Kirby's Epic Yarn (1)

Genre: Platformer
Year: 2010
Developed by: HAL Laboratory
Published by: Nintendo
Platforms: Wii, Wii U
Feeling Like: Coffee, Cricket & Captain America

I remember my first date with Kyla like it was yesterday.

I picked her up in Gordon Head, and we had coffee at Starbucks before going to see Captain America: The First Avenger. We’d previously bonded at a wedding rehearsal dinner, due to me yelling at a group that they should really watch Firefly. She quickly rushed to my side to second the motion and then I made the smartest decision of my life by asking her out on a date. Showing her what Cricket is at Beacon Hill Park was the height of romanticism, according my inner Englishman.

I cautiously introduced the idea that we should play a co-op video game together, after she adamantly told me that her family had a long history of board games, card games and sports. My mind raced with possibilities; Borderlands? No, too violent. Super Mario Galaxy? Not enough for player 2 to do.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn? 

Perfect. A nice, playful adventure, about as simple as you can get with a video game. You can’t die, there aren’t any tricky puzzles and enemies are about as easy to predict as Hawaii’s general weather patterns. Nothing too threatening and a good introduction for us to work together as gaming partners.

It’s really difficult to associate any memory with the game other than playing it with Kyla. I had a great time, but had I known that this would be the first foray into our now six and a half year relationship, I wouldn’t have been able to sit still, or hold onto the controller properly.

Kirby's Epic Yarn (2)
Grandma’s knitting never looked so good

It’s not completely devoid of admirable traits. The art style is absolutely gorgeous. I’ve rarely seen a game take such a huge, unique graphical risk and it pay off. Everything looks like it’s being crafted right in front of your very eyes, from the zippers revealing hidden areas, to tugging on loose threads to extend platforms, to unwhirling yarn to defeat baddies. Buttons and colors and crafting materials are everywhere. This is a prodigy’s art project in full motion. I cannot say enough about how good it looks, despite the lack of High Definition support.

While it doesn’t contain any lack of difficulty, it can be challenging to retain your gems and get a good score by the end of each stage. The music is a Kirby fan’s dream, with light hearted piano scores, familiar tunes from previous games and an overall quality that seems to be solely reserved for either Disney or Nintendo products. Kyla and I would often go back to Kirby’s pad solely to hear the music…and to pick out appropriate stickers and decorations for his house. Little did I know we’d be choosing a real life couch together in just a few years.

You likely won’t get as much out Kirby’s Epic Yarn as I did. Barring being a hardcore Kirby fan, you’ll think that the platforming is too basic, the boss battles aren’t even close to tough and that the overall package is too childish, too cutesy. But with a narrator that sounds like George Carlin, and creativity bursting at the seams, I say it has a deserved spot.

I should also mention that, upon completion, Kyla felt slightly insulted that I thought she couldn’t handle a more difficult game. Our future endeavors would most definitely lead us to games where you could die. Often.

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