Kirby's Epic Yarn Updated Hands-On

We travel to Nintendo's felt-covered office to find out just how Kirby ended up in Patch Land.

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The bright-pink fluff ball Kirby that we've all grown to love is usually a bottomless pit, sucking up everything in his path. So it's strange to see that in Kirby's Epic Yarn, he's not inhaling everything that comes his way, but rather, he's unraveling enemies with his lasso and winding them up into spools of yarn. In our latest trip to the Nintendo office in Redwood City--which was beautifully decorated with felt and other crafty materials to simulate Patch Land--we found out just how Kirby ended up in this adorable handcrafted world.

In the opening storybook-style cutscene we see Kirby, plump and happy as usual, ready to swallow a juicy tomato that's lying before him. He is interrupted by a caped sorcerer, made entirely out of yarn (and named Yin Yarn), who sucks Kirby into Patch Land, a world that in Kirby's own words "feels like pants." Here is where Kirby runs into Prince Fluff, your cooperative partner throughout the game, who is being chased by some yarn monster. With his new transformation powers, Kirby turns into a car and drives away with the prince.

The world of Patch Land is broken up into levels, and your goal is to try to stitch all the pieces together. The boss is actually in the middle of each unique world, so you don't have to play through all the levels to progress the story. Because the game is full of collectibles and secrets, it will be worth trying to visit all the areas, but the option to plow through the game is there if you choose. We've seen Grass Land before as well as Fire Land in our other previews, so this time we got to visit Water Land, Snow Land, and Space Land.

Kirby and Prince Fluff both have a set of transformations that they can use at any time, like the car and the parachute, but in certain levels, they'll come across area-specific transformations that will help them get through the world. Kirby naturally transforms into a small submarine when he jumps in water, but in Water Land, there was a specific portion of the level where we were able to transform into a dolphin. As a dolphin Kirby, we could dash into enemies, jump playfully out of the water, and do tricks like glide across the surface on our tail. Like a well-trained dolphin you find at a theme park, when given a ball, you use your nose to toss it in a net to receive special items. The water world was swimming with colorful creatures to unravel as we rode the currents to collect beads.

Under the sea!

The next land we visited involved a lot of platforming that made us move in front and behind the scenes. Because everything is made out of cloth, nothing looks particularly menacing, even the enemies, but there are hazards to avoid or else you'll lose your beads. You can't die in the game, but you will lose the precious stones that you spent the entire level collecting. When you're playing with someone else, you can push the A button to have Angie the angel take you to your partner at any time, and she'll appear when you do happen to fall off the edge.

Snow Land was particularly fun, because the Cozy Cabin level reminded us of just that…a cozy cabin. With the warm colors and soothing music, sometimes it doesn't even feel like you're playing a platformer; you're just relaxing and playing around in this made-up world. The environments are unique and cleverly designed, and we made our way up and down chimneys and floated around in our parachute form. Winter trees are decorated with beads to collect, and when you lasso and swing yourself from the top of a tree, you look like a Christmas ornament before detaching. These automatic transformations add a lot of charm to the game, especially when you arrive at a new stage and find out that instead of transforming into a car when you dash, you now turn into a sleigh and can zip around. There are also times when you'll automatically unravel so that you can fit into a long, slender tube to get to the other end. The icy surfaces of the snow levels are slick, so as you're running around, you'll see Kirby and Prince Fluff ice-skate as gracefully as two fluff balls can.

Our road block to Space Land was King Dedede, who was also kidnapped by Yin Yarn. In this battle, Dedede is a marionette, dangling by four strings. We won't spoil this boss fight for you, so let's just say we had to stop his aggressive penguin attacks and get on our way. It's a tricky boss fight, though, and it can last a while if you're not communicating with your partner. A lot of coordination is needed when you're playing with someone else so you don't get into each other's way.

Our final stop was Space Land, reminiscent of Disneyland's Space Mountain theme-park ride because the first thing we did was hop onto a roller coaster in the shape of a rocket. The area-specific transformation for this level was a spaceship, where we were able to hover in the air and beam up enemies into our ship. After sucking up three enemies, you build up a charge that you can release to stun all the enemies onscreen and break down certain walls. There were foes that we couldn't beam up, though, such as giant space squids, and due to the wobbly nature of the spaceship, it takes a bit of finesse to weave around space while avoiding fire that shoots out of pipes.

An old foe joins the fray?

