Kirby's Epic Yarn is my pick for Best-Looking Game of E3. My pick for Best Game That Looks Like It Was Made Out Of Yarn. My pick for Best Game That Had A Kirby Mech That I Missed.
Kirby's Epic Yarn is one of two side-scrollers coming from Nintendo this fall, part of the gaming giant's unexpected continued revival of 2D console gaming that began with New Super Mario Bros Wii last November. This fall Donkey Kong gets a game all about running from left to right and so too does Kirby.
And, for once, who cares how a Nintendo game plays.
Let's just look at it:
I'll tell you a little bit about how it plays, if you think that matters. The game is played simply, with the Wii Remote held at its short ends like it is a Nintendo Entertainment System. Kirby appears to be made of yarn as do his enemies, but there appears to be no deeply woven complexity. He can jump and he can lash out yarn attacks. In key places he can unzip the world.
Kirby used to suck - as in, the character was all about inhaling his enemies and then gaining their abilities. He appears not to be able to do this in the new game. Instead, his transformations are based on the buttons you press and the environment he is in. For example, tapping the d-pad to the right makes him run to the right, but double-tapping to the right turns him into a yarn car.
I sure wish someone told me which button combo turns him into a yarn tank.
If he floats through a jump, he can be turned into a balloon. If he dunks into the water, he can turn into a sub.
And somewhere along the way he can fight bosses.
But, basically, this is not a wildly complex Best Gameplay Of 2010 contender, as far as I can tell. It's eye-candy, a simple run-jump-hit game set in a magnificent world of yarn and fabric. There is some sort of combo system in the game that earns you points for chaining moves, but the Nintendo reps who showed me the game at E3 weren't sure how that works.
For Kirby fans, expect Kirby's Epic Yarn to be closer to Kirby Squeak Squad than Kirby Canvas Curse in terms of gameplay. For those of you who have no idea what the previous sentence just meant, just look at the screenshots here again and know this game exists and, well, doesn't that make you happy? It's coming out for the Wii in the fall.