Kirby Star Allies
|Kirby Star Allies|
|Release||16 March 2018|
Kirby Star Allies[a] is a platform game developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo as part of the Kirby series. It was released worldwide on the Nintendo Switch on 16 March 2018. The game has sold 2.10 million copies as of September 2018, making it one of the best-selling games on the Switch.
Kirby Star Allies is a 2.5D platform game played from a side-on perspective. Players control the series' titular protagonist Kirby who can be accompanied by up to three companions. Kirby can throw hearts at enemies to turn them into allies. The game can be played alone with the game's AI controlling companions or cooperatively with other players controlling companions. When Kirby has companions, new special attacks become available which allow Kirby to combine his abilities with those of his allies', a feature not seen since Kirby: Squeak Squad. The elemental fusions last for as long as the power is held or until a new element is introduced over it, while some of the combinations are single-use moves that bear more of a resemblance to the combinations found in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Also, when Kirby has three allies, they can perform "Friend Actions" on specific stages, like "Friend Train" and "Friend Star." He can also bring "Dream Friends" on his side, which are ally characters from previous Kirby games, which are Bandana Waddle Dee, King Dedede, and Meta Knight (who are unlocked after progression in Story Mode), and more friends added through software updates, such as Rick, Kine and Coo (Dream Land 2), Marx (Super Star), Gooey (Dream Land 3), and in later software updates, more characters were added, who are Daraoch (Squeak Squad), Dark Meta Knight (Amazing Mirror), Adeleine & Ribbon (64), Magolor (Return to Dream Land), Taranza (Triple Deluxe), Susie (Planet Robobot), and The Three Mage-Sisters (Francisca, Flamberge, and Zan Partizanne). To fight the final boss, Kirby can use a Friend Action called the Star Allies Sparkler, which resembles to the Dragoon from Kirby Air Ride. With it, Kirby can traverse around the boss in full 3D - a rarity for the series - and shoot targets of interest.
The game pays many homages to previous titles of the Kirby series by introducing the Dream Friend system which allows the player to call upon past characters from the series, which in the future will be added as downloadable content. For example, the Animal Friends Rick, Kine & Coo from Kirby's Dream Land 2, Gooey from Kirby's Dream Land 3 as well as Marx from Kirby Super Star were all offered as the first free downloadable content pack shortly after the game's release. Various references to Kirby's past are included in the game: the final bosses' wings resembles Marx's, the boss also morphs into different shapes like Dark Matter from Kirby's Dream Land 2, as well as changing eye shapes resembling 02 from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. The Star Allies Sparkler also has six symmetrical protrusions that resemble the Dragoon from Kirby Air Ride.
On the Jambandra space station far away from Kirby's home planet, a dark crystal heart explodes due to an imperfection in a mysterious ritual, sending its numerous fragments, Jamba Hearts, hurtling into deep space. Many characters, including King Dedede and Meta Knight, are possessed while investigating the hearts that land on Popstar. A heart hits Kirby, but it instead gives him the ability to befriend enemies by throwing hearts. Kirby notices many Waddle Dees bringing food to Castle Dedede and decides to investigate. After Kirby defeats Meta Knight and King Dedede and frees them from the Jamba Heart's influence, a large fortress known as Jambastion lands on Popstar. After defeating three generals of ice, fire, and electricity, Francisca, Flamberge, and Zan Partizanne, respectively, Kirby and his friends fly to the far reaches of space.
After defeating Francisca and Flamberge, along with other bosses, Kirby and his friends connect a path to Jambandra Base and breach its defensive barrier. They battle Zan once again before meeting Hyness, an evil priest who is planning to restore a dark force, Void Termina, to full power using the Jamba Hearts. Defeating Hyness reveals his true face, a blue large-nosed figure with twitching eyes. He summons Francisca, Flamberge, and Zan Partizanne and uses dark energy to strengthen them and drain their life force. After being defeated, the Hyness sacrifices the three and himself to subsequently revive Void Termina. Kirby and his friends use a Friend Pedestal to summon the Friend Star but it transforms into the Star Allies Sparkler via the power of the four heart pins that were stuck in the prison of Void Termina. After overcoming its humanoid body, also regurgitating Hyness, Francisca, Flamberge, and Zan Partizanne in the process, and defeating it's bird form, it is revealed that its true form is a purplish pink cluster with three dark eye-like spots that can arrange themselves to resemble Kirby's face. During battle, this blob morphs into different shapes that reference previous bosses from earlier games, such as Dark Matter from Kirby's Dream Land 2 and 02 from Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Kirby then destroys Void Termina with the Star Allies Sparkler, summoning friends in the process. The Sparkler is destroyed by the resulting explosion, but Kirby uses a Warp Star to return himself and his friends safely home.
After defeating Hyness in the sub-game Guest Star ???? Star Allies Go!, Galacta Knight suddenly emerges from a portal to battle the player and their allies. Hovever, before he starts the battle, a butterfly lands on his lance and absorbs him. It later transforms into a new masked swordsman called Morpho Knight, who wields a pair of butterfly-themed swords and can imbue them with fire. He can also teleport and unleash energy waves that can corrupt the player's partners. The player and their friends defeat him, and he vanishes away.
In the Soul Melter difficulty of The Ultimate Choice, Void Termina gets battled once again, though more powerful than before. After defeating the third form, its true form is revealed to be Void Soul, a blue version of the core with black spots. Kirby and his allies eventually defeat Void Soul.
In Heroes in Another Dimension (takes place after Jambandra Base), Hyness and the other bosses are corrupted and went to another dimension. So Kirby and his heroic Dream Friends has to travel four dimensions in order to unlock the final dimension and battle a corrupted form of Hyness and the other currupted bosses.
In the Soul Melter EX difficulty of The Ultimate Choice, Morpho Knight EX is more powerful than his other form. After defeating Morpho Knight EX, Void Termina EX is also more powerful than its other forms. After defeating the third form, its true final form is none other than the Void itself, a white and neon colored version of the core with white spots. Kirby and his allies eventually defeat the Void.
Development and release
Kirby Star Allies was developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo. The game is thought to be based upon the first incarnation of the cancelled Kirby game for the Nintendo GameCube, the trailer for which shows Kirby making multiple helpers, akin to the fundamental element of Star Allies. The game was initially teased under the tentative title Kirby during the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2017. In September 2017, the game's official title was announced during a Nintendo Direct presentation. The game was released for the Nintendo Switch game console on 16 March 2018. On 3 March 2018, a free demo of the game was released on the Nintendo eShop showcasing two of the game's stages.
Kirby Star Allies received "mixed or average reviews" according to video game review aggregator Metacritic. Critics praised the game's visuals, saying that they are "gorgeous", however they criticized the game's easy difficulty with Kyle Hilliard from Game Informer saying that "[Kirby Star Allies] demands so little from the player that I sometimes felt like I was barely involved at all".
Critics praised the game's soundtrack. Hilliard called the game's soundtrack "fun and bubbly" and GameSpot reviewer Peter Brown and IGN reviewer Brendan Graeber calling the soundtrack "catchy".
Upon the game's launch, Kirby Star Allies became the fastest selling Kirby game in the United Kingdom. Kirby Star Allies sold 222,031 copies within its first week on sale in Japan, which placed it at number one on the all format sales chart. By the end of March, it had sold over a million copies. As of September 2018, Kirby Star Allies has sold 2.10 million copies.
- Known in Japan as Kirby of the Stars: Star Allies (星のカービィ スターアライズ Hoshi no Kābi Sutā Araizu)
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