*Insert obligatory 'it obviously sucks' joke here*
Dont let the Disney Jnr colour palette fool you: Kirby is badass. He turns into a ninja and combo-slices his foes, punishes them with a lion tamers whip even flattens three particularly cute ones with a massive stone block soon after the game begins. He is so gleefully evil, while looking like butter wouldnt melt if he inhaled it with his massive vacuum mouth. It probably wouldnt. It would probably turn him into a cowboy. But that just means--from what Ive played so far--this ostensibly kiddy platformer is a lot of fun for us grown-ups too.
Levels see you taking on the abilities of enemies by ingesting them, which continuously freshens up the otherwise standard platform action. Using these abilities, you'll find Sun Stones hidden in all the main levels, which are equivalent to New Super Mario Bros.' Gold Coins. Collect all of them in one world and you unlock a secret level. Nice. There are also key chains to collect, some of which can be unlocked with Play Coins. Loads to do, then.
Nintendo has clearly perfected its techniques for 3D display. Everything is sumptuously presented, with solid 3D platforms and faux depth-of-field foreground blurring all adding up to one of the most magical-looking worlds yet seen on the handheld. Kirbys movement is 'arcade chunky' (I just made that phrase up and I'm keeping it) and assured, although the frequent need to run with a double direction tap does mean its easier to control on the D-pad, even if your thumb gravitates toward the circle pad by default.
Besides the main story, there is a rhythm action minigame called Dededes Drum Dash and a rather ace Smash Bros. clone called Kirby Fighters. The latter uses Kirbys various power-up states as its character roster and even supports 4-player link-up, with support for download play. That's a massive bonus on top of the already enjoyable platform action.
You've probably guessed I like what I've seen so far. You can see more too, by clicking through for more screenshots and info.
The 2.5D action has hazards in the background and foreground
Here's Kirby as an archer. You can charge up a super shot too
That star will carry you into the background platform layer
Kirby was always my favourite Beetle. Wait...
This is the first boss. I won't spoil his amazing defense trick here
Oh, he's been smashed into the camera. Kirby is mean!
This world is made out of sugary goodness. Looks delicious!
Clearly a homage to CJ's Elephant Antics
Two scenes from Dedede's rhythm action minigame
And some more. Tap A on the bounce and the backbeat to win
Kirby's a fighter, not a lover
This is the awesome Smash Bros.-style side-game
Icy objects can be sucked over flames to melt them
Flowery Woods is an early boss. Feels mean to hurt him
That silver thing is a keychain. Collect 'em all!
Kirby Fighters is multiplayer, but has a solo mode too
That's a sun stone. Collect enough and you unlock the world's boss
Occasionally, you'll have to tilt the 3DS to solve puzzles...
...like this block with a lit fuse running over it
Hypernova Kirby can swallow practically anything
Some forms give Kirby special abilities, like rolling at high speed
But basically all he wants to do is this