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Talking Point: What is Your Favorite Air Ride Machine?

Talking Point is Kirby Informer’s column where our staff and readers can respond to trending questions and topics! Be sure to join the discussion in our comment section below or head on over to our social pages and share your thoughts with us there!


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Kirby Air Ride City Trail mode art

Everyone has a connection with that Air Ride Machine—even if you don't know its exact name, you can practically feel its power in your hands, the weight of the GameCube controller, and tapping A just at the precise moment.


With 18 options to choose from (depending on what game mode you pick), Kirby Air Ride's arsenal of vehicles all distinctly stand out from one another. While simplicity was the core philosophy of Masahiro Sakurai's last hurrah in the Kirby series, it is impossible to deny that each Air Ride Machine offers a different kind of gameplay experience. Some are simple enough for any player to control, while others take mastery to ride.


Anyone who has played this game for hours on end, without a doubt, has a strong connection to one particular machine—and we want to know what yours is! What is your favorite Air Ride Machine to use? These are the Kirby Informer Staff's favorite Air Ride Machines in Kirby Air Ride!


Dragoon from Kirby Air Ride/Super Smash Bros

Dragoon - Editor, Marc


According to Kirby Air Ride’s instruction booklet, the Dragoon is said to resemble the mythical phoenix creature. Birthed from the chaos of red boxes and assembled through three parts, the Dragoon is every Air Ride player’s favorite joyride and worst nightmare. It embodies that sense of instant victory for its wielder and inevitable failure for those competing against it.


While it may be cheesy to say the best vehicle in Kirby Air Ride is my favorite, everything about the Dragoon reflects why the franchise's GameCube spin-off is still one of my all-time favorite multiplayer games to boot up with friends. The thrill of the hunt to create such a monstrous device, the control it gives you, the satisfying power, its incredibly recognizable design, all of it sums up the best Kirby Air Ride experience… at least for City Trial, that is! And how could anyone forget the track that accompanies the machine and its counterpart, the Hydra? The "Legendary Air Ride Machine" is exactly what the Dragoon is: legendary.


Wagon Star in Kirby Air Ride

Wagon Star - Editor, Aurora


The Wagon Star is one of my favorite Air Ride Machines for a multitude of reasons, one of which is the nostalgia tied to it. It is definitely one of the Air Ride Machines that stands out the most, especially because its design is not as sleek and polished-looking as the others. I was always intrigued by its design as a kid, and due to that, it was one of the Air Ride Machines I often picked. I have always enjoyed the design influence it took from dekotora as well. Additionally, I always used to think it looked somewhat like a bunny; with the front tassel and the wings, at some angles, it looked like a bunny or some other type of creature to me. With those reasons alone, it was one of my most picked Machines as a kid.


On top of how it looks design-wise, its abilities, or lack thereof, and performance also stood out. One being the absolute lack of ability to charge or boost. It has numerous other cons, such as decreasing Copy Ability and Item damage outputs, as well as not working well when gliding. But despite all that, it's still a pretty easy Machine to control, and it is generally pretty solid due to its HP and consistent speed. I generally enjoyed the mix of its pros and cons. And after all, who doesn't enjoy a bit of a good challenge anyway?


I'd also like to name my other favorite Air Ride Machines as honorary mentions, which are the Formula Star, the Turbo Star, and the Winged Star.


Swerve Star in Kirby Air Ride

Swerve Star - Staff Writer, Collin


The first time I hopped on the Swerve Star I thought something was wrong. I literally got up and unplugged my crusty platinum Gamecube controller before coming to the conclusion that this vehicle was a nasty prank by the developers. But being older than eight years old has a lot of perks. Today, the main perk is realizing that the Swerve Star is the best vehicle in all of Kirby Air Ride, bar the legendaries.


The Swerve Star comes to a complete stop with every tap of the A button. To take turns, you have to stop your vehicle, aim in the direction you want to go, and release the A button. This mechanic rewards fast wits. Some corners, like the ones on Machine Passage, require you to stop and go multiple times to take turns that other stars can do with just one press of the A button. But man, is it fun. When you master the Swerve Star, you’re rewarded with a playstyle that switches up the core gameplay mechanic without feeling gimmicky or frustrating. The Swerve Star has the fastest acceleration stat in Kirby Air Ride and adds complexity to a game that is sometimes too simple for its own good. All that said, this vehicle is pretty frustrating in City Trial.


Sakurai has always spoken about the importance of making Kirby Air Ride accessible. He mostly accomplishes this, but sometimes the game’s aim at accessibility bites itself in the rear. Whose idea was it to tie item use to the same button as drifting? Do I really have to choose between drifting and throwing by bomb too early? Stay green, Swerve Star. And pray you don’t need to use any items.


Flight Warp Star Kirby Air Ride

Flight Warp Star - Writer, Crafty


Kirby Air Ride was actually the first Kirby game I ever played! My brother and I used to spend hours in front of the TV doing City Trial matches over and over. It was our favorite part of the game! My machine of choice would have to be the Free Run exclusive Flight Warp Star. Sure, you couldn’t take it into an actual match, but who didn’t have tons of fun flying through the sky on that shiny orange star?


I would spend an absurd amount of time aimlessly gliding around, seeing what kind of secrets the city had to offer. Its smooth gliding, quick speed, and infinite air time make for tons of fun and a great way to unwind when you're not in the mood for competitive play. It’s no Dragoon, but it’s definitely not bad for a little prototype! Of course, my favorite thing to do with the Flight Warp Star was to reach the top of Castle Hall to find the little pink flower waiting for you after a long day of flying through the city.


The Wagon Star and Shadow Star were also a few of my favorites to take into battle. Even with their unique quirks, every machine was always a blast, albeit a bit chaotic, depending on what mode you decided to play.


Warp Star Kirby Air Ride

Warp Star - Writer, Gigi


I will admit I've never really bothered much to play Kirby Air Ride with many of the different Air Ride Machines. As the default one, the Warp Star was always the vehicle I liked using the most. I would try other ones, not like how they control, and go back almost every time to that same basic starting machine. Thus, despite being a boring choice, the Warp Star is my favorite one. It's the all-around one! I know it has no big strengths, but it has no big flaws either, and I like how it controls. Moreover, I've always liked Warp Stars in general, so... I guess you can't go wrong with the default one!


Wagon Star Kirby Air Ride

Wagon Star - Writer, Soup


My favorite Air Ride Machine is definitely the Wagon Star. It’s not the best machine in the game, slightly hindered by its lack of gliding and the boosting mechanic, but I enjoy using it a lot. Its high handling and HP make it a pretty good choice for City Trial, especially if it ends in a battle mode. The main reason I like it however is its design. I really love how the Wagon Star looks, especially its decals. From the striking logo on the side to the gorgeous flowing tapestry on top, it has always struck me as a really cool design.


Maybe if I played the game competitively I would have a different viewpoint, but as a casual fan, I definitely enjoy Wagon Star the most!

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