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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Product Pick: Kirby's Epic Yarn

     So, here we are again, with yet another product to pick apart.  Today's tale is one monumental piece of work, so grand in scale they even hinted at it in the title, Kirby's Epic Yarn.  This latest installment to the Kirby tale takes us into a new land, Patchland, and introduces a set of new characters, all of which are made of yarn.
     Now, as a fan of the original Kirby, this one is a mixed bag.  I was saddened when I first started to play, because the game is very childish in its storytelling.  After time, I warmed to the cuteness, but still this game tends to lean more towards a female demographic, and relies more on cuteness than action to keep the story moving.
     What did impress me was the artwork.  This game has been masterfully done.  Every line, every detail, has been amazingly cast in cloth and string, buttons and zippers.  The animation flows so fluid, you almost begin to believe your really are watching a living world of fabric.  As a still-novice programmer, I was awed and amazed by the work that must have gone into the development of this game.  Its a visual masterpiece.
    And, on top of that, the game play took me back.  This Kirby installment really is an heir to the original game, with the game world functioning in the exact same fashion.
     Gone, though are the days of sucking up foul enemies and ingesting them to take new forms.  This new yarn-ified Kirby takes on his metamorphic changes through the power of a yarn meta tomato, allowing him to change at will, instead of having to wait for an enemy to come along.  These small changes bring about a fresh take on a game that could have gone stale quickly.
     With the inclusion of a concurrent two-player mode, which can be played both during regular game play and mini games, this game is sure to keep couples gaming together for quite a long time.  I found that I enjoyed Kirby's Epic Yarn the most when my wife and I played together.  There is an interesting addictiveness in the multiplayer mode, where you can even go so far as to grab the other player and use them as a projectile weapon against your enemies.
     So, despite my personal issues with the storyline and target audience, I will have to give Kirby's Epic Yarn a four out of five digital fruit.  For game play that is a little too simplistic, my wife knocked off one fruit.  But overall this game is worth your time if you're into cute and cuddly.