Review: Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS)

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Okay, as part of my celebration of my first year of blogging, I am reviewing games related to my earliest reviews. Since Kirby Star Allies Review (Switch) was one of my first reviews, I have decided to review Kirby: Planet Robobot today. When I first picked up this game, there was some very mild disappointment due to some trivial details. This replay for the review is actually my third time playing this game, and it has grown on me considerably since my first go at the game. I will emphasize the good in this review of Kirby: Planet Robobot, as I can no longer remember the few details that seemed off the first time around.

So, first things first, the setting of this game is quite different from other Kirby games. In Kirby: Planet Robobot, an invading alien force turns everything in Dreamland into machines. Not only does the game world look more mechanical, but the music is also altered to sound more mechanical too. Initially, it might not sound like a Kirby game, but it does work with the theme of the game very well, and gives the game a unique identity in the series.

Like most Kirby games, the titular character can inhale an eat enemies. Certain enemies, when eaten, grant Kirby a copy power, allowing Kirby to fight in new and more powerful ways. Similar to Kirby Super Star, each copy power has multiple attacks that can be used when you press different combinations of buttons and directional inputs. The main twist on the Kirby formula here is that Kirby will from time to time pilot a robotic mech suit. This mech suit adds more power to Kirby’s attacks, and can allow him to clear certain obstacles. These include screws that hold part of the scenery together, and gears that activate elevators or other objects. The mech suit can even copy enemies, and in some cases, can turn into a car or plane for a neat change in game play. The only odd thing about the mech suit is that Kirby can only get on and off at certain parts of the stage. This can be forgiven, as the suit is larger than Kirby, so some stages would feel weird if you could carry it anywhere.

KirbyRobogameplay
The mech suit can also carry some objects Kirby cannot.

Now, what 2D platformer would be complete without collectibles? Kirby: Planet Robobot features code cubes in every stage, and a certain number is required in each world to access the boss. Luckily, unlike some games with similar requirements to progress, the requirements are low, and the code cubes are easy enough to find so that gathering them all isn’t necessary nor tedious. This game also features collectible stickers that can be placed on the mech suit just for fun, and each stage has a single rare sticker to collect. Every common sticker though, is randomly generated, and duplicates can be found, slowing down the collection process (there are a total of 200 stickers to find, by the way). Each sticker features a character or object from past Kirby games. These collectibles add fun to the game and encourages you to explore the world and solve the puzzles placed before you.

There are a few new copy powers to play with here, most notably the poison and ESP powers. With the poison power, you can place toxic clouds and form ponds of poisonous goop that deal passive damage to foes that touch them. Meanwhile, the ESP power allows for telekinetic attacks at a distance, which can help you fight enemies and solve certain puzzles. While there are some clumsy powers in the mix, (circus and doctor), most of the copy powers in this game have some sort of use or advantage over others, making it worthwhile to experiment to find your favorites.

KirbyroboBoss
The bosses of Kirby: Planet Robobot change their attack patterns as they take damage.

There are also some bonus modes of play in Kirby: Planet Robobot. These include Kirby 3D Rumble and Team Kirby Clash, both show alternate directions Kirby games could go in. Kirby 3D Rumble is a top down 3D game featuring only the inhale and spit out actions, and shows what a 3D Kirby game might look and feel like. Meanwhile, Team Kirby Clash is an action game with co-op (either with the computer or friends) with some RPG elements, such as stats and leveling up. You only fight bosses in this mode, and you are restricted to a single power per fight (called a “role” in this sub game), with each power offering effects not seen in other Kirby games. For example, the doctor power can heal teammates, and the beam power can freeze time for the enemy with a certain action. Both sub games are very short, and feel like a proof of concept of alternate styles for Kirby games to try in the future. In fact, there are “deluxe” versions of these games on the 3DS e-shop if you like these two sub games.

Lastly, the game rewards finishing the story with more modes. These include Meta Knightmare Returns, and The Arena. Meta Knightmare Returns is a time attack mode were you play as the fan favorite Meta Knight character through the game, and features a neat surprise at the end. It should be noted that you do not play the stages that require the mech suit in this mode. The Arena has you fight through the bosses of the game one after another. Complete these, and you get The True Arena, which is a noticeably harder version of The Arena, with a bonus battle I won’t spoil here.

Overall, Kirby: Planet Robobot is a fun and mostly easy game, like all Kirby games. There is a lot of mastery to learn for each copy power, and a unique setting in the Kirby series. Definitely give this a look if you still play the 3DS, and want something new to play.

Here are some recommendations:

  • Play through story mode with an eye open for code cubes and rare stickers (there is one rare sticker in each level).
  • The main story is short enough to justify finding all code cubes and stickers.
  • Try out Kirby 3D Rumble and Team Kirby Clash to sample alternate types of Kirby games.
  • Play Meta Knightmare Returns, there are some neat surprises here for long time Kirby fans.
  • Complete The Arena and for a real challenge, The True Arena.
  • For 100% completion, you need to clear story mode, find all code cubes, find all 200 stickers, and complete all side modes. There is a unique reward for doing so.
  • For those who need even more out of this game, try to get high scores/new best times in the side modes.

Time for the Pros and Cons.

Pros:

  • The controls are very smooth, and even old copy powers feel new with some additional actions.
  • There are some catchy new tunes, as well as some nostalgic Kirby music in this game.
  • There are some neat throwbacks to old Kirby games here, that appeal to old fans, and might spark curiosity in new fans.
  • The mech suit makes you feel powerful in this game.

Cons: 

  • The side dodge action doesn’t give you enough extra room if a large enemy is on top of you.
  • The difficulty spike in the True Arena might be a little much for some players (a possible con, based on personal tolerance of difficulty in video games).

Verdict:

8.9/10 An Excellent Kirby game, and best in the series to date


And that is what I thought of Kirby: Planet Robobot. What did you think of this game? Is it your favorite Kirby game? If not, which one is and why? Let me know in the comments below! If you enjoyed this article, give it a like. To keep up with my reviews, gaming news, and other gaming topics, you can follow That’s All Games via email at the bottom of this page. Until next time, have fun gaming!

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