Nintendo is able to do what most other major publishers can not. They are able to produce high-quality content that is both engaging and extremely fun. Kirby: Star Allies is no exception to this. The game offers a subpar story, but Kirby has never been known for its storytelling ability. The gameplay is truly where the game shines. Offering a rich experience and allowing for players to embark on this journey. Star Allies also is able to show off the Nintendo Switch’s best feature, the ability to easily play with friends and to play on the go. The levels are not long, but there are plenty which helps to create more pick up and play session which is easier to wrap up. Its split-screen local play is also a defining feature. Having the player’s friends along for the ride has never been so much fun.

Story

The game has a forgettable story that does not really take its shape until its latter half. The story is a similar layout akin to other installments in the franchise. A dark evil is spread across the universe possessing familiar characters, Meta Knight and King Dedede. Kirby must embark on an adventure to free these two, as well as prevent this evil from spreading. Along the way, he enlists the help of his friends to end this evil once and for all. It’s simple but interesting enough to grasp the player’s attention. The main problem with the execution of this story is that it does not pick up until the game’s second half. This is not unusual for Kirby games, however. The heart of this game lies in its gameplay.

Gameplay

This iteration introduces the new ally mechanic. Players are able to turn their enemies into friends by tossing a heart onto them. The developer, HAL Laboratories, caps off the number of allies at three. By doing this, it prevents the player from potentially having a massive army of Waddle Dees that help control the universe (even though that would have been amazing). Allies help the player defeat bosses while running through levels swiftly and easily. This is both good and bad for the game. It is good in that the game is able to appeal to younger gamers and can help with difficult sequences. The bad is that there are little to no difficult sections making this installment a simple breeze. Also, having four players poses a challenge on screen. The four allies can create a hectic atmosphere that makes losing the player a frequent mess.

The familiar Kirby gameplay also makes a return. Swallowing your enemies and absorbing their powers is still fun and fluid. New abilities,¬†such as festival and staff, allow for more creative ways to defeat villains. Having three allies can also trigger a “Friend Action.” This creates fun sequences that mix up the traditional style of gameplay and can also make way for puzzle solutions. Overall, the gameplay is Kirby: Star Allies‘ defining feature and it does not disappoint.

Extras

There is also a few other sections that this game has to offer, besides its main campaign. Star Allies includes two mini-games, a boss rush mode, and a time attack that can be unlocked after the conclusion of the story. The mini-games are fun and simple. One is seeing how far the player can hit an asteroid, while the other is how fast they can chop a tree. The boss rush portion is self-explanatory, but it has eight difficulty levels and the amount of bosses depends on that setting. It poses a challenge for the hardcore players that demand a difficulty spike. Only allowing for one life and a few health boosts provide these gamers with a true challenge, compared to the less difficult story mode. The time attack is a run through of various levels found throughout the campaign, but rather than playing as Kirby, the game allows its user to use Kirby’s friends and even special characters like Meta Knight. All of these help to provide a well-rounded experience to keep players engaged long after the story wraps up.

Co-Op

By being on the Nintendo Switch, Kirby: Star Allies allows for gamers to bring a friend along for the adventure. Up to four players can each use a joy-con to control either Kirby or one of his three allies. The biggest problem with this is the fact that it is local play only. This feature would have been perfect for online use in order to have a wider variety of people to choose from. Local play is still fun and can create some wonderful memories with family and friends. It is a perfect drop in and play experience that many will come to enjoy.

Kirby: Star Allies is a rich experience that is a fun and engaging experience for gamers. The story may not be its strong point, but what the story lacks the gameplay makes up for. The sheer amount of levels and collectibles found within the main campaign, as well as the extra game modes, provide longevity and a true “bang for your buck” feeling. It is an exciting game that can be played with up to four additional players which helps to enhance the overall experience. HAL Laboratories has created another fine addition to the Kirby franchise that can be enjoyed by gamers of all ages.

Kirby Star Allies Review
Kirby: Star Allies is another great addition to the franchise and a must play for fans of the series.
Overall Score8.4
Pros
  • New ally mechanic
  • Length
  • Classic Kirby gameplay
Cons
  • Sub-par story
  • No online multiplayer
  • Difficulty level
8.4Great
Reader Rating: (4 Votes)
6.5