Speaking with the representative from Nintendo that played through the Kirby's Return to Dreamland demo with me this weekend at New York Comic Con, we talked specifically about whether or not this title was an answer to Kirby's Epic Yarn.
He didn't know. What he did say was that there was a Kirby game in development for the Wii way before Kirby's Epic Yarn. However, again, he wasn't able to connect the dots between this title and that one.
We'll play the assumption game, here. Kirby's Return to Dreamland feels more like the classic Kirby we all know and love than the Epic Yarn variety. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Epic Yarn. I recognize that the game has those that stand firmly against it, but I saw it more as a diversion from Kirby than a violation.
Four players in total rode through the demo with me. I was King Dedede; but, Kirby, Meta Knight and Waddle Dee were also in attendance. The level we were presented with, quite honestly, was a little disinteresting. We fought our way through relatively easy baddies in a very narrow, linear plane. The four player co-op would have been much better had we been presented with a much grander level.
What's returned to this franchise, and the point that will most likely get Kirby fans jazzed, is the ability to absorb the powers of your enemies. Kirby can do it, of course, but King Dedede and Meta Knight cannot. I know, bummer. I was told, however, that you can select Kirby for each player in the game. If taking powers is your draw for the title, understand that you can always be Kirby, regardless of the amount of people you play with.
Moreover, Kirby has an awesome set of super powers. We saw his fire power-up. He basically cast a massive torrent of flame from one side of the screen to the other, on command, for a limited time. It wiped out everything, including the environment's trees.
The game was not challenging. There's that fact. I don't know if that's because I was playing with are particularly skilled set of gamers, or because this demo level came so early in Kirby's campaign. We, as a unit, were not challenged. And that might stand as a turn-off for some.
It was, however, harder than Kirby's Epic Yarn.
Kirby's Return to Dreamland will launch for the Wii later this month.