E3 2014: Kirby and the Rainbow Curse Marks a Triumphant Return of Greatness

The pen is mightier than the sword.


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Kirby: Canvas Curse justified the existence of the Nintendo DS touchscreen. The mere thought of drawing pathways to guide spherical Kirby through imaginative worlds fills me with utter delight, even though a decade has passed since I've last played the game. Every time another Kirby game is announced, my interest is piqued until I learn that it bears no resemblance to Canvas Curse. You could say that my obsession with this game is an illness, a debilitating symptom that has infected my very being. I say that it shows my unwavering loyalty to the finer things in life. When Rainbow Curse debuted during Nintendo's presentation, I squealed so long and loud I felt faint. But it's real. Nintendo has finally revisited this incredible formula, and the world is better for it.

My biggest shock related to Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, even more than its very existence, is the lack of interest in it at Nintendo's own booth. As I surveyed the environment, seeing long lines of people waiting to play Smash Bros and Splatoon, and plenty of others who were anxious to get their hands on Mario Maker, I was appalled to see just one person at the Rainbow Curse kiosk. Oh, and it was a Nintendo employee. Clearly, the world is not nearly as hyped as I am for the prodigal son's return, but that doesn't matter one bit to me. At least not yet. I'm sure interest will pick up when people hear word of how good it is.

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So, if you're unfamiliar with Canvas Curse, there's a chance you and I could never be friends. What would we talk about? The weather? I'll give you a brief primer on what makes this so magical. Buttons are nothing in Rainbow Curse. Analog sticks? Directional pads? Feed 'em to the birds. All you need is a stylus. All those people who complain that Nintendo isn't making good use of the tablet can pipe down. In Rainbow Curse, you won't even be looking at your television. Well, you can if you want I guess, but you certainly don't need to. With only a stylus required to move Kirby around, there's little use for large screens or high-def displays. Just peer downward and enjoy the show.

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Because he's Kirby and he does what he wants, you have magical ink (and a magical paintbrush because of reasons) that you use to paint pathways to success. Draw a straight line if you're feeling dull, or a swirling, spinning whirlwind of style if you know how to live the high life. Kirby zips along like he's late for a hot date (with another amorphous, world-devouring blob), and constructing dizzying roller coasters is the best way to cruise through this two-dimensional world. Creativity spices up this adventure so its endlessly endearing. Zoom toward a treasure chest hidden up above, and then zip down to the bottom of the screen to nab those hovering stars. It's delightful chaos that's so darn fun I might have laughed with glee.

From what little I played, there's virtually no difference between Rainbow Curse and the game it's based on. Familiarity doesn't always breed contempt, however, especially considering it's been so very long since last we met, but I do hope there are surprises awaiting in the finished version. What would those be? I can only imagine. Just give me varied level design to deftly navitage through, and I'll be happy. Oh, and don't forget an assortment of characters. Canvas Curse had a boatload of unlockable heroes, each with their own attributes, which is why I played the game over and over again until I'd seen everything it offered. Keep your eyes firmly pointing toward Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. Hearing that the likes of Xenoblade Chronicles X and The Legend of Zelda are coming next year may have your attention now, bu don't let this one slip by the wayside.

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