E3 2011

E3: Kirby: Mass Attack

| 9 Jun 2011 17:24
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The only thing better than one Kirby is ten Kirbys.

Nintendo slyly revealed at its E3 press conference that Japan's Atsumete! Kirby was coming to North America on the DS as Kirby: Mass Attack. The name is appropriate, because it features up to ten Kirbys onscreen at once cooperating toward a common goal.

This might sound hectic, but it's easy to manage. Players start the game with a single, lonely Kirby. Mass Attack uses touchscreen controls to move Kirby around the side-scrolling levels. You flick in a direction to make Kirby jump. If you press on Kirby for a second and draw a rainbow-colored line, he'll float to a specific point (but only up to a constrained distance). Tapping on an enemy makes Kirby attack it. Even though the game was still in Japanese, it was easy to figure out how to play.

Players can get more Kirbys on the screen by collecting fruit that appears by bashing blocks, defeating enemies, and completing other special tasks. If you flick Kirby toward a hanging vine, he'll pull it down and make either fruit or an enemy pop out. Certain spots require the cooperation of multiple Kirbys, such as a giant plant (with hanging vine) clogging up a hole in the Earth.

There was surprisingly little Kirby enemy inhalation action in my demo, one of the pink blob's signature moves. Maybe it comes later. The emphasis was on touchscreen platforming and collecting Kirbys to make it through the obstacles of the level. The demo was a really fun taste of another new type of Kirby title along the lines of Kirby: Canvas Curse. The game doesn't have a release date, but I wouldn't expect it for a while considering the demo at E3 was still entirely in Japanese.

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