Kirby Mass Attack Preview

Ten Kirbies are better than one.

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Kirby fans will get a double dose of pink puffball cuteness as Kirby Mass Attack and the new Kirby game for the Wii are both scheduled to come out later this year. However, Kirby Mass Attack takes the series in a new direction, allowing you to control up to 10 Kirbies at a time with your stylus. Instead of stomping through the world and inhaling anything that gets in your way, you tap and swipe to swarm foes or knock them over. It may be different from what you're used to, but the effusive charm and fun unlockables might win you over.

In our previous demo, we mainly stayed within the confines of world one. It gave us a chance to mess around and get used to the touch-only controls because we needed those skills once we made it to the later stages in worlds two and three. You'll start with a single Kirby in each world, but your army (and not your waistline) expands as you digest an assortment of tropical fruit and earn points. Having a full crew of 10 definitely makes things easier, but there are parts of the level where you need a minimum number of Kirbies to proceed or access secret stuff. Medals are hidden throughout the levels and are key to unlocking optional content. Extras can range from a sound mixer to a photo album, but we were shown a game called Strato Patrol, which was a shoot-'em-up that had Kirby as the firing ship. As you dodge enemies and fire madly to collect tomatoes and save other Kirbies, you'll expand your team until you have all 10 firing simultaneously.

As for the main game, you spend most of your time tapping and dragging your team of pink marshmallows to safety. These guys are ferocious, though, when faced with an obstacle. Tapping on an unsuspecting foe will get them to flock to your target and punch furiously until the enemy goes away. Some creatures can't be taken down by the sheer force of cuteness though; you'll have to look for weak spots and exploit them. The levels themselves weren't too hard to navigate, but things did get trickier underwater. Controlling a massive herd with a ticking air meter while dodging underwater hazards can get a little hairy, which is why you'll likely make use of the double-tap to dash and hold the stylus down to highlight all the Kirbies and draw a safe path for them.

Things really start to get crazy during boss battles. Granted, they all have a pattern that you'll get used to, but it's much harder to get out of the way when you're moving a group. There are some interesting uses for your mob in situations like using its weight to rotate blocks or flinging the little guys up at balloons with timed bombs inside and making sure they detonate away from your team. At one point in the game, we even had to use our entire crew to man an extra-large fishing pole and then tap at the right moment to see what we caught.

It's like hot potato!

It's tough not to be drawn to these adorable fluffballs, especially when you have 10 of them. But, having more than one hero doesn't mean that it gets easier. Managing a group always comes with its own set of challenges, and the later levels require much more precision than random taps. Luckily, you do have a second chance; if you're hit, your Kirbies will turn blue first, and if they are hit again, they'll turn into angels, but you have a chance to grab them back before they float off into oblivion. Giant rings are available throughout the level for you to fling your Kirbies through, which will bring the healthy color of pink back to your troops.

Kirby Mass Attack is already released in Japan for the Nintendo DS, but North American players can expect the game to ship on September 19.

Discussion

19 comments
PirateOfGame
PirateOfGame

Did anyone notice that the idea of this game is based on pikmin?

AminMaadnai
AminMaadnai

i want to submit .your score. section but it says invalid score!!! what is that means and what should i do???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kyle8275
Kyle8275

This isn't for 3DS???? Pass! lol jk it looks interesting but im not going back to DS games lol

inso-maniac
inso-maniac

wth is going on in that gameplay video?

Gamingclone
Gamingclone

User score is 10, I wonder what GS score will be...

soulless4now
soulless4now

Looks pretty good. I can't wait to control so many kirbies. :D

IvanVeronezi
IvanVeronezi

am i the first one to compare this to pikmin?

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

Kirby rocks.I'm glad he's getting some love in these recent years. Now we need a Kirby 3D in which he has his normal powers back,but it does need mixed up with new ideas.I'll leave that to the geniuses at Hal Labs.

elozl
elozl

nice, i think Nintendo is going to deliver even more 1st party games within now and 2012 and i hope even double zeldas and Marios thru 2017 xD

Defy_The_Fallen
Defy_The_Fallen

Looks great, but I think it's time for kirby to make the move to the 3DS....

VidGamAnonymous
VidGamAnonymous

If the gameplay is on the same level as the cuteness, this will a GOTY nominee

Crazyguy105
Crazyguy105

Kirby seems to get cuter every single installment.

She_Gamer
She_Gamer

"Tapping on an unsuspecting foe will get them to flock to your target and punch furiously until the enemy goes away". AWWWWWW!!! Cute.

calvinsora
calvinsora

This looks really cool, the Kirby spin-offs are often very good indeed (Canvas Curse was awesome).

mariostar0001
mariostar0001

An air meter underwater? They really seem to be going for the "hardest Kirby is years" route. :P