Two things before I begin:
-Holy crap, I did not expect to get sidetracked like this. I had this nice little system of 2-3 days between each post all set up, but there was the looming threat of an essay I knew would be a bump in the road. Not only was I was right, but I now have to discuss this topic with a minimum of at least a thousand words. Not pretty, and it's due in a week. As a result, procrastination hit me a little too hard.
Then again, I'd much rather have this when I had to dreck through on my birthday week last year...eesh, that's a topic for another time, though.
2. Before I knew the true horrors of the essay, I knew I'd have to make proper accommodations, so here's what I'll be doing.
The next two worlds, Yogurt Yard and Orange Ocean, will be combined into one for this post. Well, not so much combining as much as it's that I'm nearly omitting Yogurt Yard entirely. I'm doing this for the following reasons:
-There's nothing really that interesting in Yogurt Yard, but I don't want to bury its existence entirely, so it's there in the title. Meanwhile, as much as I love Orange Ocean, there's not much new I can harp on about it. Expect it near the bottom.
-And as much as I love this game, I want to move on to my review, which I haven't had time for THANKS TO THAT ESSAY. Luckily, the next game I'll be going over will be much more flexible, so I won't have to be stuck on a particular subject for a month!
So, yeah, on with the show!
Last time, I discussed nostalgia and the effects it has on gamers like us. Well, you can certainly expect more discussions on that in future titles, but today we're gonna focus on something a little different.
When I was younger, I often avoided the tougher challenges in a game, mainly for two reasons:
1. I hated losing, and wussed out of many challenges because I predicted they'd be too tough for me. Often times, they weren't and I was just being a coward.
2. I had a phobia of the main characters dying. Like, you know, watching childhood icons like Mario and Banjo Kazooie being dead. Not a very pleasant site.
In Kirby's case, it's always been the first one, although it's slightly different from what I described above. Now, I've gone over the many abilities of Kirby in the game and how accessible they are. Some are harder to use then others, but they're all incredibly fun to use and the more you spend time with them, the more you'll find uses for each and every one of them.
...except for one. Well, two if you count Sleep. But sleeping Kirby is adorable and can get away with it. No, I'm talking about Ball Kirby.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find any screenshots so you'll have to make do with the lovely piece of art above. A power given to you by ingesting the round Bubbles enemy, Kirby obviously turns into a ball and can now bounce around. Sounds awesome, right? Well, the problem is the execution..
See, when you bounce, you have to time it for you to bounce effectively. In other words, you tap the A button right before you hit the ground and you go soaring. Problem is, I never figured how to do this and it pissed me off. I'd spring up, then crash into some enemy and end up dead. As far as I was concerned, it was the only real dud in the game. If you haven't guessed it already, I sucked at timing.
Upon actually being smart while revisiting this game, however, I found the solution to my problem. When you're falling back down after bouncing, Kirby flashes white after a period of time and that's when you press A. The result? I'm ricocheting all over the place and having the time of my life.
For some reason, I think it's great fun to mess around with in the hub screens, particularly in Butter Building's vertical design where I can just go up and up. It kicks ass.
If only I discovered this sooner...ah, the misconceptions of youth.
So what are the other doors that the hidden switches open? Well, they lead to two other minigames, one of which is Quick Draw: a series of duels in the Wild, Wild West.
So, what's the deal here? You're Kirby with a cowboy hat squaring off against outlaws (read: Kirby bad guys with ridiculous hats), and once again, it's about timing. The moment, and I do mean the moment opponent raises his pistol, you smash that button and knock 'em out.
Yeah, not bullets. You shoot a BOXING GLOVE.
That's right, you get a gun that shoots A BOXING GLOVE. Then you arm yourself with a bazooka that shoots a boxing glove.
Did I mention how much I love this game??????
Oh lord, here it is! It's King Dedede, the guy who broke up the Star Rod! It's on like Donkey Kong!
Three one ups?!? Now that's what I'm talking about.
So did I avoid this game when I was younger? At times, but that's only because I'm scared of surprises, which in this case is the opposing gunslinger firing at me before I do. Surprises aren't really my thing, as evidenced by my fear of going to sleep.
...should I have said that out loud?
So we're at the last minigame, which is called "Egg Catcher." Hmm, I wonder what it's about...
