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Published on November 27th, 2010 | by admin

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Leave Luck To Heaven #2: Not Your Grandma’s Knitting Game

Massive sandbox style games have become progressively more and more common. We have ones set in the old west, fantasy lands, inner cities, and probably just about anywhere else. This game style leads to some problems, such as getting absorbed in the free exploration to the point that the story is lost or forgotten. Kirby’s Epic Yarn doesn’t worry about these issues as the gameplay harkens back to a classic game style of 2D platforming.

The first thing that stands out with the game is the art style. All the textures, backgrounds, and even characters are made of fabric. This is one of those times when just by looking at something in a game I can envision exactly how everything feels. Besides weather related scenes in games, I’m not sure I’ve ever really been compelled to think of any tactile response just from visuals. This style of background also lends itself well to being a 2D platformer. Now in fairness, the game is not completely 2D as there are times that you can go behind bits of fabric so it’s more like you are playing on a true fabric map. This kind of 3D aspect lends well to the idea this fabric world is real. Kirby is interacting with fabrics as if he really did move behind it or something causes a ripple in the fabric.

The story mainly unfolds at the beginning and between levels. It’s not really a complex story as all there is to it is the idea that Kirby has been pulled into a yarn world and is trying to get back. Taking a page from Yoshi’s Story the game is presented in a storybook fashion. During the cutscenes that movie the story along there is actually a narrator. The guy they got to do this is one of those guys you envision reading to kids. Any character he reads for he gives a different voice and the entire time he talks with a very soothing tone. Compared to Yoshi’s Story the narrator really adds that extra touch to the storybook theme.

Now the gameplay is fun and easy. This really does play out like an old school platformer. You can pickup the controls in no time. Because of this the first level being a tutorial on how to move around was pretty insulting to older gamers. Later levels when the controls would come up made sense however as these were specialized control schemes. Another part that makes the game way too easy is the inability to die. If you fall down a hole or are attacked you can lose the gems you collected but that’s all you’ll lose. This does tie into the replay value though as each level has three hidden items to find and based on the number of jewels you collect there are medals awarded.

The replay value of this game relies on the idea that you did not take the time to collect everything. The further into the game you get the harder this actually is. On top of this there are five types of mini-games to play through that count toward the 100%. This ranges from 13 to like 20 levels per type. The racing mini-game was my favourite but by far the easiest. The other opportunity for replay value is in the two player mode. It is far more likely you went through this in one player so playing again with a friend might be some fun. I say might because it may be frustrating for some people.

The more mature gamer is probably going to be put off by the childish graphics. If the case is that the graphics keep you from playing a game then you either are probably not good at platformers or you’re not secure with yourself. Just get over that attitude though because this game is divine and one that you can come back to just for a good time.

– Jasmine, founder of Super Happy Sparkle Onigiri Brigade.

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