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February 7, 2014

Kirby's Epic Yarn (Part 1)

Hello everybody! Happy February! Hope you've got plans for next Friday! ...I don't. Screw celibacy. Really, screw it. I hate all this white, red and pink all around for the first half of February, I am not a fan of Valentine's Day, because it's a constant reminder that I have no one to offer a gift to on that special occasion. I'll start enjoying that holiday when I'll have a girlfriend, not before. It's a painful day for a celibate.

Hm, enough about me. I'm not here to discuss my personal life (or at least, not in that way), and you're not here to read about my personal life either. Sigh... Today's game is Kirby's Epic Yarn. Clearly a game for children, it is quite a contrast with other Kirby games. Remember when I said, a long time ago, that Kirby's universe was full of scary stuff? Demonic monsters, powerful wizards, evil deities? Well, expect none of those here! ...Except maybe the second one. This is the most kid-friendly game I've ever played. Softer than freaking fabric. It's also extremely easy. (Note that it's far from a complaint.)

My interest for this game hangs only by a “thread”, I can't wait to see if I “wool” enjoy it. At worst, it's another “patch” for this blog. I hope it won't be boring, I hate when a game makes me “yarn”. Er, yawn. Now that the bad puns are taken care of, let's see if I can “fabric”ate some better ones.

Oops, I did it again!

Once upon a time, in a beautiful world called Dream Land, there was this hero, a pink cutesy hero with an adorable face. His name was Kirby. One great trait of his was his insatiable hunger. No way to fill him up, it's like everything in Dream Land is empty calories. Talk about bad luck, huh? Kirby could eat things bigger than him and still be able to inhale a couple more creatures. One of his favorite foods, however, was the Maxim Tomato. One day, Kirby was walking, when suddenly he noticed something over a bush: A Maxim Tomato! It looked kind of strange, but hey, he didn't care. So, he tried vacuuming it in, only for the tomato to rise and reveal... A bizarre creature made all out of lines. This creature was Yin Yarn, and he was an evil wizard from a land all made of fabric, a world within a sock (not kidding): Patch Land. Having delusions of grandeur, Yin Yarn ordered his sock containing Patch Land to suck Kirby in. Which it did. As a result, Dream Land no more had its little hero, and Yin Yarn was now free to do whatever he wanted.

He's been turned to threads!
Kirby woke up in the strange world all made of yarn, Patch Land. Well, we're lucky Patch Land is a world of yarn, and not a world celebrating the movie Patch Adams. That would be a nightmare. Kirby realizes he is now entirely made of yarn, only lines, and nothing within! However, it's no time to whine, because a yarn boy, looking like Kirby except blue and wearing a crown, is being chased by a yarn creature. When Kirby tries to inhale the monster, he finds out that the air goes through his body. He cannot use his trademark ability here! Dang! However, Kirby reshapes the yarn he's made of to turn into a car, grabs the yarn boy and drives off. Kirby brings the yarn boy to the nearest castle, and the boy reveals that his name is Prince Fluff. The prince shows Kirby around Castle Fluff, at the same time showing him how to use his abilities in the yarn world.

This level shows everything you need to know about the game's basics. Kirby can use a number of abilities, like turning into a car when you tap left or right twice and he can tun into a weight if you tap down while Kirby is in the air. He can also turn into a parachute to descend slowly if you press 2 while he's in the air. Also, he can unfold his yarn arm to use it like a whip to attack the enemies, or roll them into balls of yarn that can then be tossed to attack other enemies. Every level that is not a boss has three hidden items: Two pieces of furniture and one CD. As you certainly guessed, finding them all is the only way to get 100% completion. Last but not least, pieces of beads (I guess that's what they are), scattered all over the levels, can be collected. When Kirby picks up enough beads, he gains a bronze medal; more, and it's a silver medal; even more, and it's a gold medal. When he gets hit or hurt, he loses beads. At the end of a level, he keeps all the beads he collected, and also gets a few more. Last but not least, through the level you can find pieces of a spinning prize wheel; at the end of every regular level, the prize wheel must be rung to finish the level; And if the prize wheel stops in a zone of a piece of the spinning wheel, he gains prizes, from 2X to 5X an amount of beads. Cool.

Fluff explains what happened to Patch Land. The evil sorcerer Yin Yarn separated the seven parts of it, which means that- Oh wait, Fluff gets attacked by a monster first. Kirby quickly defeats it by turning into a weight and smashing it down. When the monster was defeated, it released a spiraling piece of magic yarn. Fluff explains that the only way to repair Patch Land is to find those spiraling pieces of magic yarn and use them to sew back together the seven parts of Patch Land. Only this way can Kirby go back to Dream Land and defeat Yin Yarn. The pink puffball will be more than happy to help in retrieving the magic yarn pieces.

Near Castle Fluff, there's the Patch Plaza; in there, Kirby can see all the things he collected. There's a lot to collect in this game:
-Cast, all the characters – that means the protagonists, allies, enemies and bosses – of the game. There's a total of 88;
-Stuff, all the items Kirby finds hidden in the levels. There's 168 of them;
-Fabric, all the “wallpapers” Kirby can buy at the Patch Plaza's shops or win through special missions. There's 180 of them;
-Medals. They only count one, so the only way not to have one is to finish the level and not even have the bronze medal. There's 50 levels in the game (including bosses), therefore 50 medals;
-Tunes, the CDs you find, one per level. There's 52;
-And finally, Flicks, the game's cutscenes. Luckily there's only 9 of those.

