Kirby's Epic Yarn

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Nintendo won’t preach Kirby to COD fans

Wants everybody to eat "great apple pie".

As it has successfully proven time and time again with the Wii and DS, there's seemingly no market that Nintendo is afraid of chasing down. However, it would appear the platform holder has finally drawn a line in the sand.

Wii and DS release dates for Q1 2011

Wii and DS release dates for Q1 2011

Kirby your enthusiasm.

Look at all these games Nintendo has prepared for Wii and DS - and they'll all be released before the end of March (Q1 2011).

There are some absolute belters! Wow it's Peppa Pig Theme Park Fun! Gosh it's National Geographic Challenge! Shoot me it's Bibi & Tina - Jump & Ride!

Actually, star billing goes to Pokemon Black and White. Why? Well, selling 5.26 million copies from mid-September to the end of December, in Japan alone, says something.

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Nintendo's fab Donkey Kong Country sales

Nintendo's fab Donkey Kong Country sales

Plus eye-popping lifetime sales disclosed.

In under one month, Donkey Kong Country Returns has trampled to a massive 4.21 million global sales.

Kirby's Epic Yarn - not yet released in Europe - has already amassed 1.38 million sales in Japan and the US.

And Super Mario Galaxy 2 has been bought 6.15 million times since its summer 2010 release.

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New Nintendo Wii Kirby game announced

New Nintendo Wii Kirby game announced

First trailer hits the net.

Nintendo has announced a new Wii Kirby game that looks like a revival of unreleased GameCube platformer Kirby Adventure.

A trailer, which you can see below, shows Kirby moving from left to right in classic side-scrolling platform action.

According to translation work by neoGAF poster FINALFANTASYDOG, Super Smash Bros. developer HAL Laboratories is at the helm. A 2011 Japanese release is planned.

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Kirby's Epic Yarn gets EU release date

Kirby's Epic Yarn gets EU release date

Kirby your Enthusiasm?

Wii-exclusive platformer Kirby's Epic Yarn will be released in Europe on 25th February 2011, Nintendo's announced.

It's already out in the US.

Good-Feel's gorgeous platformer debuted at Nintendo's E3 2010 conference in June. It has pretty woollen, patchwork visuals and merry Disney-esque music.

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Kirby’s Epic Yarn

Kirby’s Epic Yarn

Knit pick.

Plenty of games promise to tell you a story, but Kirby's Epic Yarn is one of the few that literally does so. The game opens with an avuncular man narrating the tale of Kirby's descent into Patch World. There's no voice-acting cast. Instead, like story hour at the local library, the narrator just changes his voice as he reads the lines of each character: a bit squeakier for Kirby and a bit more serious for Kirby's new friend, Prince Fluff. It's a perfectly analogue intro to an analogue game.

Nearly everything in Patch World is made of stuff you'd expect to find in your grandmother's sewing bag: buttons, beads, felt, patches, and countless threads of yarn. Yes, deep down, it's all pixels. Epic Yarn makes it easy to forget that, though, because the fabric of the game is so tactile. Plush parts of the ground give way a little when Kirby walks across them, and yanking on a loose thread makes the attached landscape scrunch up, accordion-style. My favourite effect is when Kirby jumps behind the background, and his figure pokes out as a moving lump in the felt scenery, like a cat scurrying around under the bed covers.

An early cut-scene breaks the news that Kirby's trademark ability – aggressive inhalation of his foes – won't work in Epic Yarn. Because he's just a loop of fibre while he's in Patch World, any gulps of air pass right through him. What may strike long-time Kirby fans as a fundamental change turns out to be inconsequential. Kirby's shtick was always more about transformation, anyway – sucking air was a means to that end – and the little pink dude can still reincarnate himself in new forms, like an acrobatic dolphin or a spaceship complete with tractor beam.

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Epic Yarn has "potential" beyond Kirby

HAL man reckons it would work with Mario.

Nintendo has already revealed that Kirby's Epic Yarn began life without Kirby. Now one of the developers has suggested that Epic Yarn is a strong enough concept that it could continue without him into other Nintendo series.

Kirby's Epic Yarn

Kirby your enthusiasm?

After the best part of a decade, Nintendo's weirdest mascot - the one who inhales his enemies and plods through bright cartoon worlds looking like a squishy little tumour - is back on home consoles in a game that looks, for all this world, as if my grandmother made it to sleep in.