Hands On: Kirby’s Epic Yarn is Fun Fabric

A lot can be said about the graphics potential the next Nintendo home console could, and maybe should have, but scarcely can one be negative when faced with a title that plays to the system’s strengths to create a gorgeous, engaging, and fun experience.  This, in short, is what we are getting with Kirby’s Epic Yarn for the Wii.  Familiar, yet different, Epic Yarn takes a creative twist on the Kirby formula while keeping things simple, elegant, and adorable.

Kirby’s traditional marshmallow consistency is gone, as his body is now formed only by a short length of pink yarn.  This gives his body a little less form than we’re used to, and seems to have removed his stomach.  Although Kirby will still be able to steal his enemies powers, in my short time with the game, I found I couldn’t eat my enemies or fly – although the game feels very much like a Kirby game, our heroes moves have been switched up.  Kirby now uses his own stringy body to change shape, make whips, and float down to the earth like a parachute.  The Kirby we all know and love is still here, but he handles a little differently – and it’s a good thing.  The game feels retro, but fresh.
Epic Yarn pushes the yarn theme as far as it can -almost  everything in the game is made of yarn or fabric – stitched together like with thread.  Ps3 owners might liken the style to that of Little Big Planet, and the similarities are definitely there.  The fabric and Yarn textures look detailed and realistic, and the hand-crafted look lends itself well to the game.

Following in the footsteps of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Kirby’s Epic Yarn can be played in Co-Op, with the second player taking control of a blue puffball shaped yarn called “Prince Fluff.” Fluff is essentially the same as Kirby, save for slightly more intense eyes and a golden crown.  In co-op, the pair of you can charge through the levels, and lasso the other player with your yarn whip to hold, carry, and throw them.

All in all, I came away from Epic Yarn impressed and satisfied.  It’s been more than awhile since Kirby had a proper adventure and Epic Yarn feels right.  The handcrafted yarn feel plays the consoles strengths, keeps the visuals fresh, and is appropriately adorable to the character, while the new opportunities it provides for game design keep the title feeling fresh on a whole.  Although I didn’t come away from Kirby’s Epic Yarn as amazed and excited as some of Nintendo’s other big E3 announcements, I was definitely satisfied.  This marshmallow yarn is solid, and won’t disappoint Kirby fans.

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