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E3 10: Hands-on with Kirby's Epic Yarn

4:20 PM on 06.15.2010 // Chad Concelmo

All this week I am going to be giving ridiculously quick hands-on impressions of all the games I see on the E3 show floor. Since I think everything is a little amazing, they will be rated, from least to most favorite: 1 (A Little Amazing!), 2 (Kind of Amazing!), 3 (Pretty Amazing!), 4 (AMAZING!), and 5 (The Most Amazing Thing I Have Ever Seen!).

Let's get started with Kirby's Epic Yarn.

You guys are not ready for this game. Admittedly, it felt a little slow at first -- Kirby doesn't run that fast on the screen -- but this is easily remedied by double-tapping left or right on the D-pad and TURNING KIRBY INTO A RACECAR, which makes him move much faster. The main difference in this Kirby game is Kirby does not eat enemies (best explanation ever by a Nintendo employee: "Well, he can't do that. HE'S MADE OF YARN!"). Instead, Kirby carries a yarn whip and attacks enemies with it.

In addition, he can whip objects to manipulate the environment. This is the part you are not ready for. Kirby can wrap his whip around zippers and, literally, unzip the environment, opening secret passages and shortcuts. He can grab onto ribbons and peel things off, revealing hidden items underneath. In one of the most inspired things I saw, Kirby can jump into holes and burrow under the fabric backgrounds, actually forming a lump as he crawls around.

All of this is done with some of the best visuals I have ever seen on the Wii. The game is completely 2D (as all Kirby games should be) and everything is made out of textiles. Kirby and all the enemies are made of really realistic-looking yarn. Backgrounds are fabric; zippers and buttons are everywhere. THE GAME LOOKS GORGEOUS!

I got to play three levels: tutorial, regular level, and boss battle. All were awesome. Did I mention Kirby can turn into a parachute at any time and float after jumping? Oh yeah, he can also transform into an anvil as his ground-pound. HE EVEN TURNS INTO A GIANT TANK AND SHOOTS MISSILES! All of this, of course, controls perfectly with a sideways Wiimote and some of the smoothest animation I have ever seen.

My favorite part of the demo? At the end of the tank sequence, the yarn forming the tank wraps around a wooden pole and unwinds the tank before your eyes, changing Kirby back to his regular self. This level of detail and creativity is why I instantly fell in love with the game.

Kirby's Epic Yarn (best name EVER!) was awesome. But I worried everything else will be a let down. Time to run to the next game!

Rating: 5 out of 5 (The Most Amazing Thing I Have Ever Seen!)

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Chad Concelmo,
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