Kirby Battle Royale pits Kirby vs. …Kirby!
Every year in some way, shape, or form it seems like Nintendo gives us a brand new Kirby to enjoy. The latest to come to Nintendo 3DS is Kirby Battle Royale featuring 10 unique battle modes. It’s similar to 2014’s Kirby Fighters Deluxe, only with a top-down camera instead of a side camera. How does Nintendo’s new Kirby battle game stack up? Let’s take a closer look!
Platform(s): Nintendo 2DS and 3DS
Did somebody order cake?
Kirby Battle Royale includes a single-player story mode that’s all about winning a prize cake. It begins with King Dedede deciding to host the Cake Royal Tournament for those brave (hungry?) enough to enter. The winner of the tournament is promised to receive a scrumptious personalized cake—of their choosing.
To the surprise of no one, we soon discover the tournament is a ploy to draw Kirby into Dedede’s trap. The scheming king has created a cloning machine capable of producing Kirbys in a variety of colours. Each Kirby is given one of 14 Copy Abilities, and are essentially exact replicas of our heroic pink puffball. The clones are given one directive: take down Kirby before he advances in the tournament!
Progress through leagues
Aside from a few brief cutscenes, the majority of the Story mode is spent progressing through competitive leagues. You start in the Beginner’s League, and eventually progress through Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum ranks. Each tier introduces new minigames, Kirby Copy Abilities, and eventually items called Boost Orbs. In effect, Story mode is like one big tutorial introducing you to much of what the game has to offer.
From a difficulty perspective, Kirby Battle Royale is certainly targeted towards kids. I had no problem breezing through the story in a few hours and only lost a handful of matches. On harder difficulties, not only do you have to win the match but also meet certain criteria. For example, you have to avoid being hit, or be limited to using a specific Copy Ability. Even with such stipulations I won the majority of matches, although younger gamers will probably find it a fair challenge.
10 different minigames
Since the bulk of Kirby Battle Royale are its 10 minigames, let’s go through them one by one:
This is your standard free-for-all and takes place on a single-screen arena. You’ll use Kirby’s abilities to KO opponents, and win by having them all knocked down. KO’ed foes can get back up with partial health though, so you have to act fast!
This one’s a lot of fun. It’s a team-based mode where you and your partner have to collect and deposit apples. First you have attack a mini Whispy Woods to knock down its apples. Then you deliver them to your base and push a level to score some points. What I liked best about this mode is you can attack your opponents on steal their apples! Muhaha.
Your goal in this game is to collect as many coin as possible in the time allotted. Coins will randomly appear, as well as large pots of gold you can attack for coins. What you have to watch out for though are ghosts, which drain your money if they touch you.
Attack Riders takes place on a circular train track and each player is given 100 chips. You can steal chips by hitting your opponents and nab them as they go flying. To score a huge amount of chips you can hop inside a vehicle and crash into your opponents. Compared to the other minigames this one is quite fast!
Easily the most interesting minigame, Crazy Theatre offers a variety of simple challenges. These range from solving basic math questions, to dodging asteroids, to avoiding energy blasts. Every successful challenge gives you a point, and you need a specific number of points to win the match. Due to the unpredictability of this game, it was one of my favourites.
In this minigame, green energy cubes fall from the sky and are used to power a rocket. At the end of each match your rocket will travel a distance based on the amount of fuel you collected. To win, your rocket has to travel the farthest! The minigame is pretty simple but like Apple Scramble you can steal your opponent’s fuel. It’s a little devious but it makes matches a lot more fun to play.
For this minigame your goal is to score points by hitting Robo Bonkers (poor thing!) This can be done in two ways: launching rockets at him, and then pounding him when he’s dazed. Much like Battle Arena, this mode focuses mainly on using Kirby’s attack abilities.
This minigame takes place on small ice rink and has you knock around players with a hockey puck. You can either hit the puck into your opponents, or pick the puck up and throw it at them. Pretty fun I must say!
Ore Express presents mini-stages filled with ore that must be deposited into train cars. The stages auto-scroll and give you about 4-5 opportunities to nab ore at checkpoints. Of course you can also knock your opponents to prevent them from grabbing the ore!
This was my least favourite minigame to play solol as I found it far too easy to win against the CPU. The objective is to grab a ball and then toss it into your team’s coloured flag. To spice things up you can grab your flag, or your opponent’s flag, to make it a moving target. Playing against friends is a lot of fun, it’s just against the A.I. winning is so easy.
Kirby Battle Royale offers a simple, straightforward set of minigames meant to appeal to kids. Adults will probably not find the challenge they’re looking for, but us older gamers aren’t really the target audience anyway. I wish the Story mode had a little bit more meat to it, though it does do a great job and introducing the minigames. Overall, the included minigames are quite fun, especially when played with friends using Local Wireless. Kirby Battle Royale also includes Online Battle, which I believe makes it the first Kirby game featuring online competitive play.
+ Fun set of 10 minigames
+ Charming presentation
+ Really fun to play with friends
+ Includes Online Battles
– A little too simple for adults
– Story mode is rather thin
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 3.5/5