Kirby Star Allies made its way to Nintendo Switch this past week and as a long time fan I was downloading it as soon as it went live. I tried to avoid pre-release reviews so that I could form my own opinions and so that I could be even more excited to finally get my hands on it.
Y’all, it was so worth it.
I’ve been a big Kirby fan for as long as I can remember. In fact, one of my most played original gameboy games was Kirby so there was no question when Star Allies was announced that I’d be purchasing it. I played a bit the night it came out, then played the rest throughout the weekend so I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts and then whether or not I recommend you purchase this game for yourself.
Length of play
For me, I don’t judge a game solely on it’s length. I’ve played games that I loved that lasted hundreds of hours and I’ve played games that I’ve loved that lasted 3 hours. It’s not about length but about quality of gameplay within that time. Kirby Star Allies took me about 7-8 hours to get through, including collecting all of the hidden items and playing the extra levels. Sure, I wish it could have been longer because I enjoyed every minute but I was thankful that every moment felt full of adventure and never once like they added content just to add content.
If anything, this would be my only complaint – it’s really quite easy. With that being said, I love how accessible this game is for all ages and styles of game play. Whether you’re 5 or 95 years old, a new gamer or a pro – there’s something for everyone to love here. Even as the story ramped up and the puzzles gained a small amount of difficulty, I never felt that it was too easy to be enjoyed or too difficult for anyone to manage.
First thing you’ll notice about this game is that it’s beautiful – not in a wow look at that intricate scenery way, but in a bright and colorful fun way. As you progress through the different worlds, it’s a blast to see the way the scenes change and how sometimes those differences can help you or lead you astray. Even if the game was terrible, I almost feel like it’d be worth it just to see how beautiful it looks and appreciate even the subtle nods to past Kirby games.
Kirby games aren’t known for their depth or fantastic stories, but Star Allies is surprisingly charming in the story it does tell. With very little dialogue and most of the story being told through cartoon animation, you feel a connection to the cast of characters that leads you urging them on and wanting to help them save the universe in which they live. It’s not going to be winning any awards or blowing any minds, but it’s cute and worth paying attention to.
Characters + Cast
One of the main draws of this game is it’s vast array of possible characters with which to play – you can dress up and take on the role of your favorites as well as befriend nearly anyone within the game. Personally, I carried King Dedede with me for nearly the whole game for nostalgia reasons but there’s a lot of customization you can do. Depending on how you choose to play as well as your own strategies, building a team is both half the fun and half the challenge of this game. But let me be clear – no matter how cute or tough these characters may seem, watching them form a “Friend Bridge” or a “Friend Train” will never not be hilarious.
Should you buy it? If you’re a fan of Kirby or wishing to get into the franchise, I highly recommend checking Star Allies out. I’ve seen some complaints about the price based on the shorter play time, but considering the replay-ablity of the title, I don’t actually think it’s unreasonable. Consider that you’re getting not just a great game but a fantastic Co-Op game (one of the best on the console). At the end of the day, it’s up to you but I highly, highly recommend it.