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Friday, February 27, 2015

Currently Playing #24: Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

The spiritual successor to the DS game, Kirby: Canvas Curse, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse released last Friday and like Majora's Mask 3D, I actually ended up buying it on launch day. Can't be late to every party, now can I?

While I do own Canvas Curse, it is one of the many games I've yet to really play, though I'm fully aware of how much it was herald as being one of the best DS games to make use of the touch screen. Likewise, Rainbow Curse relies heavily on the GamePad and stylus. Much as I'd love to gawk at the splendid HD clay visuals on the TV screen, I can't make precise stylus strokes and take in all that eye candy at the same time. So while that is a bit of a bummer, it doesn't detract too much from my enjoyment of playing Rainbow Curse. I suppose I could play the game with the TV turned off but when I'm not in a level, it's really nice to soak up that clay graphical style. Rainbow Curse has one of those unique art styles that ensures that it will look incredible years from now.

Since Kirby is a ball for the most part, it should go without saying that he doesn't control the way he does in his traditional platform adventures. Simply double tap Kirby to make him dash in the direction he's facing and whatever type of line you draw, Kirby will travel on that path. It's an easy enough concept to grasp and the first few worlds aren't really difficult but when you get to the third area, the challenge starts to ramp up. You'll run into enemies that can kill you in one hit and you'll have to use the right combination of stylus strokes to keep Kirby alive. Prepare for frustration if you're planning on trying to do this game 100%. You probably won't be able to find some of those treasure chests without consulting a guide and even when you know where some chests are, some chests will still test your patience, especially if they happens to lie in a timed room.

Currently I'm at 66% completion with the auto scrolling and fire levels being the bane of my existence. I lost so many lives trying to get the final treasure chest in 4-1, The Wild Red Yonder, an auto scrolling sky level that is definitely going to get a mention in my Frustrating Levels feature. I only played the first level of the token lava world and I don't think I've ever let out so many frustrated sighs while playing a Kirby game. Lava kills you instantly in Rainbow Curse and if you don't use correct stylus work, you're going to melt the flesh right off of Kirby's bones or whatever form of structure he has under all that pink. The game does thankfully allow you to save any lives you collect, probably because the developers knew the later levels were gonna screw you over.

I've played the game multiplayer aand it's a bit like Kirby's Return to Dream Land. Everyone but the first player plays as a bandanna-wearing, spear-wielding Waddle Dee and unlike Kirby, they can move about freely. Waddle Dees can even travel on the stylus strokes that you create. Things can also get quite hectic with more players in on the action. You can be in the process of trying to protect Waddle Dees from enemy attacks and accidentally get them killed. It's tricky business to look out for Kirby as well as your allies. Still, Waddle Dees can dispose of enemies with their spears and they can collect treasure chests for you so it can be nice to have them around in case you miss something.

This game is just effing adorable. It all starts out with that insanely cute opening cut scene, handled in pick-you-jaw-up-off-the-floor claymation. Once this game turns on the cute, it doesn't stop. There are giddy-like pictures to look through if you collect pages for Elline's diary and more often than not, clay figurines are hiding in the treasure chests you find. Every time you think this game is done making you go "Awwww!" it gives you something else to squee over.

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