Review: Kirby’s Blowout Blast 

 Kirby's Blowout Blast

Kirby’s Blowout Blast (3DS)
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: July 6, 2017
MSRP: $6.99

Blowout Blast is a bite-sized offering following in the footsteps of the equally tiny Fighters, Drum Dash, and Clash “Deluxe” line, expanding on minigames already present in Triple Deluxe and Planet Robobot. Framed by a 3D top-down engine you’ll romp across micro-levels that span several worlds, fight a boss at the end of them, and repeat. You can take the entire thing to task in a single afternoon.

Kirby hasn’t evolved much here, which might seem like par for the course if it wasn’t for the fact that he typically adds in a wrinkle or two with each outing. The “multi-inhale” mechanic is back (which lets you grab several foes to fuel a more potent projectile), and that’s about it as powers have been de-emphasized.

This is a score rusher that’s all about inhaling, bent around having players discover the “best” and quickest way to eliminate every baddie, grab every coin, and get the goal as fast as possible. An arrow to help you aim your puked-out quarry is appreciated, as are the subtle 3D effects (albeit with some slowdown in intense situations) that a lot of you newly minted adopters probably won’t even experience or care about anymore. Blast‘s amiibo support is mostly relegated to a jukebox function, in case you were wondering.

If you aren’t one to smell the roses and go for the best possible score, you’re going to breeze through Blast at a breakneck pace. Outside of the occasional “arena battle” gate you can just run through each stage in less than a minute, skipping over the mostly optional enemies and collectibles. Seeing as I enjoy figuring out “optimal” routes in speedrunning exhibitions I’m up for the challenge, but a lack of any real exploration element severely works against it. It’s a simple game aimed at providing simple pleasures, but it’s not quite enough, especially when you consider how much of it is a retread.

Perhaps the biggest bummer is that bosses are repeated. You’ll fight Lolo in the first world, followed by a trumped-up version in an EX world (which basically packs in more enemies), a process that continues through all five settings. Providing a trickle of familiar faces is a series signature, but given the repetition and recycling involved these encounters will wear their welcome out even if you’ve never played a Kirby thing before. Blast would have greatly benefited if the EX levels were a baseline.

Blowout Blast is another game I’ll stuff in the “Kirby” folder on my 3DS, occasionally going back to it when I have a few moments to spare. For the price of a few slices of pizza though you could do a lot worse.

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