LOS ANGELES--After the critical and fan acclaim for last year's Kirby: Canvas Curse, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that everyone's favorite pink-puff platformer hero would find his way back to the Nintendo DS sooner or later. However, the one thing you might not have expected would be the change from the markedly touch-screen focused gameplay of Canvas Curse to the more traditional handheld gameplay of Kirby, the newest Kirby adventure that just happens to be on display at E3 2006. Kirby is very similar in style to the GBA Kirby games of old, as it's a fairly traditional side-scrolling platformer. We went hands-on with the game and got a look at just what this newest Kirby is really all about.
From the get-go, if you've ever played one of the older Kirby games in your lifetime, you'll be quite familiar with how this game plays. Basically, Kirby can jump over or swallow just about anything in his path. When he swallows air while airborne, he can use that air to float sizable distances. Kirby's got his copy abilities, too, and they're controlled with the stylus. Basically, any usable item can be dropped into a sort of storage area on the bottom screen of the DS if you press down on the D pad while Kirby has it in his mouth. From here, you need only tap on the items you want to use to execute them, and in some cases, you can combine items to create new power-ups for Kirby. Other than these copy abilities, however, it seems like the DS's abilities won't come too much into play, if this demo is any indication.
We'd have liked to have seen more of Kirby, but the demo was on a pretty quick timer. The few levels we played seemed pretty breezy in terms of difficulty, but pretty fun nonetheless (not to mention that they appeared to be from the very beginning of the game). This definitely feels like classic Kirby through and through, but with a bit of a touch-screen chaser. While those who fell in love with Canvas Curse's brand of gameplay might not love hearing this news, those who have been pining for a more conventional Kirby game ought to be excited, as this new Kirby seems like it's headed for good things. We'll bring you more on Kirby for the DS as the info becomes available.