What was great about the levels we saw was the diversity and creativity behind every creature, patch, and zipper. The soundtrack sets the mood and tone of the level, from the soft, playful piano music in the water level, to the epic-sounding instrumentation while you're wandering in space. Yarn is obviously the theme of the game, and it is used in many fun ways in the level design. You'll often feel like you're exploring an artist's canvas and playing around with the available buttons and zippers, not exploring a world where there are yarn beasts out to get you.

We look forward to playing the rest of Kirby's Epic Yarn, so be sure to check out our review when it is released on October 17.

Discussion

142 comments
Riverrocker7
Riverrocker7

@CamoBullo Unfortunatly, this is one of the worst games I've played. :/ Cutesy yarn graphics seriously didn't help this game at all.

icetone
icetone

@Wolflink001 You fuking noob your nothing but a fuking stop it just go fuk yourself how about that and put that on FailBlog plus your the extreme noob for replying bak to something that you don't want to so what about you just leave unless you have too much fuking proud

Wolflink001
Wolflink001

@icetone Alright, you can go back to your fail blog now. GOOD BYE! If you reply to this then you're even more of a noob than before! How does that sound?

icetone
icetone

@Wolflink001 And still look whose talking I don't care either and if you don't then why reply cause I'm more tired of this than you so shut up and don't answer bak unless you do care

Wolflink001
Wolflink001

@icetone I don't really care whether my blog is success or fail but you are one stubborn noob. How long do you plan on keeping this noobiness going? Till Thanksgiving or Christmas? Go fly a plane.

icetone
icetone

@Wolflink001 Yah me 2 I'm getting real annoyed by this at first it was fun but not its BORING don't answer bak failblog awaits you!

Wolflink001
Wolflink001

@icetone I'm sorry! I was too busy doing other cool things in my life. What were you saying?

icetone
icetone

@Wolflink001 Appearances are not everything and you fail so just go to failblog because it seems you love have failing names and fail words GOODBYE

Wolflink001
Wolflink001

@icetone You fail miserable at being an icetone.

icetone
icetone

@Wolflink001 Yah hi I just wanted to say that you fail miserable at this,BYE

icetone
icetone

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Wolflink001
Wolflink001

@icetone Yours ain't any better kid. Would you like to leave a message after the tone?

icetone
icetone

@Wolflink001 And you should back to Failblog thank you goodbye

thehunter1900
thehunter1900

@stg keep telling yourself that, and you will always have a crap device that simple cant push graphics. if graphics didn't matter why would nintendo come up with 3ds then? its basicly only a graphical upgrade? exactly.....

Wolflink001
Wolflink001

@icetone Please go back to the Youtube comment boards.

Ezmai_RauteZ
Ezmai_RauteZ

I own both a Wii & a PS3, funnily enough I have more fun Playing the wii because of NSMB and Mario Galaxy plus others like Wiiparty & mario party, the list goes on, it is most certainly the gameplay that counts, not the graphics, the consoles have tried to adapt to FPS, personally FPS should stay on PC... Oh and i lol'd when I heard about Kinect & the PS3 Move, lol the wii has shifted the competition into their favour, I say, good on em, because they always ALWAYS bring out superior quality games, whether graphics or not, FUN is what matters, that is why consoles are made for Entertainment, not graphics (although great gameplay & graphics are certainly a perfect combination), Nintendo have got this in the win bag!!

icetone
icetone

@CamoBullo @electricgecko WHEN THE HELL DID I EVER SAY THIS AND WHY DO YOU STILL KEEP SAYING IT AFTER I TOLD YOU! SERIOUSLY STOP IT!

CamoBullo
CamoBullo

@icetone You deserved to be stabbed in the crotch. Seriously. Graphics don't make a game, it's all about the gameplay. Gamers the mainly focus on Sony's and Microsoft's console will pan Nintendo's games because it doesn't look "realistic" or "it's a gimmick". And look what you guys get. Move and Kinect. Yeah, not the most original ideas. Kirby's Epic Yarn does indeed look nice and is possibly the best looking game to ever exist, proving that Nintendo doesn't follow the crowd. The gameplay, like all Ninty games, will be king. THAT'S FACT.

