Kirby And The Rainbow Paintbrush Review

The beloved pink puffball begins his first Wii U solo adventure in Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush. With only three power-ups, the paintbrush fairy Elline and Waddle Dee to help him, players will guide Kirby across marshmallow-like ropes in a clay-crafted world, oozing with charm and delectable intrigue at every turn.

As a direct sequel to the DS title Kirby: Power Paintbrush – or Kirby: Canvas Curse, as it is known in North America – and developed by Hal Laboratory, Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush delivers the magic of play-doh at the touch of your stylus. With 22 levels stretched across seven rainbow-led areas, the Wii U game features such stylish and languid serenity it’s akin to a casual beach stroll in the summer sunshine, rather than a Caribbean cruise on choppy waters. But that’s not to say Kirby takes a smooth ride with every roll in his claymation form, with plenty levels full of pitfalls, hazards and tricky moments for players to work up a sweat.

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It’s such an adorable tableau I just want to squish it. But it’s made of clay. Oh.

Perhaps it’s the adorable clay animation that makes Kirby’s opening sequence one of the cutest ever witnessed, but it certainly tugs at our heartstrings when Dream Land is sapped of all its beautiful and vibrant colour following the appearance of a mysterious void. Brought back to life by the paintbrush fairy Elline, Kirby and Waddle Dee must take their chances against the evil forces in Seventopia, led by the wicked Claycia, in order to rid the dull hue from Dream Land.

Armed with an ink gauge, players must use the GamePad’s stylus to draw colourful ropes from left to right – or vice versa – for the pink puffball to roll under or over, whilst collecting stars, bonus treasure chests and secret diary entries across levels. Yet, despite the accuracy when drawing from stylus to GamePad, Kirby feels oddly unresponsive at times, particularly when coaxing him onto a newly drawn rope. He’ll occasionally roll the other way if he bumps into the start of a rope or will come to a complete standstill, refusing to budge, even though a rope is quite clearly beneath. It’s this lack of control that makes the game’s levels frustrating and confusing to newcomers. Fans of the series may fare better following the learning curve, though may share in equally stressful times when it comes to piloting Kirby across zipwires in a hanging basket during later levels.

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Sadly you’ll be looking down at the GamePad for most of the game, but hey, rainbow ropes are fun.

With only four hit points, players will need to utilise Kirby’s defence tactics wisely by tapping him to build up speed and bump into enemies. Collecting over 100 stars will allow Kirby to perform a star dash and break through those super sturdy metal blocks to reveal hidden chests or pathways for players. But due to his turbo-charged and frenetic nature, Kirby’s star dash can be difficult to control with your ink gauge and occasionally initiates when tapping the pink puffball for a simple speed boost, only adding to the dissatisfaction. It is, however, incredibly handy to store several star dashes at once given there’s no cap limit on star collection.

In story mode, players will have the opportunity to use special Kirby power-ups in various levels, including a rocket, submarine and tank. Aside from providing level diversity, both the submarine and tank power-ups control beautifully and seamlessly. The underwater levels – normally insufferable in many franchises – are absolutely breathtaking in HD visuals and are expertly designed to allow for fluid, elegant control. Rainbow Paintbrush also includes a level which allows players to control two Kirby’s at one time and, though it may seem perplexing on paper, it works with such devilish, playful charm it is completely irresistible and a highlight of the game.

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Submarine Kirby controls like a dream in the underwater levels. Totally intended pun.

But, equally, there are also oddly convoluted levels such as the volcanic area, which considerably spikes in difficulty and often contains awkwardly placed obstructions to halt and frustrate players – especially if you are left-handed. And while the eight boss levels are fun they are largely uninspired, with three repeated, though the final showdown does shake the monotonous feel.

Aside from the main gameplay, Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush features multiplayer and challenge modes. The latter features over 40 different mini challenges, where players must beat the clock to find four treasure chests hidden in the levels. It’s a good change of pace, giving extra length to an otherwise short game. Multiplayer mode, on the other hand, allows four players to join the claymation game and play alongside Kirby as Waddle Dees. While it creates an additional enemy in Grab Hand, the mode feels disjointed as Waddle Dees must follow Kirby on screen, getting transported if you dare to stray too far.

With a completed game at just over 7 hours of total play, Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush feels too short. The HD visuals are astounding with the clay animation but, with touch-based controls, those gorgeous colours are pallid in comparison on the GamePad. Perhaps if there was an additional single player button mode utilising Waddle Dee, Rainbow Paintbrush may have had longevity. But for now, Kirby’s paintbrush rope is a little frayed despite its glossy front. We’ll keep on rolling until his next adventure.

