Thursday, July 23, 2009

Games Played 07/02/2009


Kirby Air Ride (2003)
Developer: HAL Laboratory, Inc./Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo GameCube
Purchase Date: 10/16/2003

The best feature of this game is its F-Zero inspired race tracks.

As what you would expect from a Kirby racing game, Kirby Air Ride is simple, offbeat, and fun. I almost picked this game up as an import and I am glad I didn't because it's not as spectacular as it should have been. Unlike other racing titles, there is no accelerate button in the game, and it's all about properly navigating the game's fantastical racing venues to gain speed advantage against your opponents. The main mechanics here is the the boost button that should be used whenever you make sharp turns. Boosting significantly reduces your speed so it would cause a terrible disadvantage when used excessively. There are plenty of vehicles that you can unlock in the game, including a couple of "Legendary" Air Ride machines. Of course, the game also allows you to use Kirby's copy ability and by swallowing any one of the unfortunate that litter the racing tracks. This will enable you to access various attacks that you can use against your opponents. The game offers a couple of unique racing modes as well: there's a tournament mode where you build up your vehicle's stats before battling your opponents and then there's a weird mini-racing game that's presented with a top-down viewpoint, reminiscing of racing games of old. The lack of any real depth in the controls becomes a hindrance for the game and I became bored of it rather quickly but if you are a big Kirby fan like myself, you won't be able to resist the allure of it all.

LIBRARY STATUS: 3 out of 5

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