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You Make Me Feel Like Pants: A Love Letter to Kirby's Epic Yarn

by Neal Ronaghan - December 13, 2012, 11:28 am EST
Total comments: 6

Neal details why he still loves Kirby's Epic Yarn to this day.

In October 2010, I did something that some staffers have given me a considerable amount of crap about. I reviewed Kirby's Epic Yarn and gave it a 10/10, one of three 10s I have given out across the damn near 200 reviews I've penned at Nintendo World Report (the other two were Punch-Out!! and Skyward Sword, in case you were wondering). Why did I do that? Well, I explain it in the review, but the easy answer is this: the game made me completely happy for close to 10 hours. I can't think of many other games that did that (except Punch-Out!! on Wii, which well, I also gave a 10/10).

Kirby's Epic Yarn, to me, was extremely inventive and rewarding. The reward was different than most games, though, as it was based around seeing the game world unravel, sometimes literally, as opposed to getting some achievement unlock or new power-up. I was driven to get gold medals in this game because I wanted to see everything the game offered. I explored the nooks and crannies because I want to know what each adorable treasure chest held. I sincerely love everything about Kirby's Epic Yarn, from the music all the way to the way Kirby turns into a car when he runs.

I understand people don't find it as special and exemplary as I do. I get why it's not people's favorite game on Wii, and missed out on our Top 10 list. But for me, it was a magical, delightful experience that lived up to every high expectation I had. I even replayed parts of it over the past two years and I still adore it. It's the kind of game I can break out when I'm sad and it will instantly make me happy. When it was used on Radio Trivia a while back, I just beamed throughout the entire segment. Not too many games have that power, and that's why I love Kirby's Epic Yarn.

Even if you think I'm crazy for having such an affinity for a game with no death mechanic, do you have any games that fit this super-happy bill? Do you enjoy games that give you that elated feeling?


HeyItsMeDecember 13, 2012

I bought this game for my brother's gift for Christmas. I wasn't interested in it. But then I played it and it was breathtaking. I love the music in the game. I downloaded every single song from the game. It's awesome. It's one of my favorite games on Wii. I don't know if many people have played this. But they should if they haven't

Fatty The HuttDecember 13, 2012

Wonderful, wonderful game that totally deserves your 10/10.

I get a similar warm feeling out of Lego Star Wars on Wii. But Kirby is more charming (and the Lego game is a 9 at best).

MagicCow64December 13, 2012

Yeah, this game is liquid magic, and kicks the shit out of Return to Dreamland.

The music during the firetruck levels is like a wormhole into Nirvana. I can't think of any other game that has such an overwhelmingly satisfying aesthetic. I think Yoshi's Story actually deserves a lot of credit for its atmosphere, but it's much more bizarre than joyous.

My wife and I play through this game every new years eve.  Last year we even didn't pay attention to the time until it was already past midnight. 

The levels are so colorful and vibrant.  The music is simplistic but beautiful.  The gameplay is a neat departure from the enemy-sucking and power-copying foundation of the prior games, and the co-op is enjoyable without causing the 2nd player to get too much in the way.

Kirby's Epic Yarn is by far my favorite Kirby game. 

EasyCureDecember 14, 2012

Reading through this really makes me want to give this game another try..

I only bought it recently, thanks to unclebob, and the first time I played it I played through the first 3 worlds but I was a little underwhelmed. I knew going it that it was going to be a simple game, it's Kirby after all, and while I liked the look of it and adoooored the "feel like pants" line, I felt like it was a chore playing it.

Honestly though, I was very sick and sleep deprived and just kept at it, so it may of affected my enjoyment of the game at the time. I'd love to get back to it but with the holidays coming up, I don't think I'll have the time.

Until this post though, I hadn't thought about which game is my "happy" game. There are plenty of games, new and old, that I like to pop in when I'm frustrated and need to take it out on something, or just need to take my mind off things, but I hadn't thought of a game that I go to to feel happy, until now that is.

After thinking about it for a bit, I'd have to say mine is Earthbound. Whether it's picking up from an old save file or starting from the very beginning, that game just has a special place in my heart and has a way of bringing me to my happy place. The characters, the settings, the stories; it's all there. I used to play through the game annually until the battery saves died (if you're reading, sorry vudu!). About a year ago a ROM I just so happened to have on my phone and found a nice (free!) emulator on the android market that actually let you use save states (until it was later removed from the market and I had to restore my phone, thus deleting the app and not being able to find a decent free emulator since). I actually played through about 90% of the game, what a shame.. then, just a few weeks ago I was coming home from a night in the city by subway and decided to pass the time (once I seat was available) by starting up the game. I don't think I even got to fight Frankie yet but I still had the same sense of enjoyment I had as the first time I played.. god I love that game.

ResettisCousinDecember 14, 2012

The most happy I am with videogames is after overcoming a challenge. There is also something to be said for being surprised by games. Because Epic Yarn was not especially challenging - I agree that running some of the levels without being hit once is tricky, but that seems like a cheap way to generate challenge - it can't deliver that supreme happiness. It also only consistently surprised in art design, and I agree it did hit a home run in that aspect. Swap the graphics for grayscale boxes and just analyze the gameplay and level design and  you'll see a pretty dull game, IMHO. The levels picked up in the Space-themed world but that was it. I hope Goodfeel has received a lot of mentoring between this and Wario and that it pays off in the presumed Yoshi game.

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