Kirby Mass Attack ReviewJason Leyanna
Kirby doesn't have it all together in Mass Attack as he has been split into 10 copies of himself each with severely diminished abilities. Necrodeus, the evil leader of the Skull Gang, is to blame for harming the pink puff ball. So it is up to you to bring Kirby back together. Until then you must gang up on various foes (both familiar and new) and use your numbers to your advantage. Kirby Mass Attack from HAL Labs brings together many stages for story mode, uses controls specific to the DS, and includes numerous mini-games to bide your time.
There are five levels in Mass Attack, starting in lush green forest and also exploring other locations from the desert to a lava filled volcano. The group of Kirbys will have to fight through many stages in each level. Each stage will indicate how many Kirbys you must have to start this stage. The early stages usually require fewer Kirbys and then more as you progress within each level. So long as you don't lose all of your Kirbys and are able to navigate to the final door, the stage will be complete allowing you to move on to the next area.
Mass Attack takes full advantage of the unique configuration of the Nintendo DS. Use the stylus to move Kirby, flinging him at enemies and pointing him (and his clones) where you want them to go. The primary method to take down enemies is to gang up on them by directing the Kirbys to each particular one. If you have fewer Kirbys it may take multiple times to eliminate the foe. Kirby can pick up fruit such as apples and bananas and if enough are collected another Kirby will appear, until you have a maximum of 10. Mass Attack reminds me somewhat of a Donkey Kong game with its mixture of fruit and the way you fight enemies.
Mass Attack should also be complimented for its addition of numerous mini-games that are unlocked when playing through story mode. I greatly enjoyed the throwback to Kirby's Pinball Land with Kirby's Brawlball. Brawlball has the main pinball playfield and also boss playfields to keep you entertained for short spurts. I also found Kirby's Quest as a cool short RPG in the Kirby universe. The mini-games are a welcome addition to the overall game and give reason to pop the game back in every so often.
The stages of Mass Attack are colorful, bright and aesthetically pleasing on the handheld's screen. The game also brings back the familiar sounds and music style that is familiar to Kirby fans while including additions. The gameplay is enjoyable and allows you to play for either long periods or small segments of time in either story mode or the mini-games. There is replay value in the game from unlocking mini-games and achievements. Players can also collect gold coins and attempt to complete the game to 100%.
I do miss the old-school style Kirby where he would suck up his adversary and either spit them out or acquire their special powers. Kirby Mass Attack strips away Kirby's quintessential signature move set, but still manages to keep things entertaining. I just hope Kirby pulls himself back together for the next game.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.