So, yes. I did end up beating Kirby: Mass Attack. After an intense, internal war, I forced myself to beat it.
But let me talk about my struggle to actually accomplish that task.
In your typical game, you beat levels by killing bad guys, gathering some collectibles, and then reaching the goal of the stage. And this is it. That’s the formula. Maybe the collectibles are hidden better than others or maybe the bad guys are a little tougher. But that’s how each stage should play, right?
In Kirby: Mass Attack, I had to go back. Again. After beating every level, I found that there was a secret world, World 5, that I had to overcome before I could actually consider this game “beaten.” In order to actually unlock World 5, I had to gain a certain collectible… From EVERY LEVEL. I had to go back to all of the stages that I’d beaten before, and I had to find this rainbow medal.
There was no quick method to gathering these things. I had to go back to each and every level and basically play hide-and-seek. And those little buggers know how to hide. After a several hours of additional gameplay, I managed to get them all, and I defeated the pushover final boss. At least Mass Attack ended like a typical Kirby game.
I don’t mind replaying levels. Just the other day, I picked up Kirby: Triple Deluxe just because I love that game so much and I wanted to re-experience it. But being forced to replay levels in order to unlock the final boss? That irritates me.
This method of collectible hunting isn’t always annoying. It can be done right. Kirby: Crystal Shards for the N64 is a perfect example of this. It’s such a short game, and once you reach the end, you’re going to wish that it was longer.
But Mass Attack is unnecessarily long to begin with, and it’s not enjoyable like Crystal Shards. It’s clunky and unpolished. It’s the same story with Super Princess Peach. It’s a lackluster game that forces you to spend EVEN MORE time playing this chore of a game.
Though, I have to admit that I did have a little fun playing Mass Attack. Once I started the hunt for those godforsaken rainbow medals, I felt like a butt-kicker. Rather than losing my hoard of Kirbys, I got to tote them around with me during my soul-sucking search. I kind of enjoyed whooping the bad guys. I kind of enjoyed looking back at the maps and seeing that rainbow medal icon above EACH and EVERY stage. That kind of thing is always satisfying, isn’t it?
Sure, it was a brutal endeavor, but I did it. And to be completely honest, it wasn’t as long as predicted. It was noted to have 23 hours of play time, and it only took me 11 hours to beat it. It may not be that long, but it’s a stark contrast to the conventional Kirby titles that we’ve come to know and love.
And to be honest, we should just stick to those good Kirby games.
You can find Andy on Twitter at @vElectricv.