Team Kirby Clash Deluxe

For those of us bored to tears by the prospect of VR (hey remember 3D TVs everyone? #GameChanger) and not interested in the two and a half games currently out on the Nintendo Switch at the moment, it is with some surprise that Ninty seems to be actively keeping the 3DS going for a it longer now.

With the Nintendo Switch supposedly covering both mobile and living room play because, you know, people love to play video games on the go. When did you last see someone playing a handheld in public? Seriously? Think about it? I haven't had a StreetPass for 4 years now let alone seen a Vita in the wild. Nobody plays games on the go. Not in the UK anyway. It's just an advert to get mugged.

Anyway, with the Switch now out, we'd assumed that the 3DS like the Wii, Wii-U and Gamecube before it, would have been instantly given a handful of ketamine and put on a life support drip with nothing but a few years of being pumped full of shovelware to con parents with before officially being discontinued.

However, with the announcement of the New Nintendo 2DS XL perhaps there's a few more years in the girl left yet and although you'd be hard pressed to find it reported, for those paying attention, Nintendo have been heavily investing in free to play software on the platform. To the point where, it now takes me about 3 days just to do my 'dailies' across all of them.

The formula is simple, take a very popular concept, give it a Nintendo flavoured reskin. Add two tiers of currency which can be earned by progress, logging in daily, connecting online or boosted with cold hard cash. And there's tonnes of the fuckers on the 3DS. Like Diablo? Here's Pokemon Rumble World. Like match three games? Here's Pokemon Shuffle. Fan of Minesweeper? Then have five varieties of Picross games. Like FPS? Then try Steeldiver: Sub Wars. And then there's whatever Nintendo Badge Arcade is.

And it's working. We're playing ALL OF THEM and with deep shame, we'll admit dropping money on most of them too. Yes even Nintendo Badge Arcade.

The latest in the free-to-play reskin a classic concept game is Team Kirby Clash Deluxe announced and released at the last Nintendo Direct. Probably. We know you come here for our thoughtful and in depth games criticism and Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, it's errr, it's alright. In essence TKCD as literally nobody is calling it, is a Kirby skinned Monster Hunter, 'hunting game' without the hours of bullshit that comes with the genre.

Poor Kirby, actually the star of some very very good games that nobody buys or plays. 
There are four classes- sword man, beam mage, hammer dude and potion man. If you are reading this then I don't need to explain the archetypes of classes in these kinds of games. You'll only play as one of the team but the rest of the team can be customised by class, you can download three visitors from the Internet a day or in the rare event that you encounter another 3DS player in real life you can undertake missions over WiFi.

From left to right the classes are; cabbage saleswoman, royal gardener, employment law specialist and the King's taster 
Free to Play layered currencies as standard. The pissy currencies used to make new weapons and armour is earned from beating 'monsters' as well as the most toothless form of Amiibo intergration- up to five Amiibo can be scanned a day to earn rewards, Amiibo from the Kirby series earn you slightly more.

The currency you want, gem apples, are earned from a daily login and by clearing missions, sub-missions and milestone achievements for the first time. Gem apples are needed to unlock monster hunts, buy equipment and gear and very quickly the rate at which you earn them plateaus out. New tiers of gear is locked behind clearing 'ordeals' which are bosses you have to pay gem apples to unlock.

There are also days of the week bonuses, there to make sure you don't miss a day, so on Sunday if you buy gem apples you can get more. On the other days of the week there are slight boosts to the fire, water and lightning element drop rates which are needed to buy equipment.

The 'hunting' itself is actually quite fun. It occurs on a 2D plane with some of the bosses dipping into the foreground and background for invincible attack bullshit. Surprisingly, there's some depth to the classes which almost makes me wish we had a friend to play this through together over WiFi. The cabbage saleswoman can pause time with here cabbage stick, the royal gardener can create a defensive bubble, the employment law specialist is slow but packs a punch and the King's taster is the healer.

Bosses are a mix of new Kirby foes and returning classics from the Kirby games that none of you played. Considering the 2D arenas, there is an element of learning the attack patterns of bosses before you can beat them and then beat them quicker to earn medals and sub-quest gem apples.

It's free to play so I don't know why we've just written this review. Just download it. See for yourself. If you like Kirby (who doesn't?) and are easily seduced and addicted by reward mechanisms then give it a spin. Now if you'll excuse me, It's time for the yearly check on my Nintendog....


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