Ever since the Wii launched, a lot of people have been hoping for Nintendo to release games for returning franchises, one of them being Kirby, while this franchise has got its fair share of games on portable systems, people however wanted Kirby to return to consoles, but then in late 2010, Kirby's Epic Yarn has been released ! the game received a lot of praise from critics and consumers alike ! while there are some people who didn't liked the whole different changes from the other Kirby games, it was still a highly praised game ! and then in late 2011, the pink puffball is back in Kirby's Return to Dream Land ! the difference being that this was developed by the original creators of the franchise that took them more than a decade to make ! going through different concepts, art style and even gameplay, the game was finally released ! however, a lot of consumers didn't gave it the same praise that Kirby's Epic Yarn got, while the some critics did praised it (somewhat...), the consumers really didn't gave its attention to this title since there was more "Big-Budgeted" titles to be released a month later of its release, but the question is, did Kirby's Return to Dream Land really deserved this reception ? even though it's a Kirby title with the classic formula that this franchise was always familiar with unlike Kirby's Epic Yarn ? and an even better question, which one of these recent console Kirby titles is better ? which one was more fun ? which one deserved it's praise it received ? which one of these mark as the amazing return of Kirby console games ? and since I haven't seen a discussion for this, in this article I'm going to put these two games together and see which one is better !
In Kirby's Epic Yarn, Kirby was just minding his own business in dreamland, and then he spots a metamato, and when he wanted to swallow it, a character appears by the name of Yin-Yarn, an evil sorcerer, telling kirby to stop trying to swallow the metamato, and when Kirby doesn't listen and swallows it, Yin-Yarn then banishes Kirby to Patch Land that's inside Yin-Yarn's sock, and Kirby sees that he's made out of yarn and when he wanted to help someone from trouble, he also realizes that his inhaling ability is also useless ! but as it turns out, he uses his new found powers that the metamato which was magical gave him, to save this certain character named Prince Fluff, and after saving him he explains that the evil Yin-Yarn has separated Patch Land into pieces, which was tied together by magic yarn, and so Kirby decides to help Prince Fluff to collect all seven pieces of the magic yarn and restore Patch Land.
The story in that game is REALLY simple ! but to be honest, it's a cutesy story that's charming and harmful for everyone to enjoy, in fact, it did had a plot twist that it was good ! and I admit, the story was really good in its own way and I did think that the game had very cute moments !
In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, when king dedede and waddle dee was chasing Kirby that was holding a cake, and metaknight just relaxing reading a book, a strange spaceship crashes on Pop Star and Kirby and his friends (Waddle Dee, King Dedede and Meta Knight) was looking at the ship, they've eventually found out that inside the spaceship is an alien creature named Magolor and he finds out that the ship was missing a lot of pieces and all of them are scattered around Pop Star, but Kirby and his friends are willing help him out to recover all of the pieces and fix the spaceship so that it can fly again.
Again, this had a simple story, however ! it did had more plot twists that really impressive, while one of them was clichéd, it was still not that predictable ! and it is also wrote in this whole "epic" tone behind it (ironic isn't it ?) ! while it did lacked more on it (since the game was more concentrated on the gameplay) the story was still good !
Comparing to these two, Kirby's Epic Yarn is pretty much the simplest of the two, while it has more cuter moments in that game, I felt that Kirby's Return to Dreamland was really more enjoyable than the other game, since it had more good plotwists, more epic moments, and the most overall well-made story, so Kirby's Return to Dream Land wins this category !
Kirby's Return to Dream Land
Kirby's Epic Yarn (also known as Keito no Kirby in japan) is a plaformer game that only uses the Wii remote sideways. You are first put on Patch Land in order to select a world by just traversing through the land and then walk to the designated area or by teleporting right to it and then selecting a level by entering one of its doors, and in the levels, one of the main obvious differences in it'd gameplay is that Kirby doesn't have the ability to swallow or spit out enemies, instead, he can attack with a whip of yarn that can either destroy the enemy or grab them and turn them into projectiles, in which doing the latter can be essential to progress through the game, and you can do other moves such as turn into a parachute while on the air to glide down, turn into a car by tapping left or right twice to run faster, etc. and you can also find spheres called "Metamortex" in certain levels to transform into some object that can help you go through the game, be it a dolphin to swim on the water faster, a monster truck to race, etc. Kirby does not have health or extra lives, instead, you can lose beads that you collect, and collecting a certain amount of beads can give you a respective medal for that level. The game also includes two player co-op multiplayer where the second player is prince fluff and both of you can help each other collect beads, go through the levels, etc.
The gameplay in this game might be pretty simple, but it's also different from the other Kirby games since in this game it doesn't allow you to copy abilities in here, so the question is, does it work ? for me, it does, because even if it's not like the other Kirby games, it's still fun and enjoyable like a Kirby game would, while the game is too simple to the point it doesn't have to much depth into it and might be very slow paced to some people, I still give it some respect to take chances of being different and also be fun at the same time and not soil the Kirby name.
