“ Genre: Action / Rating: E - (Everyone) / Published by: Nintendo „
Kirby: Squeak Squad DS Review: (5th November 2007)
Kirby has already had an outing on DS, the excellent Canvas Curse, but this new Kirby is in the same style as the older games, such as The Amazing Mirror/Magical Labyrinth. In this installment, the evil Squeak Squad steal Kirby's delicious Strawberry Shortcake, and Kirby wants it back! Will it stand up to these previous games?
Stylistically, there's never been much wrong with the Kirby games, everything is a unique style, everything is happy and cheerful, and so on. However, while some backgrounds are ones I haven't seen in previous Kirby games, some of them are repeated backgrounds, and a lot of the enemies look exactly the same. I know the saying is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", but with the possibilities of the DS, it seems almost disappointing to have graphics almost the same as the GBA outing. So while the backgrounds and graphics are amazing in their style, it loses a point for not even attempting to change or improve.
Basically, the music is the same as previous outings, with maybe a couple of different tunes. The problem is, once you've gotten past the fact the graphics are the same, when you start getting to the fact that the game even recycles the same music, without attempting to better it, or even to evolve it slightly. However, while the tunes are memorable, if you've played any Kirby game before, you can just listen to something else, because you've heard it all before. Another point off for the same reason as the point off for graphics.
By now, it will come as absolutely no surprise if I complain about it being more of the same old. However, while it is, the game does actually evolve in this area. While it is the same as the old Kirby games in many ways, it also mixes it up a little. The best example of this is the 5 storage items, which you can bust out at any time in order to make the most of a situation. Out of all the changes, this is the one that makes the biggest difference. It gives it one of its biggest pluses, and one of its minor complaints. This is because while it makes the game slightly easy, since you can just grab the abilities you need to get the hidden treasures in each level, but it also allows for, in my opinion, its greatest strength, playability. The game is amazingly playable, and there's so much you can do. You could go through the stage as almost any type of Kirby, but to get through with all treasures, you need more than one ability, and the game becomes one of the most subtly deep games around. This is also increased by the hidden treasures, which though once you get used to the game, easy to find, always mean you're thinking ahead and giving you more fun out of the game, especially since there are so many ways to play the game. This is helped by the fact that the enemies are easy to kill, but however, this is also a drawback, as it makes the game too easy, and without the name above the health bar system of the Amazing Mirror game, it makes it almost, a bit too more detached than it should be. The minigames are not even worth mentioning, as they're all a bit rubbish, frankly, and you wouldn't really want to waste your time playing the minigames, when they could of had a co-operative mode of some sort, instead. The new forms Kirby can take are also worth mentioning as well, as some of them, especially the ninja Kirby, bring new fun to the game. Ninja Kirby is damn awesome. Finally, the other new addition that bears mentioning is the ability to mix abilities, thanks to Kirby storing 5 abilities, so mixing these abilities can cause new ones. However, while this could have been one of the greatest additions to the game, the makers decided to basically ignore this, and have the abilities only mix with the sword and bomb abilities, as long as you unlock the scroll allowing you to learn the extra moves for each character. So while after all this, you'll be rewarded with the abilities to make fire/thunder swords, and ice/thunder bombs, it makes no real difference to the game, because the enemies are so easy to kill anyway.
So functionally, while its more of the same, it combines into an immensely playable final product, which you'll come to love and appreciate after a while, but by the time you do, it'll probably be all over.
While there's a lot to do, and loads of hidden treasures to find, after a short while, it'll all be over, and while there's extra modes and the like, you more than likely won't play past once you've got the game completed, and all the treasures found, especially since the multiplayer is a massive letdown of inadequate minigames. Find it at a cheap price, and it's more worth your money.
In conclusion, while this game is immensely fun and playable while it lasts, it's too much like previous installments, and fails to capitalize on some of its new ideas. It's worth a purchase if you've never played Kirby before, or if you're a big fan, or in need of a quick game to play, but its hard to fully recommend otherwise.
-The Sheer amount of playability.
-Has a unique charm and feel to it.
-Hidden treasures add needed time to it.
-Some new abilities are nice ideas.
-Storing abilities makes the game much, much better.
-Everything is too similar to previous outings, and apart from a couple of ideas, doesn't really try.
-Minigames are boring and a let down.
-Fails to capitalize on new ideas, especially mixing abilities.
-Feels more like a slight update of the originals, than a new game.
Overall Score: 80%
When thieving mice called the Squeaks steal Kirby''s snack along with a ton of Dream Land treasures, the pink powerhouse sets out after them, copying new skills as he goes. Players can expect all the floating, jumping and battling of a classic Kirby game, but now they can even mix abilities and recovery items using the touch screen. With more than 25 upgradeable abilities, including new ones like Animal and Bubble, Kirby will have the tools he needs to defeat his toughest foes yet.