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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Kirby Star Allies Demo is FANTASTIC!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - My enthusiasm is higher than it's ever been.

Good news, y'all: All of those Kirby articles that have been appearing on KoopaTV lately won't be in vain. Kirby Star Allies really does deserve the attention. Count me among his allies (or helpers or friends or whatever)!

On March 4 (or a few days earlier in that horrible continent called Europe), Nintendo released a two-level demo for Kirby Star Allies. One is an easy grasslands tutorial with Whispy Woods at the end, and the other features is in a “hard” cave that someone winds up with Buff Dedede (alternatively known as Rawk Dedede on this site) as the boss.

There are SO many amazing things to share about Kirby Star Allies that I might have put as their own individual articles on a slow news week, but... all of a sudden, stuff is happening. Therefore, I'll be packing this article with goodness. I haven't been this excited for a game since, what, Splatoon 2? ...No, probably Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice.


I talked a lot about curling two weeks ago, since it was all over Kirby Star Allies as well as the end of the winter Olympic games. Besides saying, “look, it's curling” I was making a bigger point about how the Copy Abilities interacted with one another to combine like in Kirby 64.

I had Ice Curling and Clean Curling. Here's the one I missed, Splash Curling:

Kirby Star Allies Splash Curling friend ability Water Parasol Stone
Water (when did Water become an ability? I'm a fan of it) or Parasol giving some water to Stone... GIVES SPLASH CURLING!

The Curling doesn't end there, by the way.

Like the other games in the Kirby franchise, Kirby Star Allies gives a description of the ability you have if you are in the pause screen. While previous games had a short snappy sentence, Kirby Star Allies actually has a whole paragraph for each ability. Some spam exclamation points, and some don't.

Kirby Star Allies Ice Kirby Copy Ability description
For a cool, calm, collected ability, why does every sentence end with an exclamation point?
Anyway, look, it name-drops curling.
Kirby Star Allies Stone Kirby Copy Ability description
It's a Stone, Kirby! You didn't make it!
It's some curling! I chiseled it!

Copy Ability Management Notes

In Kirby Star Allies, if you Suppin/Normal Beam (simply called Unfriend in this game) your partners, all of their copy objects (their hats) remain on screen. You can also discard Kirby's ability and it will bounce around as a star, still on the screen with the copy objects. If you suck up or touch a copy object, Kirby's copy ability star will keep bouncing on the screen. This is different than in Kirby Super Star where you couldn't switch your ability with your Helper because one would disappear.

I demonstrate some copy ability management in the following video. Note that you can use the Friend Heart on anything to get a friend — object, star, copy essence, you name it.

The takeaway here is that you are in large control of how you want your party to behave and how it's composed. Kirby Star Allies is about this flexibility. With some exceptions (like the Friend Circle where you need a full 4-member party), you can choose if you want to fill the screen with Helpers, or if you want to do things with just Kirby and your favourite ability. You'll miss out on some unlockables and secrets if you ignore the environmental puzzles that require a specific ability, but, hey, your choice. You can even piggyback your partner so you'll be controlling Chilly or whatever, and the pause screen will reflect that.

However, for whatever reason, it appears the “Mix” feature (a pseudo-random happenstance where if Kirby sucks up two ability-enriched enemies at the same time, he could end up with any ability in the game) is out. Kirby will get the ability of the enemy closest to him. I tested it out a few times because I wanted to expand the abilities I got to play with in the demo, but nah.

Or maybe it's disabled just for the demo.

Music, Graphics, and Controls

Honestly, the fact the game is in 30 frames per second instead of 60 is unfortunate, but due to the speed of the game (slow), it's not a large barrier to enjoyment. The game looks beautiful, and in typical Kirby fashion, it sounds amazing, with remixes of music from earlier games. Time passes by very quickly listening to the music, which is a testament to both its quality and the fact that this article was rushed.

There is nothing wrong with the A button being Jump. The game actually is better to play without the Pro Controller, which is an uncommon thing for the Nintendo Switch games I've played so far. Plus, it's fully controllable with the Control Pad instead of the stick! YAY!

This happens to be KoopaTV's 1,300th published article. It's a meaningless milestone, but somewhat useful to keep track of. Kirby Star Allies is set to release on March 16, 2018. Ludwig will try to track down a physical copy.

A fantastic demo means a fantastic purchase now that Kirby Star Allies is released!
If you played the demo and still don't know if you should buy Kirby Star Allies, try reading Ludwig's review!
By comparison, Ludwig thought the demo for Kirby and the Forgotten Land was... forgettable.


  1. The demo was enjoyable albeit very simple. I don't really like that you are able to tackle bosses with your friends, but at least they do not seem to be required. The new mixed abilities are also a blast as well. Really everything from the music to the stages I've played and seen so far has just been filled with charm.

    1. In Kirby Super Star (Ultra), boss HP increased if you came into the fight with a Helper. It also makes it harder to time attack because the boss will have the invincibility frames after being hit, so if you're not coordinated with the AI (or your buddy), you'll have a lot of failed attacks.

      Don't know from the demo if this is also true in Kirby Star Allies but it wouldn't surprise me.


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