Kirby Mass Attack is an interesting experiment for Kirby that mostly succeeds.

User Rating: 7.5 | Atsumete! Kirby DS
Graphics: The game is a gorgeous and colorful side scroller, much like older Kirbys. The pallet is vibrant and beautiful, and the animations are great. The enemies are, as per usual with Kirby, silly but neat. The levels have a nice variety to them, with each world having a distinct style to it. There is never any graphical slowdown, either. Overall, this is Kirby, and it looks damn great. 10/ 10

Sound: There is a lot of new music here. Sure, there are numerous remixes of older tunes, but, for the most part, there is newer stuff. It is all pretty good, sounding crisp and clear through the speakers. However, it won't quite stand out like the older tunes, which is slightly disappointing. Despite that, the game sounds great, with lots of cartoony sound effects that we have come to expect from Kirby. There really isn't any negative to the sound. 10/ 10

Story: One day, Kirby is enjoying a stroll through islands in space near Pop Star, when an evil alien wizard uses a magic wand to split Kirby up into a bunch of smaller parts. From there, he goes to take over Pop Star, thinking he has defeated Kirby once and for all. However, Kirby teams up with himself to save the day! The story hardly even matters because, one, it's Kirby, and two, it is hardly even present for most of the game. There are only a few story book like cut scenes throughout the game that basically open and close the game. You'll stop caring about it pretty quickly, so it doesn't even really count. NA/ 10

Gameplay: This is where the game tries many new things. This is not a typical Kirby platformer. Instead, you control up to ten Kirbys at once using the stylus. It works well… most of the time. There are times when you have all ten Kirbys where things will start to hitch. For instance, if you need to jump over a ledge, the Kirbys move one after the other, which hurts the flow of the level, because you need to wait for everyone to be back together, otherwise the camera will linger because one or two of the little pink dudes fell behind. Not only that, but moving them in a group can also be problematic. Drawing your stylus over the group will cause them to cluster together, and, from there, you can guide them along a drawn path for a short while. However, sometimes, when you're trying to simply jump up on a platform, you will accidentally start guiding them, which can frustrate if you're trying to dodge out of harm's way. Additionally, you can do things like fling Kirbys at enemies in the sky. This is somewhat challenging, as you must predict their trajectory ahead of time. Finally, you can tap an enemy to make them all gang up on the foe and pummel it to death. This works well, for the most part, but sometimes Kirbys will have path finding issues and they will wander around the monster, not attacking it like they should. Overall, the controls are a little inconsistent, but it is still fun to guide your Kirbys through the many levels of the game.
Because Kirby does not inhale and copy his enemies' abilities, you might think there isn't variety to the levels. However, there is a pretty good amount of it, especially in the later ones. For the first two worlds, there are usually new ideas introduced, like a level that takes place in a tree that is constantly shifting its weight. (You must command your Kirbys so their weight balances the tree out and doesn't break.) Sometimes the levels can be frustrating because a Kirby accidentally stands in harm's way, or you mistime something and instantly lose a bunch of Kirbys under things like weights that fall. (Similar to Thwomps.) Then, in the latter two worlds, there are usually more challenging versions of the earlier levels. However, there is just enough variety to keep things interesting, for the most part. The only real issue is that not a ton of the levels are particularly memorable. There is the occasional standout (like one where you command a tank full of Kirbys) but the level design, while very creative and varied, doesn't quite stand out like in other games.
In previous games, Kirby had a health bar and you died once you ran out of health. In this game, each Kirby can be hit by two attacks (unless it's an instant death one like being crushed) before dying. However, when a Kirby dies, you can grab its ghost and bring it back to life before it floats away. This makes it so you have some room for error, but, in later levels, things can get tricky. Sometimes, if a Kirby dies and you try to save it, you can get caught back up in the death trap. You can bring wounded blue Kirbys back to healthy pink status by sending them through Health Rings that are scattered in certain places throughout levels. Finally, in order to get more Kirbys, you need to get fruit. For every one hundred you get, you get another Kirby. Each one is worth something different. For instance, an apple is worth one, while a watermelon is worth forty and a Maxim Tomato gives you one hundred. Once you have ten, you get a 10000 point bonus for every one hundred pieces of fruit.
Throughout the levels, there are Medals scattered around in hidden places. This acts similarly to Star Coins in New Super Mario Brothers. For every certain amount you get, you unlock something in the Extras menu. For a good chunk of the game, you unlock some pretty fun mini games. There is good variety, like a pinball game, a Kirby RPG that is actually more about timing, a top down shooter and more. They are pretty fun diversions, for the most part. Some aren't as fun as others, but it's still pretty cool that there is such a good variety. What is slightly disappointing, however, is that after about 80 Medals (a little under half of the total ones in the game), you simply start unlocking items on the check list. The check list basically functions like Achievements on the Xbox. You complete certain tasks, and you "get" it. These range from pretty easy to very tough. (Like beating a boss with one Kirby and losing no health.) It's a cool feature for completionists, but I feel like there could have been more mini games or something else added in.
The boss battles are, for the most part, easy but fun. They all have a specific pattern that they follow, and, once you figure them out, they become pretty easy. You never really feel too stressed by them, as long as you stay on your toes.
One complaint I have is that, in order to unlock the last world, you need to find all of the rainbow medals. Basically, each level has one in addition to the normal medals to find, and some of them are rather tricky to get. This makes it so you need to replay levels. I personally had found a good chunk of them the first time, but it's kind of lame that Nintendo made it so you have to complete some of the extra content in order to just finish the game. Then, once you get to the last world, it is just re fighting all of the bosses form the other worlds, then the final boss. This disappointed me a little, as I beat the final world in all of about ten minutes.
Finally, when you beat each level, you get a Star depending on how you performed. To get a gold star, you need to make it through the level with no damage at all. If you take damage but make it so no Kirby is KO'ed, you earn a silver. If a Kirby is KO'ed, but you save it, you get a Bronze. If you lose even one Kirby, you get no Star. This makes it quite challenging if you're trying to complete the game completely, as the levels get tricky near the end.
Overall, the variety in levels and the new ideas are nice, but the gameplay is flawed due to inconsistent controls and a lack of truly great levels. 6.5/ 10

Kirby Mass Attack is well worth playing for fans, as it can be quite fun. However, I found myself yearning for the copy abilities of past games, as well as more combat variety. (Combat just consists of pummeling foes and that's about it.) There is plenty of extra content and challenges for completionists to sink their teeth into, and the game has lovely production values. If you're craving Kirby, but have played everything else, this game is worth checking out. If you never liked Kirby, this will probably do little to change your mind, but it might be worth checking out for the unique mechanics. So long and thanks for reading.
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