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Super Kirby Clash Review: Microtransactions Have Invaded Dream Land

In 2016, Nintendo released Kirby: Planet Robobot for the 3DS. The campaign was appreciated by fans for its robot gameplay, among other things. We are not here to talk about the core game, however. Instead, one of the sub-games is the subject. Team Kirby Clash was a bonus game within Planet Robobot, and consisted of fighting against bosses with three other Kirbys. This sub-game was apparently so popular that Nintendo released a separate, expanded version on the eShop called Team Kirby Clash Deluxe.

During Nintendo's September Direct, the company announced Super Kirby Clash, a "free-to-start" title on Nintendo Switch. Although not bluntly stated in the announcement, the game is pretty much just an expanded version of Team Kirby Clash Deluxe. However, it does contain new bosses, plus online multiplayer. The game does come with its problems, mainly with the microtransactions. Super Kirby Clash is a fun enough title, but unless you're willing to pay for some Gem Apples, prepare for an incredibly long grind.

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Super Kirby Clash is not like the standard Kirby game. Instead, it's a boss rush. Every quest features a boss, often one Kirby fans will be familiar with. Kirby will be united with three of his kind, and together they must conquer the villains. Kirby can choose from four different roles: Sword Hero, Hammer Lord, Dr. Healmore, and Beam Mage. Each of these has purchasable upgrades in Magolor's shoppe. Each quest completed will earn Kirby Gem Apples. These fruits are vital because they unlock new boss battles, as well as aid Kirby when there's an impending game over, or when time runs out. They are also used for Vigor, which enables the player to keep playing. These apples are also used in the shoppe. The game has online multiplayer, as well as local play.

Intense Boss Battles And Fun Multiplayer

With a boss rush, it's important to have diverse bosses with different attacks to memorize, something Super Kirby Clash succeeds in. Each of the villains attack differently, so players will have to look out for certain attacks on the fly. The most entertaining battles come from the "Ordeal Bosses," such as the Nightmare battle, and Landia. The challenging aspect is the timer; each boss has to be beaten in a certain amount of time. This adds tension to the harder fights later on.

Visually, the game impresses. The stages are vibrant, and look glorious in HD. Going back to the bosses, Nintendo did well with bringing characters from different Kirby games. Seeing Nightmare from Kirby's Adventure realized in a modern format was a treat.

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Multiplayer can be a lot of fun, especially with siblings or children. Each Kirby can choose a role, so on the battlefield that can lead to some quick-thinking strategies with a friend. The online multiplayer in Party Quests is a good feature, where anyone around the world can cooperate with one another.

Microtransaction Annoyances

Here's the thing about Super Kirby Clash: the game operates identically to many mobile titles. As stated earlier, Gem Apples are vital to the game. You need them to upgrade your weapon, armor, etc. They are also used for special items, such as stamina potions and EXP boosts. Now, technically you shouldn't ever need to spend actual money on Gem Apples, but it could take forever to get through the Story Quests if you don't. Thus, the game doesn't seem meant for long batches.

If you don't upgrade your stuff, the later bosses are going to be extremely difficult. The items are not cheap either, so it's always hard to decide what to get. If you do run out of apples, you can do Party Quests. At some point, you may have to spend apples to raise the Vigor, but you should be getting more there than using. The problem is that to save up, it will take quite a few battles, and this gets repetitive. Lag can be an issue as well online, making the gameplay dreadful.

The biggest crime Nintendo commits with the microtransactions is putting stickers in the shoppe. In multiplayer, players can put cute stickers on the screen, communicating with players, like Kirby saying, "Thanks!" In the shoppe, there are numerous stickers of Kirby characters from throughout the years, from Dark Matter to Hyness. These stickers cost precious Gem Apples. So, there is no reason to buy stickers when you need the apples for upgrades, and opening the next Story Quest. Deciding to spend your apples on stickers can have annoying consequences for the story missions, something that shouldn't be. If you do love the game enough to actually spend money on Gem Apples, or do countless battles in Party Quests, then go ahead. But, on principle, it just doesn't make sense to have the stickers in the shoppe.

A Decent Download

Super Kirby Clash can be fun, and even addicting at times. The boss battles are never that long, and feature a level of strategy. RPG fans will enjoy the upgrade system. The multiplayer is fun, and perfect for on-the-go gaming. With that said, the game falls under the trap of some mobile titles. You can go awhile without feeling the need to spend money on Gem Apples. But, there will likely come a time when you need to upgrade, and are starting to run low on apples. You can grind for a long time in Party Quests, or spend money on Gem Apples in the shoppe. The problem is that grinding does get boring after awhile, since you will be seeing the same bosses over and over again. Potential lag makes grinding even worse. But, Super Kirby Clash isn't bad. Treat it like a mobile game, and don't spend too much time grinding for Gem Apples in one sitting if it starts getting repetitive.

3.5 out of 5 Stars

Super Kirby Clash is available on the Nintendo Switch for free.

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