Don’t tuck away your 3DS console just yet. In spite of the massive success of the Switch, Nintendo is still trickling out a few choice releases for its 8 year old veteran handheld. Now everyone’s favourite pink puffball is back for another adventure. The latest title to hit the 3DS is none other than Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn.
Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn Details
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Reviewed on: Nintendo 3DS
Developer: Feel Good HAL Laboratory
Modes: Single player
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
The 3DS may be riding off toward the sunset, but not without a few final hurrah’s. Originally releasing on the Nintendo Wii as Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Nintendo is now treating players to a handheld port in the form of Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn. But just how much “extra” goodness is Nintendo doling out? We will focus more on that shortly.
Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn eschews the artistic design of previous games featuring Kirby. Instead it opts for a “crafty” design, which follows suit with other recent titles in which Nintendo is experimenting with similar aesthetics—such as Yoshi’s Wooly World.
In this adventure Kirby transports to “Patch Land”, a world that is completely made out of fabric. Naturally Patch Land is in a state of peril, and it’s up to Kirby to set everything right. Kirby must assist his new friend Prince Fluff in collecting magical pieces of yarn necessary to stitch Patch land back together in the wake of the evil vendetta put forward by his nemesis Yin Yarn.
Craft time comes to life
The art style and design of Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn is absolutely outstanding. It really feels like an elementary school crafting table suddenly becoming a moving, beautifully aesthetic feast for the senses. Just looking at the passionate art design is satisfying in and of itself, but interacting with it is even better.
Kirby moves around this platforming environment by unzipping zippers, unbuttoning buttons, and using loose strings of yarn to pull fabric platforms together just to name a few interactive elements. It’s so appealing to appreciate the creativity put into this world. Every puzzle and crafty aesthetic bursts with imagination.
A brand new Kirby
Of course more changes for Kirby than just the look of the world around him when he transports to Patch Land. In this new world Kirby’s body is just a yarn outline, and air passes directly through him. This is a huge deal for Kirby, as it renders his usual method of drawing air and swallowing objects and enemies useless!
Ever resourceful however, Kirby is quick to adapt. He quickly learns to utilize a yarn whip-like tool to strike enemies and interact with his environment. He also develops new shape-shifting powers in his new form as well. For example, Kirby will transform into a car to move quickly, a submarine to move underwater, or form into a parachute shape to slow down his ascension in the air.
However, Kirby’s coolest new power in Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn is his intermittent transformations into unique level-specific machines, which create fun and novel experiences. For example, in one level Kirby will become a UFO soaring through the air and collecting gems along the way. In another he becomes a giant tank that can launch endless explosive missiles at his enemies.
These mini-departures from the primary game play of Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn are some of the most enjoyable experiences. They create variety and often add a sense of feeling overpowered for the periods in which they are active.
Naturally, bringing a game like Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn back requires a few new additions to entice player’s who have already had the experience to jump back in.
One new add on is the introduction of “Devilish Mode”. Here Kirby will enter a level with a limited amount of life available, while simultaneously being harassed by one of three new foils. While this ups the challenge quite a bit from what is otherwise very easy game play, there are significantly more rewards on offer for completing a level in Devilish Mode.
Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn also introduces new mini-games, as well as Amiibo and StreetPass functionality. Finally, the number of furniture items available for customizing Kirby’s hub world apartment sees an increase of nearly 100 new objects.
While these new updates and features are surely welcome, they certainly don’t make Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn a brand new experience. I’m not quite sure if they are enough to really draw in those who have already played the game on Nintendo Wii for another round.
Alone in two dimensions
Some might argue that this port would have made more sense for the Nintendo Switch, and they do have a point. Notably, the 3DS-only release means that co-operative game play is no longer an option—something that surely would have been easy to do on the Switch. Porting to the more powerful Switch console could have left room for some graphical enhancements as well, which could have served as an ever better reason to bring the game back for a new generation.
The real oddity is that in deciding to bring the game to the 3DS, Nintendo nevertheless opted not to lean into the unique feature of the console—that being of course “3D”. Instead Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn has no 3D support. I understand that the console is winding down, and 3D is a gimmick that has seemingly seen its day. Nonetheless including it could have been at least one logical argument as to why the game was brought to 3DS over the Switch.
Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn has a gorgeous artistic aesthetic and fun game play, but lacks the “extra”
If you’ve never jumped into the world of Patch Land before, then Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn is absolutely worth experiencing. The environmental design and game play is unique and appealing. It’s easy to see the level of passion that went into creating this beautiful world.
That said, a bit more could have been done to lure in past players for another go, and some may wonder why this didn’t end up on Nintendo Switch with co-op play intact instead. Nevertheless Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn is still at least as fun as it was at the time of its original release on Wii.
+ Amazing artistic design
+ Fun and unique Kirby game play
+ Kirby transformations
– Lack of 3D
– No co-op play
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF KIRBY’S EXTRA EPIC YARN
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 3.75/5