7.5/10

Based on the PAL Version


You Can Now Pre-Order Splatoon Amiibo At Walmart

US retailer Walmart now has various Splatoon Amiibo packs available for pre-order. Due to arrive on May 29 alongside Nintendo’s upcoming colourful shooter for Wii U, Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy and a special triple pack featuring an Inkling Squid can now be pre-ordered on Walmart’s official website. But given how quickly amiibo sell, make sure you place your order as soon as possible for guaranteed delivery by ordering at the links above. Both inklings can be purchased for $12.99, while the triple pack comes in at $34.99.

As has been the case since their release, grabbing select amiibo can be particularly difficult. Yesterday, four figures from Wave 5 were available for a short period of time on the Nintendo UK store including Dark Pit, Ganondorf, Zero Suit Samus and Palutena. Let us know if you’re considering purchasing the various Splatoon amiibo in the comments below.

Nintendo UK Gets New PR Firm

To ramp up their advertising efforts, Nintendo UK has announced that it has hired a new firm to help out with PR. The company is called PrettyGreen and has worked for a number of high-profile clients including Nando’s, Virgin media and John Lewis. The first title that the firm will be promoting is the super colourful Splatoon which launches in May. Here’s what Nintendo UK had to say about the announcement.

“We’re excited to be welcoming the PrettyGreen team into the Nintendo family,” Nintendo’s head of communications Jo Bartlett said. “They’ve shown themselves to be creative and strategic in their thinking and we’re looking forward to working with them to deliver some fantastic campaigns for both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS in the months to come.”

Digital Foundry Goes Hands-On With Project CARS

Update: Digital Foundry now says that this wasn’t a near-final build of the game and wasn’t meant for testing. Interesting.

Digital Foundry has managed to get some quality hands-on time with the near final build of Project CARS. I should make it clear that they didn’t have access to the delayed Wii U version and instead tested out the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the game. The publication mentions that there are problems with the target resolution which is 900p on the Xbox One, rather than the original 1920×1080 we were promised. They also mention that tearing is an issue when the frame-rate dips under the designated 60fps in both versions. I wonder how the Wii U version will hold up?

“Looking at resolution first there’s clearly some work to be done. We were originally promised a true 1920×1080 as the target for both consoles, but now we see just an internal 1600×900 frame-buffer in effect on Xbox One – as confirmed by the developer earlier this week. Image quality does suffer in this case, and its post-process anti-aliasing method (which falls close to the PC’s higher FXAA settings) struggles to cover all its rough spots. A motion blur effect helps disguise the upscale to 1080p to an extent in motion, but pixel-crawl remains noticeable across chrome highlights on cars, and foliage elements especially.”

“The game’s frame-rate is also a sticking point. Project Cars targets an ambitious 60fps on each platform, but the sheer breadth of options gives players the power to determine whether it hits this mark, or drops closer to 30fps. For example, our first race is on the Dubai Autodrome International circuit, a manic 35-car race with light clouds overhead, camera set to interior cockpit view and no damage physics enabled. Even with this number of AI racers, the game sticks to a 60fps line throughout, and only drops for one stretch on the circuit (to 50fps on Xbox One, and 55fps on PS4).”

“For moments where the frame-rate goes under, tearing is an issue – especially on sharp turns with lots of camera motion. This is a bigger deal once we push the boat out a bit more; our next race featuring a whopping 44 cars on the Circuit Des 24 Heures du Mans track, with a more taxing chase mode camera and heavy rain in play. The impact is immediate, and PS4 tears constantly with drops to 35fps at the busy starting grid, while Xbox One breaches the high 20s. This improves over the course of the race as cars splinter off into packs, though we never catch a glimpse of the 60fps line.”

Here’s A Look At The New The Legend of Zelda Badges In The Collectible Badge Centre

We have yet to get the Collectible Badge Centre over here, but that hasn’t stopped us from getting some footage of the lovely new Legend of Zelda themed pins and badges that have popped up. Let’s hope that it eventually makes its way over the west sooner rather than later, as I’m sure a lot of you would love to collect them.

Nintendo Reacquires NES Controller Design Trademark

In some surprising news, Nintendo has grabbed the trademark for the NES controller design. Who knows why they’ve reacquired it after all this time, but there’s got to be some method behind the madness. It’s mainly the the B, A, Select, Start button layout that they wanted to acquire. Whether they will use this in their next project the NX remains to be seen. We shall keep you posted.

Thanks, Creative Sushi

Nintendo Store Selling Mario Kart 8, Wii Remote Plus And Wii U Wheel For $60

mario_kart_8_wii_u_wheel_wii_remote_mario_editionThe Nintendo Store is offering a pretty good deal for those who don’t own Mario Kart 8 yet. You can visit the online store right now to get a refurbished bundle that includes the racing game, a Mario Edition Wii Remote Plus and a Red Wii U Wheel for only $60. As usual, authentic Nintendo refurbished products carry a standard 12-month warranty, which Nintendo says is one of the longest standard warranties in the gaming industry.