Guest review by Alec Jessen

The newest addition to Nintendo’s Kirby game franchise, Kirby: Star Allies, is now available for Nintendo Switch (known in Japan as Kirby of the Stars: Star Allies).  The release of the new game is centered around an interesting new mechanic that has not been seen before with previous games in the Kirby series: a multiplayer/cooperative story and gameplay.  This fun, new mechanic is an interesting addition to Kirby games, giving fans a chance to experience adventures not only with Kirby, but also with friends from either the real world or via the AI/CPU.  As with past games in the series, players help the young, pink, spherical hero Kirby as he fights to save his home.  In the new version of the game all of the characters are still as cute and lovable as ever.

It’s a great way to play as a team.  Kirby: Star Allies features Kirby having a new ability–the ability to make friends.  This allows players to turn most of Kirby’s enemies into allies, which can then be either controlled by the computer or by friends in a local co-op of up to four players.  The ability is not only so that Kirby can have a few buddies to travel along with.  The abilities of his new friends are a necessity for Kirby to progress on his journey.  For example, the fiery abilities of the character Burning Leo are needed to ignite bombs that open up new paths, and only the electricity of Plugg can activate certain doors.  And the combined power of Kirby and his newly converted allies allows them to complete tasks using abilities such as the Friend Bridge, where Kirby and his friends form a bridge for certain characters to travel across. The teamwork in Kirby: Star Allies is both fun and heartwarming, especially playing in the company of friends.

It’s Kirby in a great new high-definition version.  One of the most interesting elements of Kirby: Star Allies is the use of the beautiful, vibrant Nintendo Switch graphics, while still being a side-scroller video game.  Its use of graphics along with the aspect of a side-scroller is a refreshing, near-3D experience.  The designers created a great combination, keeping the classic feel of past Kirby games, while also giving it a modern, unique update–It’s a great blend of new and old.

Kirby: Star Allies introduces an interesting new storyline.  A mysterious power has been released above Kirby’s home, Planet Popstar.  Jamba Hearts, which are purple, heart-shaped objects with a dark aura, fall from the sky and corrupt all who come into contact with them, also giving them the ability to power up and become very strong foes.  At the same time Kirby gains his new power–the aforementioned power to turn enemies into allies.  With up to three friends brought into the game the screen can get crowded at times, but this is not a major issue as Kirby can release friends from the game at anytime to free-up screen space via its “drop-in/drop-out” co-op.

Kirby: Star Allies includes all these features:

• Use friend hearts to charm enemies and they’ll fight alongside you
• Kirby and his friends have fresh moves thanks to new and expanded copy abilities
• Combine abilities with elements such as wind and water to create new friend abilities
• Some bosses and enemies are weak to certain elemental attacks, so remember to strategize

Here is Nintendo’s trailer for the game:

Originally created as a character for the Game Boy in 1992, with more than 20 games in the series and nearly 35 million copies sold, Kirby is in the top 50 best selling video game franchises of all time.  For the character’s fans, Kirby: Star Allies will be a fun update.  With the great, almost-3D graphics thanks to the Nintendo Switch and the designers maintaining the classic Kirby feel, it’s a game that many will enjoy.  Fun to play with friends or alone, Kirby: Star Allies is a lovable new addition to the Kirby game series.  It’s available here now at Amazon.

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