Kirby’s familiar copy abilities return in Kirby: Planet Robobot, but in our PAX East hands-on, we saw the various ways in which they gain new uses and attacks when paired with Kirby’s new mecha form.
The first stage, set in green fields that show signs of the incoming technological enemies with added pipes, steel drums, and pieces of machinery, showed a familiar Kirby. His old foes, equipped with beam, spark, sword, and cutter, were all present. Swallowing them gave similar multi-use powers to those that were present in Kirby: Triple Deluxe, with the powers offering different abilities based on button and directional presses.
In the second stage, we were given access to a plain steel mecha, one that changed to a bring, vibrant pink when Kirby stepped on board. The mecha could do some powerful punch attacks straight ahead and downward, but became much more useful when it used its scanner to copy an enemy with an ability.
When a nearby enemy has a power, hitting the attack button will make the mecha scan it instead, copying the power. The suits use powers in different ways, with fire granting players a flamethrower, cutter letting them swing saw-blade arms, and bomb creating walking explosives that march across the floor. This first mecha created drastic changes in what copy abilities did, making familiar powers new and exciting again.
If no enemy with a copy power is in sight, though, the player can use Amiibos to give themselves an ability. The four Amiibo that are launching alongside the game – new variants on Kirby, King Dedede, and Meta Knight as well as the all-new Waddle Dee – give Kirby a copy ability by being tapped against the lower screen.
The PAX East demo also gave some a glimpse into into Team Kirby Clash. In it, players can use a healer Kirby, sword Kirby, hammer Kirby, and mage Kirby to tackle various bosses and fights. These Kirbys all gain experience as players complete matches, growing tougher over time and unlocking new fights with each victory. Players could also pick up an item during these matches, and once every player had picked up a copy of that item, it would activate a super attack to do heavy damage to the enemy.
Team Kirby Clash could be a frantic affair with four Kirbys and a large boss all inhabiting the same screen and activating their own special attacks (each activated with simple button presses). The experience system adds depth to the mode, though, creating a neat diversion for players looking for a multiplayer Kirby experience.
Kirby: Planet Robobot is set to release on June 10, 2016.