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Kirby's Epic Yarn Screens and Hands-On Impressions

By Scott Barkman / Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Of the surprises Nintendo unveiled during their press conference, Kirby getting his very own game for the first time in years wasn't the biggest shocker. The fact that Kirby is made out of yarn (epic yarn at that), certainly was a surprise for us.


With Kirby's Epic Yarn comes a very new art style. As the name suggests, the entire game looks like it was crafted out of cloth and textiles. From levels that look as though they've been sewn on a quilt, all the way down to our hero, who's made entirely of yarn, the game is all sorts of cute. It's also straight-up Kirby gold.


The game controls are relatively simple. You hold the Wii Remote sideways, New Super Mario Bros. Wii style. Left and right on the d-pad move Kirby left and right, while up allows you to climb ladders and flip through openings in the fabric in the level.  Doing so lets Kirby walk behind the scenes, causing the fabric to bulge wherever he moves.


The 1 button is your attack, which is best described as a yarn whip. Attacking your opponents unravels them and leaves their string remains floating to the ground. Or, players can wrap their foes entirely in yarn for use as a projectile. This is a really cool mechanic that simulates the sucking motion we've all come to love about Kirby, without actually needing to suck enemies up.


The demo available to us was a simultaneous multiplayer mode, a neat addition to the franchise. It elicited the same feeling of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, including the ability to interact with each other in the level. By working together, we could reach certain platforms and accomplish our tasks. According to Nintendo's press kit, the entire game is playable via two-player co-op.  There's no confirmation of that being online or local only.


Players could also hit the A button to pull their yarn Kirby off the screen and have him float to where the other player was, also much like Super Mario Bros Wii. This was very handy for the poor soul who was unlucky enough to be paired up with me.


Some of the more "advanced" moves available to you consist of turning your Kirby into a little race car to zoom ahead (double tap direction), the all too famous smash move that annoyed the heck out of me in Brawl. Also, the ground pound (down in mid air) and the parachute (press 2 while in the air) were skills Kirby could use, the latter allowing Kirby to float down slowly.


Where the game really shined was when Kirby lassoed a pull tab and yanked the entire level, making it appear as though the fabric bunched together. This made a previously un-traversable gap into an easy hop for the character. Very cool.


This is fresh platforming at its finest. For fans of the Kirby series, or for those new to the beloved world, it's on pace for being an excellent title.


Be sure to check out the trailer for the game, and all the screenshots below!


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