Kirby’s Epic Yarn: A Good-Feel Game

By Spencer . October 15, 2010 . 3:22pm

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Before I unwrapped Kirby’s Epic Yarn someone else saw the game on my desk. "Who’s this pink guy," she said pointing at the cover. She likes cute things, but doesn’t really play games other than DJ Max Portable. "Oh, that’s Kirby," I said, "He’s one of Nintendo’s characters and in this game he’s made of yarn." Curious about what Kirby was, but more drawn to the stringy characters on the cover, she decided to play Kirby’s Epic Yarn with me.

 

The art style is striking. Patch Land, the yarn-realized world Kirby gets sucked into after eating a textile metamato, gives this platformer a unique feel from the second you turn the game on. While Kirby can’t eat enemies in Kirby’s Epic Yarn, he can still use them as weapons. Developer Good-Feel gave Kirby has a yarn whip to unravel enemies. Or, if you hold down the 1 button, Kirby can roll them up into a yarn ball, which you can toss at other enemies. It’s sort of like eating an enemy and spitting out a star, but… with a whip and yarn balls. Some enemies turn into special yarn balls like flash-yarn (a yarn ball that acts like flashlight) or a spread shot (look for bees).

 

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Kirby’s yarn whip is also handy during cooperative play because you can help a person playing Prince Fluff with jumps. You can grab Prince Fluff (or vice-versa) in mid-air and safely bring him to a platform. Kirby’s Epic Yarn doesn’t have extremely difficult gaps to cross, but I played through the first three areas of Patch Land with someone who never completed World 1 of Super Mario Bros. on her own. The yarn whip rescues and using Kirby as a makeshift moving platform (you can even stand on Kirby when he turns into parachute) made Kirby’s Epic Yarn, in her words, "comfortable to play." Getting treasures, furniture you use to decorate Kirby’s apartment, is also easier in co-op since you can toss each other to patchwork treasure chests.

 

The other reason why Kirby’s Epic Yarn is more accessible is it’s impossible to die.

 

Kirby’s Epic Yarn doesn’t have a game over screen. Get hit and you drop beads in the way Sonic the Hedgehog loses rings. They explode onto the screen and you have a few seconds to pick up ruby shapes and stars before they flicker away. Unlike Sonic, it’s possible to recover all of your dropped beads. Even if you miss a jump you won’t lose a life or have to restart a stage. Angie, an angel-like yarn creature, picks up Kirby or Prince Fluff out of the pit and carries him to safe ground. You permanently lose some beads in the process since they fall into the abyss, but that’s a minor penalty for someone who just wants to explore Yarn Land. Angie can even carry one player to the other in cooperative mode. All you have to do is press A to call her.

 

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So, where’s the challenge you say?

 

1.) It’s in the boss levels. Well, not defeating the bosses, but beating while keeping your bead count high. That means dodging attacks and learning patterns. Win with enough beads and you’ll earn a secret area patch that unlocks extra levels. I went back and unlocked these in single player mode. Usually, optional levels have gimmicks that let players use Kirby’s transformations for a longer time. Within levels, transformations are like a platforming break. You might turn into an off-roader for a few minutes after yanking a transform patch, but one of the unlocked levels is an entire stage where Kirby (and Prince Fluff) are trucks.

 

Robo-Kirby or as the game calls him, Tankbot, is one of the transformations. This mode uses a neat co-op control scheme where player two moves Tankbot and fires missiles while player one controls Tankbot’s arms to punch enemies and knock obstacles out of the way. There’s a train transformation too where players take turns drawing train tracks by pointing with the remote for the Kirby Fluff express to drive on. While Tankbot is a lot of fun with two players, the train areas can be frustrating.

 

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2.) Back in Quilty Court, Kirby’s landlord gives you decoration requests. You have to furnish rooms with treasures found in levels to attract tenants. Yarn pal neighbors also give Kirby challenges like time attack mini-stages where you have to lasso hidden friends and bead collecting runs.

 

Most importantly, Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a "good feel" game. It’s relaxing rather than adrenaline pumping through out the eight hours it takes to defeat Yin-Yarn. I mean, half of the game for my other half was decorating Kirby’s apartment with the right furniture (there’s a throne, a sun clock, and sushi on a camel) and wallpaper.


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  • Advent_Andaryu

    I’m really enjoying this game, it’s a lot better than I expected! Sure it strays from many traditional gaming trends but in this case it’s actually a good thing.

    • Advent_Andaryu

      *looks at article title*

      “Kirby’s Epic Yarn: A Good-Feel Game”

      I just got it! XD

  • malek86

    Uhm, looks like I’ll pass. I don’t mind a relaxing game once in a while, but only if I can pay a low price for it. I really prefer a challenge. I might still buy this when the price lowers. A lot.

