Release Date: 25 February 2011
By this point in time the fact that I am a Kirby fanatic is a well-established fact. That being said there is no game out there that I would recommend to anyone more highly that Kirby’s Epic Yarn (not many people I associate with will listen to this recommendation, but I’ll go ahead and make it anyway), nor is there a game that I have played that has given me quite as much joy and fun as this one has. It is, quite simply put, the best game to ever grace a console, and it is against this game which all other games should be measured.
While out for a little stroll one day Kirby happens upon a tomato, his favourite food, and decides he wants to eat it. Sadly this tomato just happened to be possessed by Yin-Yarn, a rather devious sorcerer. Using his magical powers (whose source lies in a magical, and presumably evil, sock) he banishes Kirby to Patch Land, a world made entirely out of fabric.
Once in Patch Land Kirby quickly discovers, now that he too has been transformed into a textile, that he can’t inhale anything, copy an enemy’s abilities, or float around as he’s so accustomed to doing. On the up side he is able to use a whip, and with a little bit of effort manages to rescue Prince Fluff, the ruler of Patch Land.
Together, Kirby and Prince Fluff set out to find the missing pieces of magical yarn that once bound Patch Land together and stop Yin-Yarn from conquering both Patch Land and Dream Land.
To start off with it’s worth mentioning that this game began its life completely unrelated to the Kirby franchise, with my favourite little pink marshmallow being added in later. This accounts for the fact that Kirby has a completely different moveset to those found in his more traditional outings.
Taking us back to the good ol’ days of the NES Kirby’s Epic Yarn has you grab your Wiimote, hold it sideways, and begin a mission of absolutely adorable proportions. In terms of its controls the game handles beautifully (the only exception being the portions that rely on using the Wiimote as a pointer, which can be slightly unreliable) and is very easy to become accustomed to, even with Kirby’s new arsenal of moves.
Since we can’t inhale anything and we can’t copy abilities Kirby’s new trick is to whip enemies and unravel them, turning them into balls of yarn that can be used as projectiles either to defeat other enemies or to destroy blocks that get in your way. This whipping mechanic is also used to open up pathways by latching onto zippers and to swing from buttons to reach higher platforms. Additionally Kirby also has a few different transformations that are used in specific parts of the game: a giant missile-launching, havoc-wreaking robot, a buggy, a firetruck, an electrifying, Waddle Dee-abducting UFO, a weird star-shooting ship, a rocket ship, a dolphin, a penguin, and a train.
Visually and in terms of audio there’s nothing that can hold a candle to this game. Every inch of it has been so lovingly designed and crafted that even by general Nintendo standards, and the standards of the Kirby franchise in particular, there’s so much charm and delight coming from the TV screen that you may well need an insulin shot.
A complaint often leveled against this game is that it’s too easy. Granted even by Kirby standards this one gives you very little in the way of challenge as it is completely impossible – at worst a little fairy will swoop in and pick you up from where you fell, and you’ll lose some of the beads you’ve collected. This didn’t detract from the game for me because, even though a lot of people complain that Kirby games are too easy but I’ve yet to play one (and believe me, I’ve played a lot) that were ever actually difficult.
What challenge there is, like with all Kirby games, comes from trying to find all of the game’s hidden collectibles, beads that are scattered throughout each level, and the medals that come with collecting enough beads. I’ve poured more hours into this than I care to admit, and I still haven’t reached 100% completion.
There really are no words to describe how happy this game makes me.
The fact that you can’t die means that this is the perfect game to relax with after a tough day. If you’ve had a bad day, give me a call. I’ll order some pizza, we’ll pop this little gem in and have a bit of a run around Patch Land. Trust me, nothing bad can happen to you when you’re a pink woollen marshmallow riding on a fabric dinosaur trying to collect shiny beads.
My Final Rating: 10 / 10
Buy Kirby’s Epic Yarn at Amazon.com