Hot on the tails of last year's Kirby: Epic Yarn comes the next game starring the lovable blob from Nintendo's HAL Laboratory studio. Kirby Wii has had a long development history - originally slated for the Nintendo GameCube - but Steve Butts really enjoyed the new powerups and classic easy to grasp gameplay. It doesn't have the innovative setting and aesthetic of Epic Yarn but that doesn't mean Kirby in his more natural environment isn't any fun. Plus, he's got a few friends along for the ride as Kirby Wii introduces cooperative play for up to four players.
Read Steve Butts' full preview of Kirby Wii here. No word on a release date on the Nintendo Wii, but it's scheduled for this fall.
Other powerups are far more impressive. If you swallow certain objects, you can transform Kirby into a fire-breathing puffball. Watching as you incinerate row after row of round little enemies is darn fun. My favorite has to be the transformation of Kirby into Link, complete with giant sword and green cap. The sword here is clearly overpowered as it's able to clear every single enemy on the screen in a single swipe.
In addition to Kirby, you can have up to three friends join in, playing either as MetaKnight, King Dedede or Waddle Dee. The levels we played didn't seem to have the same fun interactions that we had throwing each other around in Epic Yarn, so as long as one player is accomplishing the objectives, everyone else is kind of just along for the ride. Smashing enemies and blocks, leaping over chasms, grabbing keys and such are all pretty par for the course, but when you do get four players on the screen at once, it gets very frantic.
The only real misstep is that Kirby's allies aren't nearly as versatile or powerful as he is. When he absorbs aspects of enemies and can clear an entire screen of enemies and obstacles, it makes King Dedede's sledgehammer seem a little pointless. Sure, each character has its own flavor, but there's a reason the game is called Kirby. I just wish the other characters had more to offer.