This month, a planet is under the threat of mechanisation. Naturally, a hero has to stand up to that threat and prevent his home from becoming entirely mechanical. He does this by utilising a wide range of abilities and the enemy’s technology. Hacking, slashing, incinerating, freezing, poisoning and good ol’ fisticuffs are just a few of the methods employed by the hero of this particular game in order to save his home planet. The protagonists main method for dealing with foes, however, is by consuming them.
In Kirby: Planet Robobot, Planet Popstar comes under threat from the Haltmann Works Company and its robotic army. The Company invades Planet Popstar and is met with resistance from both King Dedede and Meta Knight, but they are soon overpowered. Kirby just sleeps through the invasion, though once he wakes up he is quick to leap into action.
Commander of the invading army is a mysterious woman called Susie, who also happens to be the assistant of the president of Haltmann Works Co. Apparently she’s a force to be reckoned with.
Gameplay is pretty standard Kirby fare. You control the pink puffball who is able to walk, dash, jump and fly. Of course, Kirby’s signature is the ability to inhale foes and absorb their powers – these are Copy Abilities. In Planet Robobot, Kirby has access to 27 different Copy Abilities. Classics like Sword and Beam are present, but there are also 3 new Abilities.
These are Doctor, Poison and ESP.
Though Kirby has a variety of Copy Abilities at his disposal, there are times when he needs a little bit more power. Fortunately, Kirby is able to acquire Robobot Armour throughout the game.
The Robobot Armour can be used to break through blocks that Kirby’s normal abilities don’t affect. Additionally, with Kirby at the controls, it also gains the ability to use Copy Abilities – or rather, Modes. By scanning certain enemies, the Robobot Armour gets its own version of their ability – Cutter and Fire are examples of this.
The Robobot Armour can also be customised with stickers, which you can find scattered throughout the various levels. Stickers are pretty much just a cosmetic decoration, but it does give the Robobot Armour a touch of personalisation.
Another set of major items to be on the look out for throughout the levels are the Code Cubes. Each world requires you to collect a certain number to face the boss, and I suspect collecting all of them will trigger a different ending, since that’s the kind of thing I’d expect from a Kirby game.
There are also a couple of mini-games as well. First is ‘Kirby 3D Rumble’ in which players aim for a high score by defeating enemies in a 3D space as Kirby.
The other mini-game is called ‘Team Kirby Clash’, and has the option for multiplayer. The idea is to form a party of up to four Kirbys, each one taking on a different class and defeat enemies.
Kirby: Planet Robobot is also compatible with amiibo, and a new Kirby series of amiibo launched alongside the game. You can also use other amiibo to grant Kirby Copy Abilities somewhat related to that character – Link gives the Sword Ability, whilst Mario gives Fire, for example.
When it comes to platformers, Kirby is always a pretty solid choice – sure there are a few Kirby games that could be called gimmicky, but Planet Robobot is definitely well worth consideration if you enjoy platformers. Kirby games aren’t really known for their challenge, but going for 100% often makes things take a turn. I don’t know yet with Planet Robobot will do this, but I will say I’m expecting it.
From what I’ve played so far, Kirby: Planet Robobot is a solid Kirby experience, though I’m still of the opinion that Kirby’s Adventure Wii (or Kirby’s Return to Dream Land for Americans) is the best entry in the franchise thus far. Who knows, maybe my opinion will change once I’ve played through the entirety of Planet Robobot?