Kirby: Squeak Squad
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|Kirby: Squeak Squad|
North American box art
Kirby: Squeak Squad, known in Europe as Kirby: Mouse Attack, in Korea as Byeol ui Kieby: Dauphin Ildang ui Seupgyeok, and in Japan as Hoshi no Kirby: Sanjō! Dorotche Dan (Japanese: 星のカービィ 参上! ドロッチェ団?, lit."Kirby of the Stars: They've Arrived! The Dorotche Gang"), is a platforming video game in the Kirby series developed by HAL Laboratory, Flagship and Natsume (the latter as seen in the end credits) and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld video game console. The game was released in Japan and North America in 2006, and in Europe and Australia in 2007.
As in most of his games, Kirby is able to copy the abilities of certain enemies by inhaling and swallowing them. There are also interactive environments, with obstacles that are passable with copy abilities (examples include freezing water to get across with the Ice ability, or cutting down tall tufts of grass with his Sword or Cutter ability). Kirby is also able to collect and store copy abilities and items in his stomach, which is represented on the touch screen. A special power, "Bubble", can be used to create such abilities from the monsters on the screen. The player can combine certain abilities, similar to Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards; however, these are limited to only Sword, Fire, Ice, Spark, Bomb, and Wheel. Mixing abilities is achieved by dragging one ability over another with the stylus. If the two are compatible with each other, they will combine and produce a new ability (example: Fire + Sword = Fire Sword). This can only be done if the scroll (mentioned below) for a certain ability is found. However, if they are not compatible, they will combine to create a random bubble.
As another aspect of the storage and mixing ability, Kirby can acquire subparts of a bonus power item and then mix them to create that bonus item. For example, collecting three mini-Kirbys will grant the player an extra life, while collecting three small stars will generate a large star that can be used for destroying large enemies. Kirby can also store health-restoring items as well.
Returning copy abilities include Beam, Bomb, Cupid, Cutter, Fighter, Fire, Hammer, Hi-Jump, Ice, Laser, Magic, Ninja, Parasol, Sleep, Spark, Sword, Throw, Tornado, U.F.O., and Wheel. New abilities are Animal, Bubble, Ghost, Metal, and Triple Star. Many of the copy abilities feature multiple attacks, a recurring trend also seen in Kirby & the Amazing Mirror.
A new concept to Kirby games introduced in this game are the Copy Scrolls, which power up any power that Kirby has when chosen. Examples include Hammer growing to nearly double its normal size if charged up, Tornado and Wheel taking the elemental properties of the terrain they pass over, and Spark building up energy that can be released in a similar fashion to the way the Plasma ability from Kirby Super Star worked.
Each level contains one or more treasure chests (usually each level contains two small red chests and a large blue chest, although boss levels only contain one big blue chest), with the ultimate goal of the game to collect all the chests; the chests include keys needed to unlock secret levels and worlds, the ability to change Kirby's color, portions of a jigsaw puzzle picture, and more additional game content; these are awarded when the player successfully completes the level with that chest. The player will need to make sure they have enough space in Kirby's stomach to store the chests, removing unneeded items or combining similar items to make space. The larger chests are generally more difficult to obtain, and require Kirby to face a member of the Squeak Squad in a mini-challenge of sorts. If the opponent gets the chest, they will attempt to escape into their own small hideout, but if the player is fast enough, they can follow them into this hideout and attempt to beat them and retrieve the chest. If the player fails to obtain any chests, they are free to go back to any previously completed level to try to retrieve the chest again; chests already recovered can be collected again, but it will contain an item in a bubble. Only five items can be stored at a time.
The game supports multi-card multiplayer and single-card download play for three special mini-games based on the Squeak Squad.
The following paragraph is text from the game's introduction:
"Early afternoon in Dream Land... It's so peaceful even the clouds are drowsy. And now it's Kirby's favorite time of day: snack time! Today's yummy snack is a sweet, fluffy slice of strawberry shortcake! Time to dig in... WHOA! The cake Kirby was about to eat has suddenly vanished! That scrumptious, berry-topped slice of mouth-watering goodness... No doubt about it! This must be the work of King Dedede! Well, there's no time to waste! Gotta get that cake back! And that's how Kirby's latest fantastic adventure begins..."
At the end of World 1, (after defeating an innocent King Dedede), Kirby finds out that the Squeaks - an infamous group of treasure-thieving mice - are the ones behind the robbery. Kirby follows the thieves on a journey that takes him all over Dream Land. At the end of World 6, a battle ensues between Kirby and the leader of the Squeaks, Daroach. Kirby wins the battle, and is about to get the treasure chest supposedly containing his cake when Meta Knight swoops in and snatches the chest away. Kirby chases Meta Knight to the end of World 7, where a duel between the two rivals ensues. Meta Knight is defeated and gives up the treasure chest, which Kirby is about to open when the Squeaks fly in and grab it from him. Daroach opens it, but the chest does not contain Kirby's cake, but dark-colored cloud that ensnares Daroach and flies off into outer space. Kirby follows, eventually encountering and fighting Daroach, now aptly named Dark Daroach, for the second time at the end of World 8. Once beaten, the darkness lets go of the Squeak leader and floats away in the form of a small, black-colored star. Kirby follows the star; it eventually transforms into its true form - Dark Nebula. It is revealed that Meta Knight was only trying to keep Kirby or anyone else from opening the chest and releasing Dark Nebula. Kirby defeats it and heads back to Dream Land, while still wondering where his cake went to. The Squeaks then send him back his cake as an apology for the trouble they caused. Overjoyed, Kirby begins to eat it.
Kirby: Squeak Squad received "average" reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic. In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of two eights, one seven, and one eight for a total of 31 out of 40.
Criticisms concerned the lack of originality in the title when compared to the previous Kirby game on the Nintendo DS, Kirby: Canvas Curse. Television show X-Play criticized the game for weak minigames and unnecessary use of the touchscreen. The British Official Nintendo Magazine gave the game, on its European release, a score of 70%. Even though reviews were mixed, Kirby: Squeak Squad managed to sell over 1.7 million copies, with one million copies sold in Japan alone.
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