For a whopping total of 547 things to collect. Impressive, huh? And yes, that means you need to get them all to reach 100% completion. But hey, in such a game, that's a reason to be happy!

But clearly, it's not the only one. This game's art is BEAUTIFUL. Amazing. Wonderful eye candy. Everything, freaking EVERYTHING is made of yarn or fabric of all kinds. The game's levels include a lot of things reminiscent of clothing, such as zippers, buttons and sewn badges. This is really the highlight of the game, how it is yarn-themed all the way through, in very creative fashion. It's impressive.

As you head out to the next part of Patch Land, you'll find a yarn character named Dom Woole. He owns an apartment block, and will be more than happy to give one to Kirby while he's staying. Kirby's apartment can be decorated with all the items and furniture you find in the levels, as well as the wallpapers that you can buy or earn. Once Dom is done showing you the (for now empty) apartment, you can choose to start decorating immediately or leave and head out to Grass Land, the next part of Patch Land.

No, not that one.

Cute yet badass. I like that.
Kirby makes his way through the first world of the game, and eventually unlocks the door to the boss of Grass Land. As it turns out, Yin Yarn had a hunch Kirby would try to bring things back to normal, so he made sure the magical pieces of yarn would be guarded by large yarn monsters. Grass Land's boss is a dragon named Fangora. However, Kirby manages to defeat it and collects the magical piece of yarn. Prince Fluff promptly sews together Grass Land and the next world, Hot Land. Kirby was starting to feel hungry, so Fluff shakes the tree with another yarn ability to make apples come down.

One thing I must mention as well: In every world except Castle Fluff, there are two extra, “secret” levels. The only way to reach the first one is to get a huge amount of beads on the boss battle. As in, you must collect more pearls than would be required for the gold medal. You must in fact reach a step further, which will give you a circle key of some kind to unlock the first secret level. Luckily you don't need to do that in the first secret level to get to the second secret level.

Another thing I should mention: When Kirby goes through a level, sometimes he will access other abilities that he cannot get in other levels. They range from yarn UFO Kirby to yarn Tank Kirby, even yarn Dolphin Kirby, yarn Fire Truck Kirby and yarn Surfer Kirby. All those abilities can be used only in levels where they appear. Sorry, I know Kirby's transformations are a big aspect of the Kirby series. But as I said before, this game is really not like the usual Kirby game. Yet, for now, I have no reason to complain.

After the second level in Grass Land, Kirby and Fluff will be called by Dom Woole. He says he has opened a new apartment and is waiting for customers. He also thinks the apartment would sell faster if it was already a bit decorated. Problem is, he wants particular decoration items, not just any. Luckily, it's also those you find in the first two levels, so it's not “too” bad. What happens once you've decorated correctly? I'll tell you later.

You can DECORATE, too? Wow!

Fire made of fabric? Floor, platforms, creatures, ALL MADE
So, Kirby and Fluff make their way through Hot Land, eventually reaching the place's boss, Hot Wings. Not the most creative name for a fire bird, but Moltres was already taken. Still, Kirby beats the bird and collects the third magical piece of yarn. Fluff then sews together Hot land and... Treat Land. A world made mostly of a giant cake. During that time, in Dream Land, King Dedede and his Waddle Dees were doing what they usually do. However, Dedede noticed one of the Waddle Dees looked... odd. Made all out of yarn. He didn't pay much attention to it, though. What Dedede couldn't see, however, was Yin Yarn hiding in his castle, sewing together (summoning) more yarn Waddle Dees, which were going to pull a coup d'etat on the penguin king soon...

By the way, if you're wondering why I always say “Kirby and Prince Fluff” when I describe the story, there's a reason. You can play this game in two-player mode. One controls Kirby, the other controls Prince Fluff. So yes, indeed, you can have the two helping each other through the Story Mode. That's a very neat idea.

So, Kirby and Prince Fluff travel across Treat Land, until they reach the boss: Squashini. It's one nasty magician who uses magic tricks to attack. The first time you fight him, he's really hard to beat, because you can never tell what he's gonna do and you have to find out how to react to what he does. After you've beaten him a couple times, though, and you've learned the patterns and what to do with each situation, this battle becomes very fun.

So, the fourth yarn piece is collected from the remnants of Squashini, and another part of Patch Land opens up. Water Land!

No, again, not that one.

However, before Kirby and Fluff go to the next part of the world, Kirby decides to start munching on the giant cake that makes up most of Treat Land. Um... Excuse me, but it was established at the very beginning that Kirby was unable to inhale anymore. How is he able to eat? I mean... Okay, one plot hole. Not so bad in a game for kids.

Guess I'll have to continue next week. Okay, bye! ...Oh, right. Next review is February 14th... Just my luck. I had almost forgotten my situation. Still tune in next week, but please don't mind if my lonely side pops up. Bye!