Last weekend I sat down with Kirby’s Epic Yarn and although I wouldn’t describe my experience as “Epic”, I certainly did enjoy my brief time with the game. Epic Yarn is arguably the pink blob’s most significant title since Kirby’s Dream Land 3 on the SNES and it’s shaping up to be one of his best titles to-date.
The first thing you can’t help but notice about Epic Yarn is its gorgeous and unique art style. Clearly inspired by this Japanese commercial, the art direction in Epic Yarn is one of the best things about the game. This is not the first time Nintendo has taken a textile-heavy graphical approach. Those who remember Yoshi’s Story on the N64 will no doubt be familiar with such a concept. However Epic Yarn takes things one step further and the result is one of the best looking titles on the Wii to date.
As well as overhauling the graphics the developers at Good Feel and Hal have also made drastic changes in the gameplay department. The two defining characteristics of Kirby is his ability to float and inhale enemies to steal their powers. In Epic Yarn both these abilities have been removed. Instead Kirby has the ability to shape shift and become an array of different objects, animals and vehicles. In this three-levelled demo the only transformations I witnessed was a Parachute used for gliding, a Dune Buggy which is activated by double tapping either left or right on the D-Pad and a huge, missile shooting, boxing glove wearing tank.
Visuals aside, Epic Yarn feels a lot more like a traditional platformer than the Kirby games of yesteryear. I am confident that Kirb’s shape-shifting abilities will diversify the gameplay as you progress but unfortunately the demo did not reflect that. What the demo did showcase was the co-operative 2 player mode. I personally would rather play a game like this alone but the inclusion of multiplayer is perfect for the Wii’s target demographic.
With the retail game just a few weeks away you can expect a full review on the site very soon. Until then take an insulin shot and check out a sweet new trailer for the game below.