    Now let’s see if DKCR will suffer a similar fate. Knowing Retro, it’s possible that they’ll make it as hard as DKC2, which would be pretty nice.

    • http://twitter.com/Greek_Kashif Kashif Ahmadi

      all Kirby games have always been easy, so i don’t see how this implies DKCR “will suffer a similar fate.”

      • malek86

        A similar fate to most Nintendo games this generation, I mean.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aarachnid-Malik-Davolcanese/1548060424 Aarachnid Malik Davolcanese

          Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 were not easy. Super Mario Bros. Wii was not easy. Other M wasn’t easy, although it wasn’t difficult. So, your extrapolated data does not compute

          • malek86

            They weren’t hard either. Though, my idea of a hard game is that it must be hard on the main mode, not on the side missions. I don’t really like side missions. For example, people might say that DDS was difficult because of the Demi-fiend, but I’m not including optional bosses in my list of “reasons X game is hard”. So, in my book, DDS was not hard.Compare a game like SMG1 (where getting 60 stars was a breeze, while getting the rest could have been difficult) to something like DKC2, where just getting to the end level (even without bothering to get the tokens) was relatively difficult. Or, if you want to remain in the same series, compare SMG1 to SM64.Well, admittedly it was wrong on my part to focus on Nintendo. Most games this gen have become easy-ish. But I like to use Nintendo because of something they made in Metroid Trilogy.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aarachnid-Malik-Davolcanese/1548060424 Aarachnid Malik Davolcanese

            ehhhh SMG2′s main game was still difficult. And if you take out the optional stuff in SM64 and take out the optional stuff in SMG2, SMG2 is more difficult. And it’s not like they made Kirby comparatively super-easy in this game. Kirby games have never been difficult. This time they just saved you a step of having to replay the whole level when you fall down a pit or something.

            If you think most games this gen are “easy-ish,” stop playing on the lowest difficulty setting and start doing more than the bare minimum to complete the game. The problem seems to lie in the fact that you want a game to be hard, but you don’t want to do anything extra. If you want a game to be difficult, and the side-missions are difficult, why wouldn’t you play the side-missions? Even Ninja Gaiden Black or Devil May Cry 3, two of the hardest games in existence, can be easy if you play on the lowest difficulty settings and just rush through it.

          • malek86

            I don’t really know about SMG2 (didn’t buy it, I have had some motion sickness problems lately). My experience is the one with SMG1.

            As for difficulty levels, I try to never pick the easiest one. Aside from that, the problem stems when there’s no difficulty choice… like in Wind Waker, after a while I was “well it’s fun, but do enemies even try and kill you in this game?”. I thought that maybe all Zelda games were easy, but I distinctly remember dying a lot in LttP.

            Side missions… well, there are reasons I don’t like them. Sometimes they can feel a bit disconnected from the rest of the game. At times they can be too much of a difficulty spike (I believe a game should be uniformly difficult, not just extremely easy on one minute and hellishly hard on the next minute). Sometimes they require a level of preparation that’s easy but boring (like the Dark Aeons in FFX, sure they are hard, but you first need to grind the same monsters for spheres for 50 hours). Other times they’ll need to you to keep scanning the area to find something (in Prinny, I liked the game and finished it multiple times on the highest difficulty, but I couldn’t be bothered to look for the dolls). I don’t mind them too much in action games, but action games don’t really have many of them (maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t see any real side-mission in Ninja Gaiden or Shinobi).

          • malek86

            Oh, and there are times when you need to beat the game once, before you can select the higher difficulty levels. That’s something I’ll never, ever, ever understand.

        • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

          That doesnt make sense. Did not Ninty have to include some super guides or something in the game to help people get through Super Mario Galaxy 2 and New Super Mario Bros? The inclusion of up to 4-player co-op for NSBMW made it seem to me that one needs all the help they can get in that game. The final level of that game was pretty tough as well as other levels. Both Galaxy games were difficult to me (well apart from being nauseating and making me want to barf when I played it). Galaxy was just plain tough, kind of had to be in the upper echelon of the gaming elite to get through both games, which Im not a part of, lol.

          That motion sports game or something had difficult single player mode challenges, Mario Strikers Charged was brutal on single player.

          I think you mean most Ninty games are difficult when played alone.

      • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

        Kirby Tilt n Tumble was not an easy game, it was pretty difficult and tricky. I remember struggling through it quite a lot back in those days, lol, headache inducing but kind of fun and memorable.I do not see where people get the idea that all kirby games have been easy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tommy-Lee/518924335 Tommy Lee

    “Being relaxing rather than adrenaline pumping, Kirby’s Epic Yarn’s cooperative mode makes a good game for a date.”Hmmm… Interesting. I kid, I kid… Maybe. ‘.’ I imagine this would be a somewhat of hard game for people who want to go for a perfect score in every level. Before anyone blasts me for saying that, I did say “I imagine” so I could be wrong.

  • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

    Er no wonder Ninty nor retailers gave this game no preorder bonus promotions or anything. It just seems out there and a a walk in the park.

    Good think Return to Donkey Kong Country comes out this year, it seems to be the only good first party Nintendo title for America this year.

    Transformations seem like something good in this game and I guess I like the idea that it is easy, but for full price 49.99? Truly it can not be worth that much.

    • Aoshi00

      Actually Kmart is giving out $20 coupon for Kirby, they’ve been on a roll w/ their crazy deals, and Vanquish gives $20 coupon plus you can get another game for $30 less (like Enslaved, Castlevania, Halo Reach, Uncharted 2 GoTY, Red Dead Redemption, etc) when bought together. Too bad there is no deals at all for Naruto UNS2, I’ve been really spoiled by these promos, making $60 games cost like $40 on day 1.I do want to get this game, but been buying a bit too much lately, and I still have ways to go in Castlevania.. and Vanquish is out on Tues.. I might just get this because Nintendo games almost never drop in price.

      Toysrus’s having a Buy 2 get 1 free this week, on any game and accessories.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aarachnid-Malik-Davolcanese/1548060424 Aarachnid Malik Davolcanese

      If you grew up on Kirby, like myself, this game is a much-desired return to a classic. The fact that you can’t die doesn’t soil the experience. Imagine you fall of a ledge and die. What do you do? Just hit continue and when you hit that ledge you’re sure to jump. All it does is waste time. Kirby games have never been notoriously hard. This one just doesn’t make you redo the entire level for dying at one spot. And if you’re into making it difficult, I’m sure getting a gold medal and finding all the treasure chests in every level will prove quite challenging.

      Also, Amazon.com, K-Mart, and I think even Target were giving out pre-order bonuses.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NMYX5ACULPPL45VRW6X3ZVRRVA Darren

    I don’t know who the hell good feel is, but they know what they are doing. I am a huge Kirby fan and haven’t had this much fun in years.

    • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

      They’re the same company that did Wario Land: Shake It.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AllenSmithee Samuel Smithee Bateman

    Sounds exactly like one of my kinds of games. I really like easy going stuff.

  • Kaishounashi

    I’m really pumped for this. I think it’ll be the best Nintendo game this year(which says a lot, since Ninty also released Sin and Punishment). Besides, it’s Kirby. You can never go wrong with him.

    • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

      What? Have you missed what is on the release schedule for Nintendo? Return to Donkey Kong Coutnry and Golden Sun Dark Dawn are waving “hi” to you. Even Pokemon heartgold/soulsilver…

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aarachnid-Malik-Davolcanese/1548060424 Aarachnid Malik Davolcanese

        *Donkey Kong Country Returns

        • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

          Return to Donkey Kong Country sounds so much better than Donkey Kong Country Returns. How does a country return? lol, it just doesnt make sense.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aarachnid-Malik-Davolcanese/1548060424 Aarachnid Malik Davolcanese

            It’s referring to the game Donkey Kong Country and the Return to that franchise. Not the return of the Country of Donkey Kong. In Japan it’s just called Donkey Kong Returns, which I like better

          • Exkaiser

            That is a pretty fitting title!

      • Kaishounashi

        I like those games too, but i prefer Kirby… Is there something wrong with it? :?

        • http://tristsantithesis.tumblr.com/ Tsunayoshi Sawada

          It is my belief that one ought to prefer games of significant hype/fun or high production values with lengthy lasting value. Kirby’s Epic Yarn does not fit under any of the criteria. Of course Im just saiyan, and people do not do what I think they ought not do.

          • malek86

            Well, how would you universally value “fun”?

          • sfried

            Hype is not a valid criteria for determining a game’s overall quality. Having played Epic Yarn, it is definitely enjoyable, and since when did production values count toward’s a game’s ability to deliver fun? But if you’re a stickler for such stuff then I’m pleased to say the music is almost on par with Mario Galaxy’s soundtrack, and the graphics need no introduction.

            It’s a solidly designed platformer that reminds me of such greats like Yoshi’s Island, which also had easy but devious levels. If you’re an expert, then the extra stages are a treat to seasoned platformer veterans.

            It’s easy, yes, but it’s no simple cakewalk, and its worthy of attention given the merits it earned in E3. Unike all those other hyped-up games, however, Epic Yarn lives up to expectations.

  • Joanna

    I like calming games, so I’ll have to pick this up. :3

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