode anymore. No longer can a second player join in on the adventure and play as Prince Fluff. This is likely due to the move over to the 3DS system, but a local co-op mode would have been great to see.
Outside of the main game, Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn has also introduced a couple of new mini-games to play and enjoy. There’s Slash & Bead, a fast paced bead collection game where you play as Meta-Knight and DeDeDe Go Go Go, an auto runner game where you play as King DeDeDe. These are really fun additions to the core game but unfortunately are really short, consisting of only a few stages each. Great idea but they’re over just as you’re getting into it.
Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn is a very charming platformer filled with vibrant colours and characters made of yarn. The addition of a Devilish mode adds a new layer of challenge for players that want some consequence in their Kirby experience. Unfortunately the co-op mode from the original game has been stripped out but there’s still so much charm packed into this experience that Kirby fans will still get a kick out of. It’s a game that can be enjoyed by players of all ages.
A Nintendo 3DS review copy was provided by Nintendo Australia for the purpose of this review.
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