Kirby: Canvas Curse is a fine example of how a platformer should be done on the DS.

User Rating: 8.9 | Touch! Kirby DS
Kirby has been in a lot of games at this point, for nearly every Nintendo system that's been made, so it makes sense that he'd show up on the Nintendo DS sooner or later. And so he does in Kirby: Canvas Curse, his first game on the platform. It's a very interesting title, not only in that it's one of the best games to come out on the DS so far, but also in that it's one of the best examples of how the DS should be used. It isn't that much of a stretch from previous Kirby platformers, but it's clearly something new, and something that everyone should see. In the game, you use the stylus to draw lines to guide Kirby through levels and past obstacles. Once he touches a line, he will follow it in the direction that it was drawn in. In addition to guiding Kirby with the lines drawn by the stylus, you'll also encounter situations where you have to block off obstacles like laser beams to prevent them from harming him. Tapping Kirby with the stylus will make him race forward in whatever direction he was heading in, a move that can defeat enemies if you come in contact with them. Tapping an enemy will stun it, allowing Kirby to defeat it by coming into contact with it, even without dashing. Some enemies have abilities that can be copied when Kirby defeats them, which allow you to use new attacks that change up the gameplay just a bit. It's a lot of fun to do, and one of the best uses of the stylus that the DS has to offer. The game has a relatively unique approach to boss games as well. After completing the three stages that make up each world, you're given a choice of one of three different bosses. One is a race against King DeDeDe, one forces you to draw pictures exactly as the computer does quickly enough to avoid suffering damage, and one is a "Breakout"-esque game that has you redirecting Kirby into different objects to clear a path to a boss character. These stages are all fun, but they only increase in difficulty once before you're done with them, so it's a little disappointing that they're all the game has to offer. Still, that's not much of a problem. Like almost any Kirby game, Canvas curse is absolutely gorgeous to look at. Colorful stages are put on top of detailed and beautiful backgrounds. Enemies and items look pretty much exactly like they always have in Kirby games, but that's not a problem considering how well the design suits the game. Kirby doesn't have a high-tech look to it or anything, but the sheer beauty and creative design of the worlds in this game seem timeless compared to graphic schemes that seem more focused on realism than anything like this. It really does need to be experienced to be appreciated, as it's one of the game's strongest points overall. The sound is strong, and has pretty much everything that you could expect from a Kirby game. There are some sound effects that have been heard before, and tunes from older games do appear. Not that any of that is a problem, of course. The game's sound is strong, and another definite high-point of the experience. It's nothing flat-out spectacular either, but it does the job, which is just as well in a game like this. Replay value is given a bit of a boost in this game in the form of the "Rainbow Run" mode and the medals that can either be found or earned throughout the different stages. Rainbow Run is essentially allows you to replay sections of every stage under one of two conditions. In Time Trial mode, you must finish a stage in a certain amount of time to earn a reward. In Line Trial, you are given a certain amount of ink to complete a stage and must avoid using too much to earn a reward. Medals that you find or earn can be used in the medal swap section to unlock different things, like new songs for the Sound Test, or additions to Kirby's life bar. Overall, Kirby: Canvas Curse is one of the best reasons to own a DS so far. It's a fully-realized platformer for the system, one that makes use of nearly all the different nuances of the DS exactly as it should. Controlling Kirby with the stylus is easy and quite a bit of fun. It's a landmark in the DS' history, even if Kirby has always been one of Nintendo's lesser-known stars. It's one of the best DS games to come out so far, and it's worth the time of anyone who owns the system, or is even thinking of picking one up. It's a great game, and shows exactly how a game should use the stylus.