As the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShop come to a close this week, there is one Kirby game that has been absent in almost all conversations regarding which titles from the series fans and newcomers should pick up on the digital store pages before they can’t.
Whether they received a physical copy or were a Nintendo eShop exclusive, here at Kirby Informer, we want to give each Kirby game on the 3DS and Wii U the spotlight they deserve this week before they are taken down. We were bound to tackle Kirby: Battle Royale, one of the few Kirby games that has a pretty mixed reception within the fandom (and it should come as no surprise that our staff also follows the same sentiment as we all share different opinions about the game).
Kirby: Battle Royale is the outlier of Kirby’s full-price 3DS game releases. It was the first Kirby spin-off since Kirby Air Ride to release physically at the standard price of its console's software. No one was talking about this game when it was released, and today conversations around it are almost nonexistent. So what’s up with this game? Is it good? Is it bad? Is Kirby: Battle Royale worth your remaining eShop credit? Does the game even deserve a place in the conversation of games to get before the shop closes? To put it lightly, Kirby: Battle Royale is the lesser 3DS Kirby experience--it's not a bad game by any means, but it is certainly lacking the same quality Kirby's other 3DS games have. If you are bent on completing your collection of Kirby games for the platform, of course, Kirby: Battle Royale is worth picking up--you do not need us to validate your needs to preserve games and fill out your digital Nintendo library. But if you are looking for Kirby games to purchase out of a desire to just have fun, whether you should pick up Battle Royale is not a simple yes or no. There is a lot of value to find in this game, but not enough to justify many players' purchases.
Kirby: Battle Royale is essentially a collection of ten competitive mini-games where players take control of a Kirby with one copy ability (Waddle Dee, Meta Knight, and King Dedede can also be unlocked, but Kirby is at the forefront). The game does have a single-player story mode called The Cake Royale, but it's not the key focus of Battle Royale. As the name implies, Battle Royale goes all in on the multiplayer experience. It was designed as a game with basic mini-game concepts that could be played locally and online in quick pick up and play sessions.
Many Kirby fans rightfully compare Battle Royale to Mario Party: The Top 100, a best-hits Mario Party mini-game collection that was released around the same time. Structurally, these two Nintendo spin-offs have problems that go hand-in-hand.
Battle Royale and The Top 100 both do not contain anything like the strategic board game aspect of a traditional Mario Party game that elevates the multiplayer competition. While the mini-games in both titles do have their fun moments, especially when played with local multiplayer, players will run out of things to do fast as they only have the same quick free-for-alls to replay. The game lacks a competitive incentive to keep matches going and aim for some sort of reward.
The content offerings of Kirby: Battle Royale has always been notably shallow, at best. There is an online mode in this game where players compete against each other in one of the ten different mini-games at random, but unless we host a big get-together to play online one day, finding a lobby for this game is practically impossible. I personally logged into Battle Royale multiple times a day this past week to find a single lobby before writing this piece, and (no surprise) I could not get into a single match during my play sessions.
Aside from the core content being offered, what really holds Kirby: Battle Royale back most though is its price. We all value games differently, but let's put things into some perspective. Battle Royale is the same price as Planet Robobot and Extra Epic Yarn across all regions. With the same amount of money you would spend on just Battle Royale, you could pick up every 3DS spin-off sub-game on the eShop along with 3D Classics: Kirby’s Adventure for the same price--in fact, you would still have money to spare!
If you have not purchased the other Kirby games on 3DS, you have no reason to buy Battle Royale when so many fantastic experiences for the same price are waiting in front of you.
Kirby: Battle Royale is not a bad game—in fact, I still do not believe there is a bad Kirby game—but it does certainly fall into a category of purchases many will question why they even picked up to begin with. If you are a Kirby or HAL Laboratory enthusiast filling out your digital collection on the 3DS before the eShop closes, once again, you are going to have your reasons for picking this one up. One of the greatest reasons to buy Kirby: Battle Royale is for prosperity, however, when it comes to personal play, it’s best to think about your options before checking out.
Kirby has a lot of fantastic games available to purchase on the Nintendo 3DS that no one should miss out on. Even if it shows its own values, Battle Royale is sadly just not one of those fantastic games we can recommend. As Kirby fans, we always want to say "you should absolutely go play this," but there are just so many better Kirby games to play on the 3DS.
If there is one thing we can all agree on, the stylized art made for this game is spectacular!
Buy Kirby: Battle Royale Here: