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This week marks the launch of Kirby Star Allies, the pink puffball’s debut adventure on Switch and Nintendo’s big marquee release of March. Much like other installments in the long-running series, Star Allies is a side-scrolling platformer featuring a variety of colorful stages and bosses, which players must overcome using Kirby’s signature Copy powers.
That isn’t the only trick in Kirby’s repertoire this time, however. Star Allies also introduces the ability to throw hearts at enemies, which allows Kirby to befriend up to three of them (who can be controlled either by the AI or other players) to work alongside him in each stage.
The emphasis on recruiting enemies sets Star Allies apart from other Kirby games. GameSpot critic Peter Brown called the mechanic “a welcome change that keeps the otherwise traditional gameplay fresh” in our Kirby Star Allies review and praised the game as “just relentlessly charismatic.”
With its release quickly approaching, other reviews for Kirby Star Allies have begun appearing online, a sample of which you can find below. For a wider look at what critics are saying about the new Kirby Switch game, be sure to check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic.
Game: Kirby Star Allies
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release date: March 16
Price: $60 / £50
GameSpot — 8/10
“Star Allies is yet another Kirby game, but it’s up there with some of the best. It’s an artistic showcase, and a great opportunity for co-op platforming. The one real complaint you can levy at it is that it gates off its more challenging aspects, but the fact that they are present to begin with will please anyone who’s grown weary of the series’ painless platforming.” — Peter Brown [Full review]
IGN — 8.3/10
“The name Kirby Star Allies isn’t just for show. Whether you’re adventuring through Dream Land with up to three friends or playing with competent AI teammates, Kirby’s ever-rotating group of uniquely powered pals are the real stars of the show here. The creative ways you can combine abilities never gets old, which means there’s great potential for replayability especially with friends. I just wish the final boss battle hadn’t come just as the puzzles were starting to give me a challenge.” — Brendan Graeber [Full review]
Eurogamer — Recommended
“There are some caveats, of course–after the 60 FPS action of the 3DS outings for Kirby, it’s a strangely retrograde experience seeing Star Allies stick to something around 30 FPS for its action, a move that smarts all the more seeing as the game’s menus and post-level screens play out at 60 FPS themselves. There’s also the fact that many will bounce off Kirby’s soft edges, not seeing the point of a game in which you’re caressed through and one that never really asks too much of the player. It’s kid’s stuff, really–but if you’ve any love left for the kinds of far-fetched wonder we all used to play as kids, then Kirby Star Allies can be pretty sensational.” — Martin Robinson [Full review]
US Gamer — 4/5
“I suppose Star Allies’ biggest compliment is also its most obvious flaw: It’s a Kirby game. By now, you ought to know if you love the little guy, or if you can live the rest of your life without touching another one of his games. While anyone who’s just not into Kirby should pass on Star Allies, I can confidently say the series’ fans are about to make a whole bunch of great new pals. Just try to hold off on eating them until you’re really desperate.” — Nadia Oxford [Full review]
Game Informer — 6.25/10
“Star Allies gets credit for a great soundtrack, great controls, and an epic finale. Even if the visuals are the epitome of generic Kirby, they look sharp. HAL delivers a polished Kirby experience here that plays well, but it ultimately amounts to a forgettable adventure that demands so little from the player that I sometimes felt like I was barely involved at all.” — Kyle Hilliard [Full review]
Polygon — 7/10
“While it lacks the substance to properly satisfy longtime Kirby fans, Star Allies does at least seem genuinely earnest in its underlying belief in the power of friendship. The game is frequently chaotic and a touch under-baked, but it’s hard to be too upset at a game where you can break down long-standing bonds of enmity and heal foes with a kiss. Even if it’s on the brief and simple side, Star Allies demonstrates the polish and personality you’ve come to expect from the series. It’s a kid-friendly romp through the franchise’s most memorable moments, and the asymmetric gameplay and lively spirit of Kirby’s latest journey make it a great way to introduce a new generation of fans to the series.” — Jeremy Parish [Full review]
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