Nintendo Reviews Rating:
Age 6+
Posted: November 30th, 2005
By: Webmaster-Josh
Kirby Air Ride is Hal's second Gamecube game. Coming off of the success of the Super Smash Bros. Melee game, how well
does the developer fare with this material? Find out in the full review!

This game doesn't do much on the sound side at all. There's bad music, bad effects and no Dolby. There are hardly any
good tunes in the game, maybe except the menu theme and one the city trial's alternate theme. Even that is being pretty
nice. The music is mostly annoying little tunes, like the ones used for the Stadium mini-games found after playing city
trial. Now, I wouldn't go as far to say any of them were terrible, but it could really use work. This is after creating amazing
remixes for Super Smash Bros. Melee. I am disappointed.
The sound effects are very basic. There's absolutely nothing out of the ordinary, and nothing spectacular. This game is so
basic, there doesn't even seem to be enough sound effects for everything. To really spruce the game up, the developers
should have added Dolby Surround sound. Not only could this game have used it, but it could have also really utilized it.
This is a racing game. Generally speaking, there will be people behind you. It just makes sense to add Dolby Surround
sound. So overall, I am very disappointed.

The game claims to have simple control. It's only simple,  once you get used to it, which could be a while. The reason being
is that the star that you ride seems to slip so much, and beginner players will not see why we have to break to boost. It can
become very frustrating to really understand the concept. So this game only become suitable for veteran players.
Fortunately, the game rolls fine from then on. The menu designs are good, and the game loads surprisingly fast. You can
also control a camera with C Stick, except it really never needs to be used. That's about it for the control.

"The graphics are somewhat basic, and even seem
generic. They are simple, but too simple." This is how I
started the graphics part of the Pac-Man World 2 review.
Funny, because these two sentences display exactly what
I feel about this game. There's the regular 3D objects,
like the spikes, but look at the icons. They're flat. And
you can see how bad the buildings and volcanoes look.
Now I can understand that HAL wasn't looking for
realism, but neither was the development team for The
Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. That game has great
artwork. This game doesn't. I think I've made my point.
The framerate is fairly constant, but add in three other
players, and problems can occur. It's also difficult to see
ahead of you in multiplayer, making it harder to play.

In the midst of all this bad stuff to say about this game, there's some good. That's the replay. First off, this needs to be
publicly declared: this game has no main game. There's absolutely no boss, no story, nothing. That detracts from the
replay a lot. But there are checklists, and they really make up for this loss. There are 120 things to do in each mode and
there are three modes. That's 360 objectives. Similar to collecting trophies in Super Smash Bros. Melee, these objectives
add tons of replay. This game can be played for tens of hours. Unfortunately, only some of the objectives actually unlock
stuff, whereas every trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee was readable and had something to look at afterwards.
The game also includes a LAN mode, if you can utilize it. The multiplayer seems a bit dry, even though I would
recommend playing with friends. It's not always fun against the computers. So when all is said and done, this game
provides a lot of replay, but you have to realize going into this, it's all up to you how much you want to play, as there is no
major goal in this game whatsoever. Even with all there is to do, it's hard to ignore that basic fundamental that a game
needs a main portion to complete.

There are three modes available for play in this game, but it's kind of hard to call this a racing game. Yes, two of the
modes are racing, but the mode that most people will play is just a city where you collect power-ups for a mini-game. I'll
get back to that later. Air Ride mode features seven tracks, which is hardly enough to keep you playing for any amount of
time. Besides, you can end of racing these tracks in City Trial.
Top Ride goes back to old-school racing with an aerial view of the action. The fact that the developers exploited this into a
full-fledged mode is admiral, but the tracks are too short to be memorable. Plus, it can really get annoying trying to race
effectively and follow your own Kirby.
That leaves City trial to try to catch up on the shortcomings of the other modes. Like I said before, you spend the entire
time raising the stats of your star, and then put it to the test in a short mini-game. That aspect seems weird at first, but it
can actually becomes fun after a while. That's because during the game, there can be crazy events like UFOs or meteors
appearing. It makes the game unique and frantic.
But I'm not sure why I like this game. It may be addicting, but it really shouldn't be. In all honesty, the design isn't all
that great. I'm not sure how I would do it, but it seems that there are other ways to make the control scheme effective for
beginners. I also didn't find anything in this game that you couldn't find in another racing game. And the mini-games are
all something you can basically find in any Mario Party game. So it boils down to originality. The control style is original,
but not necessarily in a good way. I like racing games the way they are, and I don't see any reason to change it. I'll be
sticking with Mario Kart for a while, so in that case, I don't see much in this game that would make me want to keep
playing. So unlike Super Smash bros. Melee, the game's design could have been a lot better.





Final Words

I really wasn't sure how I felt about this game when it came time to review it. I really want to like this game, but there's
is just so much that this game is missing that I couldn't even call it a good game. Now if this game was made for Wii it
would be great. That's simply because the control style is simple yet something that the Wii's controller could really do
well. So to those who think I gave this game too low of a score, just remember that if I hated this game and saw no
potential, I wouldn't be looking forward to a sequel on the Wii.