electricgecko
electricgecko

@icetone We understand perfectly what you're saying. It may be a logical hypothesis, but sadly, it's just completely wrong. You're hung up on the opinion that realistic graphics are superior to creative and artistic design. Uncharted 2 didn't win best graphics because of the amount of polygons. It won because it presented a bright, beautiful, compelling, and colorful world. You claim that we went off topic in our posts- you're the one that brought up the graphic capabilities and the sales of all the consoles and referenced a bunch of games. You don't like the way Kirby looks? Fine. But don't go off saying that the only reason they made the aesthetic change was so the Wii could handle it...cuz that's just retarded and wrong in so many ways. Everything you say just wreaks of Sony fanboyism. You should go play The Windwaker and educate yourself on the benefits of an exaggerated color scheme and cartoonish environments and character models.....or you can just go play anything that's not a dirt-brown shooter, cuz I'll bet you never do. BTW, I am also done responding, cuz I get the feeling that even if you do read through my post, you won't understand most of it.

GamerNes9
GamerNes9

Looks To Be A Great Game! Yarn is a whole new Tool for Kirby

icetone
icetone

@SgtStrungOut @ChaoticArchon @electricgecko 1 If my opinion is nothing neither is yours so don't reply 2 Think of what you say of someone that you know nothing at all about 3 I was saying they just do this a lot of the sucky graphics 4 you guys are retarded you don't even know what I'm talking about you go to a whole different topic 5 leave me alone I'm tired of this Sh#t of what you do not understand apparently nothing about of what I said in my first post

SgtStrungOut
SgtStrungOut

@Icetone you don't even sound like a gamer. You sound like you look at the graphics more than appreciate actual good gameplay. The prettiest graphics can't save the crappiest game. Nintendo has always been about gameplay over graphics. What? You did not know that? You act like you barely started gaming with a PS3 or 360. You lack experience therefore your opinion does not matter.

ChaoticArchon
ChaoticArchon

@icetone "Please the Ps3 Xbox 360 are doing better sales than the." I think you forgot a word, but I digress. Reports show that the Wii is selling more consoles than the 360 and PS3 combined. Enough said. "Haven't you heard that Uncharted 2 it made the game with the best graphics award" Graphics don't make the game. Gameplay, Controls, and Replayability all take priority. "Wii barely made a couple of 9 or 10 great reviews" Reviews don't define how good a game is. They just tell the viewpoint of one source. Look at Fire Emblem on the Wii. Gamespot rated it 6/10. That game fricken rocks. Gamespot generally has fair reviews, but that is not always the case. Also, your grammar is terrible, even for the internet.

electricgecko
electricgecko

@icetone Dude......are you fricken stupid or something? See the quotation marks in my post? Those are YOUR quotes! Don't say "I already stated that!"...I know....lol. Also, I never claimed that the Wii was next gen or said that the Wii has realistic graphics. I don't think you're very good at comprehensive reading....or writing for that matter considering you've yet to form a coherent sentence. I don't know why you brought up sales...I don't know about the current sales rate but the Wii sure as hell has sold more than the 360 and ps3....not that that matters in any way. The point of my post was to tell you that Nintendo's visual style, since the beginning of their existence, has been all about color and distinction. Even if the Wii had the best processor ever concieved, this Kirby game would still have the same art style, and claiming that it was only made this way so that the console could handle it is borderline retarded. It was made this way BECAUSE IT LOOKS BETTER. I don't know why you think that realistic=good....you're incredibly shallow for thinking so. Also, in one of your posts, you claimed that if the Wii had ps3 level graphics, this game would look "normal." Aside from that word being completely subjective, (I'm assuming that you mean dirt-brown and realistic) how the hell do you think a KIRBY game can look "normal"? Kirby already looked "normal" several times dating back to the NES. Your posts are comically ignorant. I'm getting the impression that your about 9 years old and care about nothing but graphics in the games you play.

icetone
icetone

@electricgecko I already stated that! and what the hell next gen console? Wii? Please the Ps3 Xbox 360 are doing better sales than the. Wii is not more realistic go to the games I listed their graphics are those to the Ps2 mostly. Haven't you heard that Uncharted 2 it made the game with the best graphics award while Wii barely made a couple of 9 or 10 great reviews don't you understand why they don't put games like AC2 or 1 others just face it the Wii needs a upgrade but for now they just do stuff like this thats all I'm saying

dwithrow
dwithrow

Nintendo is moving in this new retro direction which I can only say that I am loving it! They dont need next gen graphics to show that you can have great games with retro controls and continuing with their first party characters!

