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Kirby: Canvas Curse

Developer: HAL Labs | Publisher: Nintendo
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 06/13/05 | Genre: Platform

The Nintendo DS and PSP have both seen a huge drought in software titles since their handheld consoles released to the market. Most of the PSP titles have been ports of PS2 titles while the DS has seen its share of N64 remakes and “touch screenâ€? updates to GBA titles. Sony still has yet to release a first party title that can be called a killer app for the PSP but the same cannot be said for Nintendo now that Kirby: Canvas Curse has been released. The first in what appears to be several AAA titles for 2005, the Nintendo DS may just have what it takes to beat the gorgeous and powerful PSP.

The first thing that sets Kirby: Canvas Curse apart from any other handheld title is that this game requires you to use the stylus exclusively for gameplay. Players will never touch the D-Pad--nor will they touch any of the face buttons on the DS. Nintendo plays up the use of the stylus into the game by making it your “magical paintbrushâ€? to guide Kirby throughout the many levels. By tapping him, he will dash towards his foes to attack. If you absorb some of the many powerups found within the levels, tapping Kirby will cause you to shoot off a special attack such as a tire roll or a spinning flame. But Kirby is much more than just tapping him. Players must tap enemies on the screen to stun them and draw lines for Kirby to move on. These rainbow colored lines can be drawn in any direction to guide Kirby to higher platforms, drawn around Kirby to protect him from enemies, and even drawn in circles to cause Kirby to do his very best Sonic impersonation. You don’t have unlimited use of your rainbow ink although it will slowly fill back up when not in use.

Each level has its own unique look and feel to it. Kirby will encounter worlds of ice, fire, water, machines, etc. Each world is divided up into several different sections. Sometimes it is quite easy to get from point A to point B but the fun is guiding Kirby up, around, and all over the map to unlock the hidden items in the specific section. Once you move on, there won’t be a way to go back unless you play the world again. Upon reaching the end of a particular level, you can choose between three different bosses to fight against. This provides a lot of replay value that is normally missing from handheld platform games.

Kirby definitely takes some time to master and there is an excellent tutorial mode that will teach you the basic gameplay fundamentals. Due to the open nature of controlling Kirby with the stylus, you will find several different ways to play through the game and may be surprised to learn that friends accomplish levels completely different than you do. The biggest complaint about Kirby: Canvas Curse is that it is a bit short. But due to the high replay value, this is one game you will want to play over and over again. If this title is any indication of what Nintendo has in store for Nintendo DS owners, you owe it to yourself to seriously consider picking up a NDS and a copy of Kirby: Canvas Curse.

This article appeared in the August 2005 Issue of CVGames. You can view this Issue by clicking here.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 08/18/05
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Screenshots for Kirby: Canvas Curse

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