Don’t 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 tamer’s 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 wouldn’t melt if he inhaled it with his massive vacuum mouth. It probably wouldn’t. It would probably turn him into a cowboy. But that just means--from what I’ve 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. Kirby’s 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 it’s 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 Dedede’s Drum Dash and a rather ace Smash Bros. clone called Kirby Fighters. The latter uses Kirby’s 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.