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

The pen is mightier than the sword.


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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Avatar image for Stealth____

This game will be great

Avatar image for Fartman7998

Fear not, Tom. I love Kirby, always have. Kirby Super Star is one of the best Nintendo games ever released, if not one of the best games ever, and one of my personal all-time favorites. That particular entry was the one that made me a fan forever, and that was many years before Canvas Curse.

For me, the Kirby series always had a distinct feel to it, like the whole game was an inside joke. There's so much intelligence and charm in its design, anyone without an imagination would miss the entire point.

Avatar image for Junior_AIN

This was the best thing to come out of Nintendo's press conference. Smash Bros will be crap, Yoshi's game looks shiny but shallow, no F-Zero.

Avatar image for Fartman7998

<< LINK REMOVED >> Somebody tinkled in your Cheerios this morning, didn't they?

Avatar image for REVOLUTIONfreak

I'm so, so happy to see that your reaction was the same as mine. I squealed during the Zelda reveal too, of course, but if we're being honest ... I'm pretty sure my pitch broke the windows when I saw they were finally making a sequel to Canvas Curse. Easily in my Top 5 list of Nintendo DS games.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k

"Triumphant Return of Greatness"? Canvas Curse really wasn't that amazing you know. Definitely not even top 5 in Kirby games....

Avatar image for zyxahn

Yes. This is one game, the other being another Champions of Norrath game, that I mention every year when E3 rolls around. I was always like damn guys the freaking controller is a giant DS screen come on and make another Canvas Curse game using the WiiU controller. So far they haven't done a good job making us have to or at least really want to use the gamepad instead of the WiiRemote thingy. Mario Kart 8 finally does this for me. And now Kirby's Rainbow Curse will do this as well. I still have Canvas Curse and play it still because there is nothing else like it. True Swing Golf being the other game I still have and play because of this. Now that's my next want, someone make a golf game with the True Swing stylus controls on the WiiU.

Avatar image for amaneuvering

You didn't even once mention the awesome claymation look of the entire game.

Surely that's worth pointing out because of how cool it is.

Avatar image for Shadowdanc3r

<< LINK REMOVED >> He likes to pretend graphics and frame rate don't matter.

Avatar image for FFCYAN

I was happy to see Nintendo break away from the overly predictable conventions with Rainbow Curse and Splatoon. If this game is content rich enough, it's certainly a day one purchase. Heck, a Wii U VC release of Canvas Curve would be a great primer for the uninitiated.

Avatar image for TrueProphecy22

I'm shocked it's not going to also be available on the 3DS.

Avatar image for Sunuva22

<< LINK REMOVED >> they don't need any of the momentum from the recent WiiU sales to be stolen, I think this is more of a 3DS game though as well. No biggie, if I'm able to, in a year or two I will get all the awesome WiiU games on the cheap :)

Avatar image for REVOLUTIONfreak

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Agreed. I'd almost rather they just put this on my 3DS. Especially since it doesn't seem to actually make use of the television screen.

Avatar image for pikachudude860

Kirby Canvas Curse came out 10 years ago? (By 2015) Dang. I feel old.

I remember when it first came out. That was the first game I played when I first played my DS. Good times...