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E3 2010: Kirby's Epic Yarn first impressions

At this risk of spewing pro-Nintendo hyperbole, Epic Yarn is the cutest, most charming game on the Wii. Even our bitterly aging gamer hearts melted at the game’s adorable visual style, which presents the entire world as one made of yarn and other soft, fuzzy fabrics. Kirby himself exists only as a piece of malleable yarn that shape-shifts and stretches as needed – for example, he can whip out a piece of string and snag enemies, or transform into a car when dashing or a sub while underwater, or a huggable parachute to slow your descent. The constant motion and bounciness is quite infectious, as if daring you not to smile.

His whip attack also latches on to certain points of the level, enabling him to yank entire chunks of the world into different shapes or positions. The cloth-like effect of a castle collapsing into a pile of glop isn’t a showstopping moment, but it’s damn effective at making this fashion-minded universe feel more unique than most of the other games of the show.

All those effects can be seen in the trailer above though, so the only lasting impression I can leave is that Epic Yarn is fun. If the game looked like every other Kirby title, yes we’d be singing a different tune. But as it is, the graphics feed directly into the classic 2D gameplay in a perfect union, making it paradoxically one of the freshest and old-schooliest games of the show. The two-player mode, which lets you play the entire game together, furthers that way-back vibe, and also works its way into some of the level design – snagging the other player with yarn and tossing him through enemies or breakable objects, for instance.

It’s also nice to see Nintendo mixing Kirby up – his past few games have been pretty stale (Air Ride Squeak Squad and the Super Star SNES compilation) so it’s great that Kirby gets to have another Canvas Curse-level outing.

Epic Yarn is slated for a Holiday 2010 release, part of Nintendo’s strongest winter lineup in years. Donkey Kong, Metroid, Kirby, plus GoldenEye and NBA Jam? It’s like we’re back in the SNES glory days.

Jun 16, 2010

18 comments

  • HumanMeatPuppet - June 17, 2010 12:55 p.m.

    I'm still skeptical to whether it will work or not
  • shadowarrior99 - June 17, 2010 1:34 a.m.

    the music, the music makes me feel so... HAPPY AND FUZZY! wwaaaahhh! im smiling.
  • Tenfey - June 17, 2010 1:05 a.m.

    If I were to play that game I would most certainly trip balls.
  • Spooge10 - June 17, 2010 12:55 a.m.

    @StriderHoang Lol'd at Pepperidge Farms. But honestly this game looks great.
  • StriderHoang - June 17, 2010 12:42 a.m.

    This game is charming! Remember when games were cute? Pepperidge Farms remembers.
  • shyfonzie - June 17, 2010 12:28 a.m.

    Wow, this game really doesn't come across in screenshots. The animation is beautiful!
  • RocketPenis - June 17, 2010 12:22 a.m.

    God I've been waiting for this game, since the last kirby platformer came out on consoles.
  • Mexicutioner - June 17, 2010 12:12 a.m.

    Watching this at the live stream of the Nintendo conference, *cough from a competitors website cough*, made me want to get a Wii. I might just get it for a friend as a birthday present just so I could play it.
  • CH3BURASHKA - June 17, 2010 12:07 a.m.

    @Elston - you never know; maybe his long-lost wife gave her life for all that yarn.
  • SenatorPepper - June 16, 2010 11:59 p.m.

    Oh, Nintendo. Pleas accept my <3 piece.
  • EnragedTortoise1 - June 16, 2010 11:49 p.m.

    Thank God for Christmas.
  • RainbowStalin - June 16, 2010 11:27 p.m.

    Brett, you see kirby use different powers in the trailer (tank, spaceship etc). Does Kirby still absorb powers from enemies somehow, or are the powered-up Kirby sections now scripted?
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - June 16, 2010 10:48 p.m.

    No sucking enemies this time around, as in Canvas Curse. It's all about using his whip arm! (not wife arm)
  • SoutheastSam - June 16, 2010 10:45 p.m.

    One of my favorites from the Nintendo conference. Hope it's gonna be awesome
  • 510BrotherPanda - June 16, 2010 10:36 p.m.

    Does Kirby loose his ability to inhale in this one, trading it for the grabby whip yarn? I'm a little confused. But as a Nintendo fan and crocheting enthusiast, I approve!
  • Metroidhunter32 - June 16, 2010 10:35 p.m.

    The way that being yarn affects the world reminds me ALLOT of Paper Mario: TTYD. And I loved that game, so all thumbs up from me.
  • Cleanser247 - June 16, 2010 10:35 p.m.

    Looks very interesting!
  • Oxtranzor - June 16, 2010 10:22 p.m.

    FIRST!!!! i hope i can play that game, cutesy 2D here we come!

Showing 1-18 of 18 comments

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