[Review] Kirby Fighters 2 – Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: HAL Laboratory
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Release Date: 23/09/2020
  • Price: £17.99 / $19.99
  • Review code provided by Nintendo

Introducing: Kirby Fighters 2 Nintendo Switch Review

Nintendo letting it slip that Kirby Fighters 2 was on the way and then casually shadow dropping it was a bit of a surprise. What I found more surprising, however, was the twenty dollar price tag attached as it seemed like a perfect little title to reward online subscription holders. Least of all I would expect a tie in to the online membership service. Maybe a monthly free trial for new users or a discount on the game for existing membership holders. Either way, it’s here and comes with a mid-range price tag. Not bad if you’re buying one copy but adds up if you multiply the purchase for the whole family. Is Kirby Fighters 2 worth the entry fee or is it better to stick with Super Kirby Clash? Continue reading to see our thoughts on the latest Kirby Brawler.

The Tower Awaits

Long ago, the adorable pink blob cemented itself as a Nintendo icon. Kirby is just as synonymous with Nintendo as Donkey Kong, Mario or the Wii Fit Trainer. Ok, so I jest a tad. But Kirby has played a vital role in the Big N’s lineup over the years. It’s not surprising considering he was created as an homage to a real life hero of Nintendo.

As this pink powerhouse enters the battle arena once again, it does so with about as much fanfare as the game itself received when announced by Nintendo. Or rather, wasn’t announced. The campaign in Kirby Fighters 2 is just as thin. King Dedede and Meta Knight decide to team up and challenge Kirby plus one other buddy to a showdown of epic proportions. Of course, to face the ultimate duo, Kirby and pal have to prove their worth by battling up a tower of increasingly difficult warriors before they can compete against the crowning pair. That’s it. That’s the story. Not that anything more is needed. Kirby Fighters 2 is all about jumping into the action. Cuteness is the crutch and gameplay is the motivation.

A Dynamic Duo

Fortunately there are several modes to appeal to players in Kirby Fighters 2. The main story mode is just one facet and is enjoyable in its own right. Though, be warned, taking the crown from King Dedede depicts the saddest end title crawl I’ve ever seen. This story of rising to the top takes an abrupt about-face from the elated feeling of victory to remorse. If a tearjerker story isn’t your speed, then Battle Mode let’s up to four players duke it out.

The multiplayer options work well on one system. It’s nice adding a second copy of the game if you have multiple systems in the home but it’s not necessary. Four players can pick up and play easily. Battle mode gives you the option to customize your matches to include or not include item power-ups which pack devastating punches. You can also determine teams to be 1v1v1 or 1v3 or 2v2. Since matches can be short, it’s nice to try the various Kirby copy abilities to see which works best. Part of the fun was experimenting.

Multi Mode Merriment

Additionally, Online Mode lets you put your subscription to work and play with pals across the globe. That is, if it actually worked. More on that later. Finally, Single-Handed Mode. Despite how it sounds, you don’t play with one hand. Single-Handed mode is more of a time trial where you select one Kirby Copy ability and battle round after round of enemy fighters to try for the quickest clear time. Honestly, it didn’t add a lot to Battle or Story mode and I mostly ignored it. My son on the other hand preferred the quick waves which makes sense because the load times seemed a little too long for such a seemingly small game.

When it comes down to it, we had a lot of fun with Kirby Fighters 2. I’m likely one of the worst players when it comes to the Fight Game genre. Kirby Fighters 2 is easy to pick up and the moves aren’t too difficult to master. It’s fun for a group to play and is pretty straightforward. Though it still has hazards on the boards and battle items, it wasn’t confusing at all. Especially compared to Nintendo’s other brawler, Super Smash something or other.

Four Fluffy Friends

As you can expect with a game featuring the adorable pink puff, Kirby Fighters 2 leans heavily into its cutesy art style. From the dancing to the combat moves and even smooching, Kirby Fighters is bright, colorful and fun to watch. The music is just as sweet and plays familiar tunes from past Kirby games. Progression not only unlocks new boards but extra songs as well. When it comes to the art and music, Kirby Fighters 2 gets an A+. Granted, for such an iconic series with well established assets, it would be hard to mess that up.

Suckery Suckethtash

From a technical standpoint, Kirby starts to deflate. The main game runs well enough despite several load times following each other. Online is a different story. I was never able to play a successful online match with strangers. Kirby Fighters 2 is plagued by connection issues. If I could even land in a match, it would lag so bad that it was utterly unplayable. And I don’t mean you could limp around and hope to get a hit in. It was so broken that you would take one step every thirty seconds and then it would crash. This was the case any time I tried regardless of time-of-day. And other, more graphically intense online games ran just fine.

Local Mode worked well, which was enough for my family. Table top was a bit hard to follow your character, making Kirby Fighters 2 a great game docked for big screen action. When I played the story I preferred my Switch Lite and the game looked gorgeous up close and personal.

Final Wrap

Kirby Fighters 2 is a great entry point for new players wanting to battle in fierce squishy competition. As one who typically avoids fighting games, I really enjoyed my time. Especially when I got to play with my kids. That said, Super Kirby Clash does just as well if you don’t mind missing out on experimenting with all the fun copy abilities. Though the gameplay can get a little repetitive in Kirby Fighters 2, it’s engaging enough for the asking price. 20 bucks isn’t bad but I wouldn’t recommend buying more than one copy. It’s a decent game for a family system but fails in the online arena.

Pros

  • Fun for Friends and Family
  • Tons of Abilities to Explore
  • Easy to Pick Up and Play

Cons

  • Tad Repetitive
  • Broken Online Support

Verdict
Kirby Fighters 2 is an accessible fighting game with the lovable titular hero at the helm, only buried by broken online support.

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