Dedede again? He must have a real grudge against Kirby.
Wh-wha-ah! He's throwing eggs...and BOMBS! Eeyikes!
This, in my opinion, is the hardest game of the lot. He throws these items at an incredibly fast rate, and if you swallow a bomb, wellllll...
So you gotta distinguish the eggs from the bombs. And believe me, that's no easy feat, so how does one avoid this? By constantly switching between opening/closing your mouth and making sure none of those explosive buggers get in.
..so what happens when all thirty eggs get in?
Chickies! And three oneups!
This minigame I still find incredibly hard to do, but I've managed to nab all the eggs at least once or twice. It takes some real practice...and some eyestrain. Ouch.
And now we come to the sixth world, Orange Ocean. Interestingly enough, Kirby's visited this location more then once in his adventures.
Of course, it being an ocean and all, you're constantly treading in water. See?
The demon frog's domain.
Red! Not orange?
When discussing Orange Ocean, one has to go over the ship level!
We're aabbbooouuuttt to infiltrate...
So why does this level kick ass? For one thing, you're on a boat. Second, the ship's got all sorts of crooks and nannies to climb about and explore. Third, you're invading a boat and beating up its crew members. In short, it's adventure on the high seas all contained in one package.
And of course, the captain of this ship is none other then Bonkers. After an epic duel, his hammer ability is once again yours to command! You can plow through the rest of the crew with ease, or perhaps even find the cleverly located switch (hint: you gotta get outside the ship!). Either way, once we're done, let's get outta here!
Fly! Fly Fly!
Eventually, we find ourselves in an icy paradise. Apparently this ocean has glaciers.
And, hey, we can't forget about the beautiful moonlit lake.
An igloo! But don't get excited, for those pesky knights are after you again! Strangely enough, when you defeat them, the final door opens...what could this mean?
The boss of this world is none other then...
The masked knight!!! He is supposedly tired of sending his flunkies out to attack you, so he wants to test you himself. However, he is a knight of honor, and only wishes to duel with a sword. So he's nice enough to lend you one of his own. Then the battle begins!
The knight is quick and will waste no time attacking, so you'll have to be on your toes for this one. You can hack and slash at him, but he will not recoil in the slightest and shut you down with some fancy shmancy swordplay.
Yikes, Kirby's open!!
So what's your best bet? You've gotta be agile and not let him land any blows. However, the knight is clearly an expert at swordplay, as he can perform aerial attacks as well! You especially gotta watch for the downward stab. You won't be getting by this one so easily...
...but even after such an arduous battle, Kirby won't fall!
Hey, his mask is shattering...
Embarassed that his true face is shown, the mysterious knight embeds himself within a cape and teleports away.
..what just happened there? Who knows, but we got a piece of the Star Rod.
This is not the last time we meet that character. The masked knight is known as Meta Knight.
Perhaps the most mysterious character in Nintendo's wide repertoire of characters, Meta Knight is a character who's loyalty is always dancing on a thin line. For instance, his most diabolical act was to invade Dream Land with the gigantic airship known as the Halberd (as seen in Kirby Super Star). Other times, his motives are to aid Kirby from behind the scenes, such as in Squeak Squad and Amazing Mirror. In his latest appearance, Epic Yarn, he was under the control of an evil sorcerer and helped Kirby when he was broken free.
We know not of his origins, either. Who exactly is he? Why does he look like a black Kirby under the mask? Is he an ally, or a foe? Perhaps he took a piece of the Star Rod so he could take the opportunity to duel Kirby? What is his relationship with him?
In particular, there's one detail about this game I didn't go over...every now and then, a masked figure will pop up from below the screen and toss an Invincibility Candy to Kirby. Many fans claim that this is Meta Knight himself.
Just what is his true allegiance?!? And that's not to mention all those unanswered questions! For gosh sakes, get those skeletons out of your closet!
Well, whatever the case, there's no doubt that he's one cool customer. As such, he's gained many fans over the years. I suppose Kirby creator Masahiro Sakurai said it best:
"Despite being almost all head, his mask and cape exude coolness."
Alright, two more to go!
....hmm, I gotta say, other then the last part, I'm not too happy with how this turned out. Maybe next time.