Kirby's Return to Dream Land (also known as "Kirby's Adventure Wii" in Europe and "Kirby of the Stars Wii" in Japan) is a 2.5D side-scrolling platform game in which it only uses the Wii remote sideways. The game starts you in the level select screen so that you can select which world to go and then which level to go in an area where you can run around and go through one of the doors that represents the levels. You play as Kirby, you can inhale indefinitely to suck in nearby objects and enemies, and the inhaled objects can either be propelled back out as projectiles or swallowed, however there are certain enemies that when swallowed Kirby will gain a copy ability, and it depends on what that certain enemy is, for example if Kirby swallows someone who has the ability of fire, Kirby will gain the ability of fire, and such, The game is pretty much a reminiscent of the traditional Kirby formula when it comes to gameplay, and there are some returning gameplay mechanics like each copy ability for example has multiple forms of attack that are summoned depending on the button-presses you are making, just like in Kirby Super Star for the SNES and a lot of copy abilities from other Kirby games such as the cutter, the tornado, the fighter, etc. and then there's also the "Super Abilities" which are a more powerful version of a copy ability, and the secondary task of collecting the missing starship pieces called "energy spheres", where some of them are hidden and some of them require you to do a certain task in order to collect it. This game also includes 4 player drop-in drop-out cooperative multiplayer where the second, third and fourth player have a choice of playing either as Meta Knight, King Dedede, and Waddle Dee or even another Kirby ! but sadly, only the first player can only play as Kirby and while in cooperative multiplayer, you can easily defeat enemies and bosses and do other things that you couldn't do in single player like for example the ability to be carried by someone playing in the game, someone carrying an object for you and more.
This game's gameplay is really fun ! it has a very reminiscent design of the other Kirby games that's been done in an amazing and enjoyable way ! it has tight controls, a fun multiplayer and fast paced gameplay too ! it's definitely a Kirby game that everyone can enjoy !
Comparing to these two, I definitely going to side with Kirby's Return to Dream Land, not that I hate Kirby's Epic Yarn mind you, it's just that Kirby's Return to Dream Land was more much fun to me for it's great, fast and enjoyable gameplay it offers that uses elements from other Kirby games and mixes it together to make a Kirby game with an amazing gameplay ! while I do give credit to Kirby's Epic Yarn for being fun and also being different, I still would have to go with Kirby's Return to Dream Land !
Kirby's Return to Dream Land
Kirby's Epic Yarn's graphics is mostly well known on how original and good looking it was back in E3 2010, in which gametrailers and gamespot named it as the game with best graphics when comparing with other big budgeted titles ! and the reason why is this, this game uses rendered graphics that shows a unique knitted design based on animated yarn and a world of cloth and textiles and it makes it very colorful and unique from other games released in that year, but not only that, the game also works its graphics style into the gameplay by creating an interaction between the game and its graphical style, for example Kirby can pull out some buttons from a certain scenery, and also some stray threads, zips and spin balls of yarn in order to reveal hidden areas or alter the shape of the terrain that can actually make you progress through the game.
While the game's graphics are charming and colorful just like any Kirby game should be, and it actually works since the game's gameplay is slow paced, you will have more attention to its graphics, however that said and done, they are not original, since I saw this kind of art style in Yoshi's Story for the Nintendo 64, but still, even if it's not original, it's still looks good if not for it's really simplistic look and lack of more depth into it.
Kirby's Return to Dream Land graphics were designed as a 3D model in a 2.5D setting, and each of the stages and it's background is very detailed whit things such as more colorful objects, cool looking lightning effects, and also some visual cues that certain background objects have that indicates which can be destroyed whit your Super Ability, and it also has the charm and colorful style that the Kirby games are always known for, but it also has its own kind-of dark setting and design, but it doesn't look out of place for a Kirby game.
To be completely honest, they look really good, while some stages look rather simple most of them have an amazing detail behind them with a lot of things that makes it look deep and even atmospheric at times ! but sadly most of your attention will be focused on the gameplay since it's fast paced unlike in Kirby's Epic Yarn, but still, the game is still pretty good looking with its great amount of detail behind it and its deep and atmospheric look it has !
So which one of these do I prefer the most when it comes to its graphics department ? well Kirby's Return to Dream Land of course ! it's just that I loved the amazing detail and depth that was put on this game while also be colorful just like any Kirby game should ! Kirby's Epic Yarn, while it is more charming and colorful, just looks too simple and lacks some depth into it, and I also disagree that its original, while some people think that Kirby's Return to Dream Land graphics look very generic, I still say that at least it's has an amazing details that makes it good looking and how it's a great-looking 2.5D Kirby game, therefore it gets my vote !
Kirby's Return to Dream Land
Best Music and Sound
Kirby's Epic Yarn Soundtrack is composed by Tomoya Tomita, Hirokazu Ando and Jun Ishikawa, and it composes of a lot of variety in the style of music like orchestrated, tropical or even an instrument solo and so much more, my favorite songs from this game are Lava Landing, Big Bean Vine and Bubbly Clouds. The sounds are very simple and cutesy but it good nonetheless, it needed a little bit of impact in it though.
Kirby's Return to Dream Land Soundtrack is composed by Jun Ishikawa and Hirokazu Ando, and it also composes a lot of variety of styles such as a few orchestral scores and even a lot of songs have instruments that are reminiscent to the older Kirby games (more specifically Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards for the Nintendo 64 and Kirby's Dreamland 3 for the Super Nintendo), and my favorite songs from this soundtrack are Cookie Country, Boss Prelude, Cloudy Area. The sounds are also reminiscent from the old Kirby games of them being simple and they sound alike, but still, it felt that it needed more impact on it, but as it is, at least I can give credit where it's due.
This was hard for me to choose, but after much thought on this situation, I would definitely go to Kirby's Epic Yarn on this one ! the soundtrack in this game is just so amazing and it works as well ! this game being slow paced, it has more time of showing you the music therefore leaving more of an impact and attention to it unlike Kirby's Return to Dream Land, and the sounds also are more effective for this game as well, since Kirby's Epic Yarn is a simple and cutesy game, it is understandable to use cute and simple sounds, something that Kirby's Return to Dream Land doesn't do well since it's much more of an action focused game and the sounds lead more to be desired, and because of this, Kirby's Epic Yarn gets my vote for this category !
Kirby's Epic Yarn
Kirby's Epic Yarn's presentation, while it lacks in some certain areas, it actually works for this game, since one of the key features of this game is that there are some certain moments where you can actually interact with the environment, like pulling a button so that the environment changes to reveal another path, or destroy certain environments while you are transformed by a Metamortex object. and this is because the game was designed to be a world made out of fabric that can be used to knot or knit objects like yarn, buttons, cloth, etc. As for the replayability, each level in this game has three secret treasure chests for Kirby to find in order to get furniture which can then be used to customize Kirby's living space, and a cd in which it can be added in your music library to listen to, and there's also the medals that you can collect by getting a certain amount of beads in each represented level, and with the treasure chests and the medals you can unlock extra minigames by some characters that are also living in the hotel located in Patch square (where Kirby’s living space and a record that keeps track of your collectibles by percentages), in which these provide a hide and seek type of game, a race to the finish game, etc. and each minigame might get harder later on, and speaking of the living space, you can decorate it with wallpapers and furniture that you have collected or purchased at the store.
Kirby's Return to Dream Land does has some deep and atmospheric environments thanks to its graphics, even though they look like they're just there just for show, I kept in mind that this is a Kirby game so I didn't expected a whole lot, and it does has some charming moments just like any other Kirby game, but I felt like it lacked a little more of it, but that doesn't mean that it's bad or anything because of that, and it does give a great presentation to this version of Pop Star planet. As for the replayability, you can unlock a lot of thing in Magolor's spaceship such as some challenge rooms, copy abilities rooms, and some minigames that you can play with your friends as well depending on how much energy spheres that you have, there's also more content when you beat the main game like an Arena mode, a sound test and another main game called the Extra mode where it's the main game but harder, when you beat the extra mode, you can unlock the True Arena, a much harder version of the Arena mode, and beat both of these and you can actually play them again but with a different character like Meta Knight, King Dedede, and Waddle Dee, and lastly, complete both arenas and get 100% completion on Main and Extra game and you will unlock a special video that really wasn't that rewarding to be honest...
Now this was hard for me to pick ! both of these games left me with a great impression ! but after putting much more thought into it, I will have to say that Kirby's Epic Yarn gets this category ! now I know that Kirby's Return to Dream Land has more replayability, but it's just that Kirby's Epic Yarn's whole idea is to represent this world in a fabric land and you can also interact with it, it was done very well and does its job more respectively, while as I've said before, Kirby's Return to Dream Land whole setting feel like they're just there just for show, and not to mention, comparing to Kirby's Epic Yarn, Kirby's Return to Dream Land is very fast paced when it comes to gameplay and has a lot more content as well, but the thing is most of its great developed assets such as the graphics and the whole presentation might get ignored because of it, and it downgrades some of the cutesy nature and some of the charm in the environments that Kirby's Epic Yarn has included in its game, and because of this, Kirby's Epic Yarn gets my vote !
Kirby's Epic Yarn
Overall Best Game !
So we've reached the end of the category, which means it's time to count the total votes to decide which of these games are better ! And the winner is...
KIRBY'S RETURN TO DREAM LAND !
Kirby's Epic Yarn - 2
Kirby's Return to Dream Land - 3
While I do admire Kirby's Epic Yarn for it's well executed Presentation that works for this game and it's amazing soundtrack that's pretty much one of my best videogame soundtracks, Kirby's Return to Dream Land is just the greater game, and let's not forget that it took more than a decade for this to come out ! unlike Kirby's Epic Yarn where it wasn't a Kirby game at all in the beginning of its development ! and also, Kirby's Return to Dream Land, as I've said before, is like a love written letter for the older Kirby games in the franchise, since it has a kind of simple but great story, amazing and enjoyable gameplay and great and detailed graphic that all of them are reminiscent of the older Kirby games, therefore, in my opinion, I name Kirby's Return to Dream Land as the great return of the console Kirby games !
So what do you guys think ? Did you prefer the other game more ? or do you actually agree to my opinion ? Let me know in the comments !
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