If you ever wondered how Nintendo could make the Kirby series a bit more exciting, then you might be surprised at Kirby’s latest adventure on Nintendo 3DS. Kirby Planet Robobot is a new Kirby game that gives the pink puff ball a mech. This might seem like a stupid idea at first, but it actually makes the platforming and simple puzzles all the more interesting. All of Kirby’s powers are applied to the robot he uses, which gives him a whole new array of powers for fighting enemies and traversing each level. Who ever thought mixing Kirby with a mobile suit would fit so well together?
Much of Planet Robobot’s gameplay is very similar to other Kirby games. Simple platforming, boss fights, and many different stages to explore while collecting items for secrets and unlockables. Nothing is that much different than what you may have seen before until the first time Kirby enters a mech in the beginning of the game. Moving around in the big robot makes Kirby much more powerful, allowing him to bulldoze through some obstacles and most enemies that appear on screen.
I found myself breezing through large portions of levels the moment I piloted a robot. This is taken even further when you absorb an enemy and gain one of many different powers that Kirby can use while inside the robot. Sometimes this is necessary to find hidden collectibles that are cleverly hidden in the stage, though they aren’t all that impossible to spot.
The story of Planet Robobot is not elaborate. Aliens come to Dream Land and begin drilling giant machines into the ground, bring with them mechanized weapons to cause all kinds of havoc. There are some cheesy moments in the main story that might make you laugh, but there isn’t much beyond that. The Kirby games never really had a strong point in storytelling, and Planet Robobot is no different. The designs of enemies and stage backgrounds are colorful and detailed. Some boss characters from previous Kirby games make small appearances, but they are very brief and over before you realize it.
Outside of the main campaign, Kirby Planet Robobot has a selection of smaller mini-games that can be played solo or with others cooperatively. Team Kirby Clash is a Monster Hunter inspired action-RPG where up to four players can battle a series of bosses to gain experience points towards leveling up different ability classes. While it can be played alone, joining up with three other friends is a much better experience, especially against the later bosses that have a big difficulty spike.
The other mini-game, Kirby 3D Rumble, is a timed arena where you must defeat enemies quickly across various levels. This is the simpler and quickest of the mini-games that can only be played solo. I was able to complete Kirby 3D Rumble in a very short time, and never found myself going back again once I did.
Once you complete the main campaign in Kirby Planet Robobot, you unlock two other modes that add only a slight amount of extra play time, depending on how much you like Kirby games. Meta Knightmare Returns has you playing as Meta Knight through a slightly harder version of the main campaign, while The Arena is a simple Boss Rush mode that offers little items against every boss fight in the game. Both modes are good unlockables for completing the main game, but don’t really offer much rewards themselves for completing them afterwards.
In addition, Kirby Planet Robobot has amiibo support with the Planet Robobot line of amiibo figures. Scanning the amiibo on the Nintendo 3DS system immediately gives Kirby a copy ability or item on the fly, but that’s about it. You don’t really get much else besides that and can totally play through the game without once scanning an amiibo figure.
Giving Kirby a mech on his newest adventure was a fun idea to make Kirby Planet Robobot a joy to play through. While it doesn’t completely change up the formula of the series, it doesn’t necessarily make it worse either. The platforming, level exploration, and puzzles are still done well and make for an enjoyable Kirby game.
While there are some interesting extra modes to play through alone or with some friends, they only add a bit extra playtime to an already solid main game. If you like Kirby and have followed his exploits throughout Nintendo’s previous consoles and handhelds, then adding Kirby Planet Robobot to your collection won’t be such a bad idea.
This review was based on a digital review code of Kirby Planet Robobot for Nintendo 3DS provided by Nintendo.