Archives by Day

August 2022

Kirby's Epic Yarn

Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS, Wii
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: March 8, 2019


As an Amazon Associate, we earn commission from qualifying purchases.

3DS Review - 'Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn'

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on March 13, 2019 @ 12:00 a.m. PDT

In this enhanced version of Kirby’s Epic Yarn, Kirby is transported into a world made of cloth and yarn to unravel enemies, unzip secret passageways and transform into powerful vehicles.

Buy Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn

The nice thing about Kirby is that the little pink puffball can fit in just about anything. His simple and charming design lends itself to platforming, puzzles, racing, and anything else you can imagine. He might be one of the most basic designs in gaming, but he leverages that for sheer unquestioned adorableness. No game showed this off better than the 2010 Wii game, Kirby's Epic Yarn, which saw Kirby taking on a new felt exterior.

On the surface, Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn is largely the same game as the original Wii version. Almost everything we said in our original review still holds true. It's a charming and delightful platformer with a wide variety of gameplay and a ton of charm. If you've never played the original game, Extra Epic Yarn is a solid place to start, but it has its flaws, both as a port and as an updated version of a nearly decade-old game.

One of the biggest issues with the original Epic Yarn is that it was easy. It was as soft and safe as the yarn it was made out of, and the major challenge in the game was collecting all of the beads. Finishing the stages was assured due to a very forgiving damage system and generally low level of danger from most enemies. Even if you took damage, you only lost some beads, rather than anything significant.

Extra Epic Yarn tries to fix this through a few changes. One is a change to a more traditional health bar. Take damage, and you lose life; if you lose too much, you restart the stage. It's a minor change, but it makes some areas feel more tense, especially because the game offers unlockable decorations for Kirby's apartment if you finish stages without losing any health. Of all of the changes to the game, this is by far the best. The original safer mode is still available to play, but this gives the title a little extra bite.

The other major feature of Devilish mode are the titular devils. These tiny little buggers constantly harass you throughout the stage, and while they can be driven off, they reappear after a short period of time. This may sound annoying, but honestly, I think it really works for the game. A major element of Epic Yarn's low difficulty is a lack of pressure, and the devils add pressure. They're not that bad on their own, but they make other stage elements more risky, and that is nice. Extra Epic Yarn on Devilish mode is still a very easy game, but the features make it more in line with the other Kirby titles.

The other major change to Extra Epic Yarn is Ravel abilities, which unfortunately don't add much to the game and are arguably a detriment. Ravel abilities are effectively Kirby's powers from the older games translated into yarn form, giving him the ability to do things like create yarn balls or defeat enemies easily. This might sound like a boon, but the big issue is that the game isn't designed around these abilities. They genuinely break a lot of mechanics, and in doing so, take the rather tight design of the original Epic Yarn and throw it out the window. Considering Epic Yarn was already a very easy game, this can be a pretty significant determent. Ravel abilities fit a bit better in Devilish mode, where they provide a counter to some of the Devils themselves, and it seems like they were designed with that in mind.

I really don't like Ravel abilities, and they are probably the single largest negative about Extra Epic Yarn. They don't ruin the game by any means, and if they had been more carefully designed, it is easy to see them being a genuine positive. Unfortunately, they feel half-baked, and it detracts from the experience. I found myself throwing away the items because they reverted Extra Epic Yarn to its original Wii-level (lack of) difficulty.

The other major flaw is the lack of co-op. This is a relatively minor problem, but co-op was one of the most delightful parts of the original Epic Yarn, and it's disappointing to see it gone. Prince Fluff still appears, but he's more of a glorified NPC than anything else. It's understandable why, as the aging 3DS is clearly already pushing itself to run the game with a single player, but it means that it's a choice between the convenience of portability and playing with a friend (on a system that's two generations old).

There are also a pair of minigames — one starring King DeDeDe and one Metaknight — that are available from the outset. They're both basic games, akin to something you'd find on the mobile platform. DeDeDe auto-runs along a path collecting beads and avoiding obstacles while Metaknight flies around killing as many foes as possible. They're both rather fun for five-minute time wasters, but they're not a worthwhile reason to buy the game. If you really like the gameplay style of the minigames, you can probably find a dozen like them on any app store, so it's mostly the yarn aesthetic and the packed-in element that make them worth playing.

Fortunately, Epic Yarn has translated wonderfully to the 3DS. The art style has aged like fine wine, and it seems to have ported well. It looks and runs fantastically on the New 3DS, with all the colorful charm being captured perfectly. Considering that Epic Yarn was one of Nintendo's most adorable games ever, that's a huge boon. The soundtrack, a combination of new and classic Kirby tunes, is likewise top-notch and something that any fan can enjoy.

Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn is still a cute and enjoyable game, but although it's seen some improvements, it's more of a lateral move than an upgrade. The portability and Devilish mode are welcome additions, but the loss of co-op and the lackluster implementation of Ravel abilities drag down the game. It remains a delightful and charming title for young players, and the strengths and charm of the original game remain apparent. It's absolutely worth playing if you like Kirby titles and don't mind the low difficulty level. Whether it's on the Wii or on the 3DS, Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn is still one of the cutest games on the market.

Score: 8.0/10

More articles about Kirby's Epic Yarn
blog comments powered by Disqus