Preview

Kirby: Planet Robobot

The Joys Of Controlling A Mech
by Kimberley Wallace on Apr 25, 2016 at 07:02 AM
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Release:
Rating: Everyone
Platform: 3DS

Our little pink puffball, Kirby, returns in his newest adventure, Planet Robobot, with a huge power boost – a giant mech. Planet Robobot is a Kirby standby, with the rotund hero sucking up both new and familiar enemies to gain their powers. Borrowing gameplay from its predecessor, Triple Deluxe, you move between two planes to collect different goodies and open blocked areas, collecting keychains along the way.

In my hands-on time, I found a lot to love. As a fan of Triple Deluxe, I felt right home and adapted to the game quickly, platforming through levels. Finding a way to access closed-off areas that contain bonuses is still exciting, but I most enjoyed getting inside Kirby's robobot armor (mech), since it allows you to crush once-powerful enemies with an iron fist. When you're in the robobot armor, you can still copy abilities, allowing you to change its powers. Being able to copy a sword knight and suddenly have swords attached to your mech makes it even more satisfying. The robobot armor doesn't overpower Kirby for too long, since you can only use it at certain points in the level for short periods.

I could plow through areas that once gave me trepidation, including large blocks with spikes. Once I got in the mech, a mighty punch was all it took to get them out of my way. Previously, I had to wait until just the right time for the spikes to not be in my path to cross. The robobot armor brings this fun, powerful feeling to the experience, especially when you fight on a scale where Kirby would be helpless. In addition, the robobot armor allows you to pick up obstacles in your path.

I also got to test out one of Kirby's new powers. His doctor ability allows him to toss pills at enemies and use a syringe to damage them. By far the best part is charging up the ability by holding down the button so Kirby spills pills in a large area-of-effect attack, which allowed me to hit multiple enemies at once and even juggle the same enemy. Other new abilities include poison and ESP, which I wasn't able to get my hands on. The level design looks great so far; another level I visited was casino-inspired and had me avoiding giant balls on a spinning roulette wheel.

Planet Robobot also has some extra modes for fans to experience, including a multiplayer mode that allows you to take on bosses with up to three other friends. As a Kirby fan, Planet Robobot is hitting all the right notes so far. I can't wait to get back into the mech and wreak havoc. 

Amiibo Fun

A new line of Amiibos is simultaneously launching with Planet Robobot, although all of your existing Amiibos work with the game. Kirby-themed ones will have specific skills; others will select an ability at random. At any point, you can pop an Amiibo in and give Kirby one of its abilities. You can do this up to five times per level. In one instance, I lost my special ability before a boss battle, so I used the Meta Knight Amiibo and sliced my way to victory.