It was April 12 when Team Kirby Clash Deluxe was released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop as a free-to-play game. It's an expanded version of the Team Kirby Clash sub-game from Kirby Planet Robobot, similar to how Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe ($6.99) and Kirby Fighters Deluxe ($6.99) are expanded eShop games of their non-deluxe counterparts from Kirby Triple Deluxe. I guess we finally now have a truly TRIPLE deluxe since there are now three deluxe Kirby games on the eShop?
Team Kirby Clash Deluxe is a boss rush of 42 different fights where you can pick four different roles for Kirby, each with their own set of weapons and armour: Sword Hero, Hammer Lord, Doctor Healmore, and Beam Mage. You have a team of four Kirby warriors (you play as one, and the other three are either computers or local friends — no online multiplayer), and you can mix-and-match the roles on your team.
The optimal team is composed of four Beam Mages. The Beam Mage is overpowered. Why? Because they can stop time — freezing not only the enemy in place, but literally the timer you're graded by. How fast you defeat enemies determines how much experience points (there's stats and levels in this game) you get, and many special missions are based on how fast you can finish the fight. Why are missions important? Because this is a free-to-play game in the mold of Pokémon Rumble World. Instead of blood diamonds, they have gem apples growing from a tree. Still, same system of a 3,000 purchasable maximum of diamonds/apples, you get a few diamonds/apples from completing missions, and there's “limited” purchasable special deals from the in-game shop. You also need to use the diamonds/apples to progress through the game in progressively larger quantities, but your “income” of them doesn't grow enough to keep up.
|So you'll have to buy some apples from Magolor's shop. |
(Assuming it's open.)
Fortunately, you don't need to spend a lot of money on apples to have a pleasant experience. How much you'll consider enough to have a pleasant experience is up to you. Here's how I spent my money. Note that I have earned the platinum rank for all 42 battles, and I have all missions from battles completed (that's 4 missions per battle, so 168 missions). I first played Team Kirby Clash Deluxe April 14, have a play time of 38:04, and played it 80 times.
- 50 gem apples for $.49
- 100 gem apples for $.89
- 200 gem apples for $1.69
- 500 gem apples for $3.89
You will want to buy more gem apples than this amount if you wish to complete some of the additional non-battle missions, such as buying every item that exists from the shop. Doing that doesn't help you at all (you only need to invest in a few of the Beam Mage items — don't buy every level of them, just key ones like Level 6 and then Level 10) and of course makes you spend more gem apples than you'll receive for completing the missions.
By the way, there is a revealed password for North American versions of the game: KIRBYBIRTHDAY. That'll give you 10 gem apples, plus another 10 for the mission that asks you to recite a password.
There are some heroic missions that require you to beat a certain boss with a certain weapon/armour set, which will make you spend more gem apples acquiring those weapons/armour than you get from completing the mission. I've done all those, but it's up to you if you'd want to. Many of the “get a certain rank by having one Kirby for each of the four roles” missions, which implies you'd want to keep upgrading each Kirby role equally, can be done by getting lucky with the Wandering Adventurers feature, which allows you to summon a Kirby from a real-life player (it goes through your friends list first, and then random appropriate-level people). If THAT person isn't a Beam Mage, then hey, you can use that person as a teammate. (Again, it's not actual online multiplayer — they're controlled by the AI, but at least they'll hopefully have a much better weapon/armour set than you'd have for that role.)
My Total High Score (your score is equivalent to the sum of the highest record of experience points you've gotten from all 42 fights) is 30 higher than the above screenshot right now: It's 114,565 (as of May 17, 2017 at 9:02 PM). That's higher than I've seen from all of the other level 50 42-platinum Kirby players I've acquired from doing Wandering Adventurers, so that probably means I have very good scores. I've made a spreadsheet of these that I have also embedded below:
Oh, there's a thing called Vigor in the game. Vigor is Team Kirby Clash Deluxe's wait-to-play mechanic. You can buy items from the shop (with gem apples) to make your Vigor be replenished faster, going from 7 minutes per 1 Vigor to 1 minute per Vigor. Buy those. You'll need to spend a certain amount of Vigor to play any battle (how much depends on the battle), and you get more maximum Vigor added to your capacity whenever you level up. Also, whenever you level up, all of your Vigor gets replenished, so you should play... strategically.
You definitely will need to grind a fair amount in this game. In general, with some exceptions, the later bosses have a better experience-per-vigor-spent ratio. I don't know why people grind off Colossal Waddle Dee (the first boss), since that's incredibly inefficient. Any boss that says Pyribbit or Landia in their name aren't ones you'll want to grind off of, because they're really annoying. You can use my spreadsheet to figure out what the best vigor for experience, assuming you play efficiently. ...If you have a better score than I do, let me know and let me know how you did it.
Now, I mentioned enjoyment in the sub-title to this article. At first appearance, I seem like a big Kirby fan, don't I? He's one of my favourite characters. However, in terms of release date, the last Kirby game I've actually purchased was Kirby Super Star Ultra which came out in 2008. I never bought Kirby Triple Deluxe or Kirby's Return to Dream Land or Kirby Planet Robobot. (I did listen to, and enjoy, their soundtracks, though...) That's the best way to enjoy Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, because then so many things are new to you and the fact that it's derivative of Kirby Planet Robobot won't impact your experience. If you already have Kirby Planet Robobot, then you shouldn't spend money on Team Kirby Clash Deluxe.
Otherwise, if you're like me and you're content with spending $7 on this free-to-play game that gives quite a bit of content, then you should come out pretty happy. If you spend the maximum $30 in the in-game shop on 3,000 gem apples, then you're probably getting a bad deal. The game keeps some dialogue and music hidden from you if you don't buy absolutely everything, which kind of sucks, but I don't think that's at all enough to go through with the spending.
One more thing: There's another set of resources called Fragments. You also need Fragments to buy weapons/armour. Fragments are really easy to get in large quantities by your normal experience grinding, and you shouldn't spend apples on the Codexes that allow you to get more Fragments. You can also use amiibo (with small bonuses if you have a Kirby series amiibo) if you have a New Nintendo 3DS to get a token amount of fragments, but this soon becomes pointless since you max these out quickly. At least the background music is nice when you're interacting with the amiibo statue?
Some other miscellaneous tips: If you screw up a run (time-wise) or you're about to get a game over, press Start and Restart. It takes some Vigor to Restart, but it's a fraction of how much you would spend if you went back to the select screen. Also, you can do three Beam Blasts in the air, which outdamages charged Time Beams in terms of damage per second (DPS) as long as you press B at the arc of your jump. You can buffer a Time Beam during cutscenes/the introduction to a fight if you hold down B. You can also buffer it the same way when you're falling from the air to the ground. Sometimes, you want the first phase of a boss fight to end with the freeze-clock close to full, as opposed to ending the first phase after a time-freeze. This will allow you to freeze the boss immediately after the second phase begins and perhaps deplete the rest of their HQ, allowing you to skip second-phase time-wasting theatrics.
If you want to be Ludwig's 3DS friend so you can use Wandering Adventurers to get his maxed out Beam Mage, you can exchange friend codes with him in the comments section. His friend code is 3351-5165-3598. He bought the ChuChu set for Doctor Healmore because he really likes ChuChu, not because it's good equipment (it's not — you'll want the charge speed-granting mad scientist set for Doctor Healmore).