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I was not sure what to expect with Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. I knew it was a sequel of sorts to Kirby: Canvas Curse on DS which I had heard good things about. As the first Nintendo game to kick off 2015, I was hoping for good things. What I found was a unique platformer like no other that I have ever played. All for the low price of forty dollars. Count me in!
All seems well as Kirby and Waddle Dee are chilling in Dream Land when all of a sudden a hole opens in the sky! The color drains from the land and it stops everyone and everything. A magic paintbrush named Elline comes along and brings color back to Kirby and Waddle Dee. Together they go off to bring color back to Dream Land. The plot here is simple, but it works perfectly with the art style and gameplay. The story is really just a means to explain the gameplay and aesthetics.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is rated E and that is for good reason. There is absolutely nothing to worry about here. This game is family friendly and is a high recommendation for all ages.
Do you love the GamePad? I sure hope so because it will be the only way to play Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. You will traverse seven worlds as the main man, Kirby. You can have three friends jump in as well with a Pro Controller and they can play as Waddle Dee.
As Kirby you are in control of Elline who will help guide Kirby through each level with her painted lines. At first these lines simply guide Kirby along to the end of each level. As you progress on your journey the lines become more and more important. They become a means of blocking waterfalls, lasers, and help you avoid unkillable enemies.
These painted lines are not unstoppable. Oh no, that would be too easy. There are colorless sections in the game where your painted lines cannot be drawn, causing quite a challenge. Also, you really have to explore each level as they all have five treasure chests each.
These treasure chests can contain music or even trophies. They are neat and any completionist will enjoy the hunt for them. I found myself slowing down just to get more treasure chests instead of rushing through a level like a Sonic game.
You may be wondering what the other players are doing as player one is Kirby and has the Gamepad. Well actually any extra players playing as Waddle Dee and run around with swords. They are limited in their movement since they do not have the free flowing ability to draw lines to carry them places. However, they are useful additions as Kirby is not the most capable at combat. There are many enemies Kirby cannot kill and he needs to straight up avoid. I will admit the boss battles are easy to figure out, however they are not as easy as you will be drawing crazy amounts of lines to travel to their weak spots and strike!
My favorite levels, by far, are the ones where Elline transforms you into a tank or a submarine. This is a welcome break from the regular gameplay and keeps you on your toes. The entire game has you thinking, in fact, because you are constantly devising strategies to conquer your foe and collect treasure. There is no such thing as mindlessly playing Kirby and the Rainbow Curse.
This is not to say the game is perfect. The learning curve is well done. At first you will feel a bit awkward, but by the end of the game you will feel more like a master and ready to take on any other platformer Nintendo wants to throw at you. Actually, that is not much of a knock on the game.
My real gripe is that you can breeze through the story in a matter of six through seven hours. There is replayability with the challenge mode and playing with friends, but nonetheless it is not huge adventure like Super Mario 3D World or Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze.
On top of the story mode is a fun challenge mode. You are given a limited amount of time to complete an objective. Think along the lines of NES Remix or a Wario Ware game.
Graphics and Sound
The presentation in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is absolutely top notch. The aesthetics are claymation (but smoother) because everything is made of clay. When you wonder how a Wii U game can match a PS4 or Xbox One game in the graphics department, this is how. Everything is beautiful and visually appealing. From the enemies to environments to even Kirby himself.
I used to debate whether Mario Kart 8 or Super Mario 3D World was the best looking game on the Wii U, but now Kirby and the Rainbow Curse joins the conversation. There is nothing to not like about it in the graphics department especially since it runs at a crisp 1080p and 60 frames per second. I had to clean my glasses when I started playing just to make sure I was not seeing things.
While being amazed by the games aesthetics and thinking how to make Kirby reach his objective, I hummed the main tune. I did not even realize this until after I finished playing and started typing up this review. Take a listen for yourself.
Before I score the game, I need to ask myself: Would the game be as fun if it was with a non-Nintendo franchise character? The answer is a resounding yes. I am not even really a Kirby fan. The only game I have enjoyed in his series was Kirby: The Crystal Shards on N64 and I still haven’t completed that game.
Nintendo started things right in 2015 with Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. Everything about the game came together beautifully. This is a must own for any Wii U owner.
The Bottom Line
Another great platformer that takes full advantage of the Wii U's GamePad. Every Wii U owner should buy this game as soon as possible.