Kirby: Planet Robobot 3DS Review
Colorful and creative environments – max out the 3D slider
Twist ending and worthwhile unlockables after the campaign is finished
Mini-games are shockingly fun
Too easy at times
Sometimes you have to replay an entire level to gather a missable collectable
The co-op mini games are local multiplayer online
Mechs Make It Better –
Although it might look and play similarly to Triple Deluxe, Kirby: Planet Robobot has enough creative ideas to not only stand out from the previous 3DS title but from all other platform-based Kirby games of the past.
This time around, Kirby is not hunting down King Dedede, Meta Knight or a Star Rod possessed by a nightmare. Instead, these weird digital aliens plant their roots in Kirby’s world, brain wash all life forms, and it is up to Kirby to return everything to normal. In fact, the player doesn’t come across any plot or narrative until the mid-way point of the campaign. But even with a very small amount of story to drive the plot forward, each stage is creative enough to entice players to see it until the end.
The main difference in this new 3DS exclusive is Kirby’s ability to hop into a giant mech. Remember the mech armor from the Mega Man X games? It reminds me a lot of that. But just like Kirby, this mech suit can absorb the abilities of certain enemies. Each stage is cleverly designed around these mechanics and the ability Kirby needs to progress forward or to find a hidden item is usually never far away. This mech suit is also fast, fluid and powerful despite its massive size.
Each stage is meticulously designed, revolving around the power-up mechanic, Kirby’s ability to fly and dash, and the Robobot when applicable. As a whole, the entire campaign is rather easy as Kirby gets a lenient health bar and bosses/mini-bosses, although plentiful, can be beaten with some simple spam attacks especially with the right ability. However, finding all the hidden Data Cubes and Stickers is the real challenge as each stage contains secrets, some being rather difficult to find. The player is rewarded for collecting these optional secrets with worthwhile unlockable stages and content to enjoy.
Planet Robobot is unique because it contains non-stereotypical video game stages. For example, instead of running around a simple ice world, Kirby needs to venture through an airship. Instead of a forest or fire stage, Kirby has to avoid pool balls on a billiards table or make his way through a Matrix-like end game. The environments stand out and are easily one of the highlighting differences in this new 3DS Kirby game. In fact, the last world, the last stage especially, is so different from any other Kirby game and any previous stage in Planet Robobot. I do not want to give away spoilers but the final boss stage has many parts and makes Kirby a total bad-ass. Even the underwater segments don’t suck and the entire quest doesn’t rely on gimmicky motion control or microphone screaming/blowing. The end credits are also interactive.
One other important aspect to highlight are the mini-bosses and world-ending boss fights. Instead of simply whittling away a health bar until the boss falls, each boss reacts differently as health is chipped away. This makes each boss fight dynamic and more interesting despite having a single health bar; it is almost like three fights in one. The extra attention to detail goes a long way and makes the game more entertaining because of it. Even Kirby has taken a note from the Smash Bros series as he can block and dodge-roll by using the shoulder buttons.
The campaign might only take 6-10 hours to complete but the meta game is just as memorable as the main campaign. Without giving away spoils, there is a solid reason to re-play the entire campaign after the credits roll and the two other included mini-games are surprisingly deep and entertaining. While Kirby Fighters, a Smash Bros-like fighting game, and Dedede Drum Dash, a rhythm-base mini-game, found in Triple Deluxe were decent time wasters, Kirby Clash and Kirby 3D Rumble are shockingly fun. Clash has up to four Kirbys fighting together to take down a boss as quickly as possible. The gimmick here is that powers can be leveled up RPG-style and is more addicting that I thought it was going to be and makes me want a Kirby MMO. 3D Rumble allows Kirby to move in a 3D environment and makes me wonder if a full-fledged Kirby game can use this form of gameplay in a future release. These mini-games and unlockable extras are really the cherry on top of an already solid game.
The game also has optional amiibo functionality for every amiibo ever produced, including a line of exclusive Kirby Planet Robobot amiibo (Kirby on a warp star, Meta Knight, Dedede with his talk-to-the-hand pose, and Waddle Dee) that unlock unique power-ups. However, I never felt the need to use this functionality since the game gives the player the right ability at the right time. But this functionality is there for amiibo collectors.
It might look and feel like Triple Deluxe 1.5 but Planet Robobot stands firm as a true, worthy sequel and plays better than the first 3DS title. The puzzle platforming, pacing of each stage, the surprise ending and bonus games make Planet Robobot an easy purchase decision and provides a reason to put down your smartphone and firmly grip your 3DS.
Makes Me Long For: a new Klonoa game
Way Better Than: Kirby 64
Also Try: Yoshi’s Woolly World
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com