electricgecko
electricgecko

@icetone "Ummmm no what the hell are you talking about I'm just saying that the Wii is doing something like this like a lott of times they do being creative to not show their true grahpics" "I'm just saying of Wii having last Gen graphics so they be creative like this Mario Galaxy Epic Mickey are examples of not showing its ture graphics I'm not saying anything bad about this I'm just saying they do this a lot like they probably will for a long time till the graphics upgrade to the likes of Ps3 and Xbox thats all I'm saying" Umm....you're stupid. Why would Nintendo want to emulate the PS3 and 360's crappy visuals. Their style is BETTER than realistic. It's crisp, colorful, creative, and pleasant to look at. Even if Nintendo does catch up to current gen graphics with their next console, they will not be caught dead ever trying to make them look realistic, cuz who the heck wants to see realistic graphics?...unless you're completely insecure and don't want to be seen playing a game that has color or charm.

expatriat
expatriat

why do i have a feelin that this game will get a 10

icetone
icetone

@hotdiddykong Ummm okay and I was not angry

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

@icetone Dont push it, i already admitted that it does. You made it sound complicated im sorry for getting you angry

evilweav
evilweav

can't contain my excitement for this. i can't wait to revert back to childhood for a while.

icetone
icetone

@hotdiddykong Well excuse me for you not understanding somthing so simple but still the Wii needs to needs a boost up a little and some Wii games graphics truely do suck

wiiboy37
wiiboy37

wii or not, this game looks beautiful

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

@icetone okay? whats your point? you've proven nintendo makes themselves creative. Look, i understand what your saying. They are making all these creative designs, but you dont understand they they have BEEN doing it, they didnt start doing it on wii to show their graphics suck, since Gamecube they has creative graphics and that system was the same as PS2, nintendo's hardware isnt as 360 and PS3 ill admit, but the graphics arnt bad. Smash bros. brawl's graphics shows that their graphics dont suck. Next time say your words carefully, i understand you but you need to work on your words next time

icetone
icetone

@hotdiddykong The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess ,Conduit,Mario Cart,Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2,Spider-Man Web Shadows,The Incredible Hulk,Modern Warfare Reflex and much more

GamerNes9
GamerNes9

Looks To Be A GREAT Game! May Get it!

DeltaPhoenix08
DeltaPhoenix08

this looks like so much fun! reminds me a little of yoshis story on 64

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

Cuteness.........Overwhelming........... @.@

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

@icetone i know, but WHAT GRAPHICS? give me example of games so i can know what you mean

icetone
icetone

@Omega-Droagon242 You are do not even know what I'm saying @hotdiddykong You do not get what I'm saying I'm just saying of Wii having last Gen graphics so they be creative like this Mario Galaxy Epic Mickey are examples of not showing its ture graphics I'm not saying anything bad about this I'm just saying they do this a lot like they probably will for a long time till the graphics upgrade to the likes of Ps3 and Xbox thats all I'm saying

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

@icetone Its not texture,its called ARTSTYLE Nintendo isn't gonna make everything "Realistic" Realistic is an artstyle not a texture,Mario's artstyle is cartoony, not "bad textures" Mario galaxy 2's textures were better than anything

Omega-Dragon242
Omega-Dragon242

@icetone please stop talking smack about this game all games deserve respect

icetone
icetone

@hotdiddykong I wasnt talking about 3D grahpics! I was talking bout how they take the texture grahpics and everything like what they did in Mario Cart or Link

icetone
icetone

@Ragnarok-64 Ummmm no what the hell are you talking about I'm just saying that the Wii is doing something like this like a lott of times they do being creative to not show their true grahpics

Ragnarok-64
Ragnarok-64

@icetone "it would just be... normal looking" are you retarded or something >.> Is everything to you just about graphics? If its got bad graphics it must be a bad game - /sigh.

hotdiddykong
hotdiddykong

@icetone I know, their graphics arnt THAT bad, sony and microsoft are just better, and nintendo is creative, graphics mean nothing to be honest, does EVERYTHING have to be 3D graphics? Besides, its just what YOU think, it doesnt mean its true

icetone
icetone

@hotdiddykong I know that, I'm just saying that their justing be creative like in a lott of game they make the textures and everything bright and cartoony just to not show how bad their graphics are so they do stuff like this

guyguyguy1234
guyguyguy1234

Once upon a time Sony brought out the trashy "Move"... Microsoft did more of the same thing, and jacked up the Xbox Live price and came out with an Eye Toy / Wii copy. All hope is lost in the gaming world And then there was Kirby. Who saved the day!