Product Type: Nintendo Wii games
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Surprisingly Easy to Swallow
Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii)
Member Name: grixthraves
Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii)
Advantages: Striking visuals and animation, fun gameplay
Disadvantages: Lack of genuine depth, whip can be awkward to use
Kirby's fame nowadays comes from Nintendo's popular Smash Bros. series, but as a standalone character can quite easily be shuffled into the childish and colourful simplicity that keeps a few certain demographic groups from taking interest in him at all. It's not that I'd directly recommend Kirby to a gamer obsessed with war based shooters or big-eye based Japanese RPG's anyway, but I understand that the typical argument of "there's a good game under the childish exterior" doesn't really matter to most. The point is that Kirby's first (and most likely only) Wii game knows exactly what it is, and does it pretty well. If you won't enjoy it, you know this already.
Kirby's Epic Yarn is a platform based game, aimed at a younger audience, and is set on a world map where progressing through one level will unlock the next. The levels are based in small 'areas' which the levels are related to (a water level in a water area), and the game involves being able to change 'Yarn' Kirby into different shapes and sizes in order to get to the end of the level, e.g. becoming a tank or submarine.
The game itself is fun, but the real defining parts are the visuals, and animation. The swings and whips of Kirby look wonderful, very well animated - the whole world being made from fabric helps to make a warm and visually enjoyable game. The whip can be a little tricky to use, especially when having to whip onto a button in order to dangle off of it. But the frustrations of the game are minimal.
I think most importantly though, the game is two player, allowing Kirby to be joined by a similar blue 'Prince' character. In general across gaming platforms, co-operative games are difficult to come by, especially ones that can be played with younger members of the family. If this is your main consideration for the game, then I highly recommend it.
Otherwise it has a reasonable learning curve (it begins very easy and ends up moderately challenging), and if you're stuck for a solo game to play, you can do worse. A confusing aspect though is that even though this is branded as a Kirby game, there's no real identifiable Kirby gameplay elements, the most obvious being the lack of sucking up enemies. You simply whip them and spin them (and they fall to cloth), making it feel that the Kirby name and character is just for branding, and does not feel similar to previous Kirby games.
Also, the Wii-Mote is held sideways, which makes it appropriate for inexperienced hands (the Wii-Mote and Nunchuck combination can confuse younger children). It's a simple game to complete, with elements such as wallpapers and furniture to collect for a 100% completion. (You are able to decorate your own room within the game, but the fun of that doesn't last very long.)
It's an odd game to recommend, but the game's journey is a sweet one. It could have been a lot more - but as a way to spend time with a child or partner (where violence is an issue) then it'll serve your time well.
Summary: A sweet and simple game, but mostly recommended for two players working together
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