Game Info:

Kirby Fighters 2
Developed By: HAL Laboratory
Published By: Nintendo
Released: September 23, 2020
Available On: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Fighting
ESRB Rating: Rated E for Mild Fantasy Violence
Number of Players: 1-4 offline and online
Price: $19.99 digital

Kirby Fighters Deluxe was a fun game to tide me over back when Smash 4 was on the verge of release, and now Kirby Fighters 2 has been released six years after the 3DS remake. While it’s still a simple fighting game at heart, there is much to love for casual fighting game fans as well as Kirby diehards.

Kirby Fighters 2 includes a cast of over 20 characters; most of them are Kirby with different abilities, but there are also partners that you can unlock as well (Bandana Dee, Gooey, Magalor, Meta Knight, and King DeDeDe). Each character functions differently on the battlefield. Sword, for instance, is a swordfighter that can charge his attack in order to send foes flying but is more suited for close combat. On the other hand, you have characters like Beam and Bomb, who are better at zoning (attacking via long-range attacks) opponents. In each battle, you will fight using your abilities; unique abilities and moves usually utilize the B button, though some characters have air-based moves and moves based on dashing into others. You can also use Kirby's inhale attack to eat opponents and spit them out (no copying abilities other than yours, though!), and dodge and defend too. The goal is to reduce your opponent's health to zero, either through moves, items, or stage hazards.

There’s a ton of variety in terms of characters, and you’ll need to get accustomed to each moveset in order to succeed in the different types of modes. That said, some characters only have a few moves (like Beam, who only has a couple of attacks. His charged shot, however, can wipe the floor quite easily), whereas the partner characters have a bevy of techniques to exploit. It’s not a technical fighter by any means, but there are times when it feels simpler than Smash Bros. It feels more of a party fighter than Smash at times, with items and hazards constantly popping in and causing havoc for everyone involved. The graphics and sound design are on par with Kirby Star Allies, and the game looks sharp and runs well. It’s not a game that needs to be taken seriously, and for those looking for a simplistic game that anyone can play, Kirby Fighters 2 is right up your alley.

Kirby Fighters 2

Strong Points: Simple battle mechanics; great story mode and unlockables
Weak Points: Limited customization options online; some limited movesets
Moral Warnings: Cartoon violence; non-romantic kissing mechanic featuring cast of mostly male characters

For a $20 game, the included Story mode is the highlight of Kirby Fighters 2 and worth the entry fee alone. There are five chapters included in this mode which focus on King DeDeDe and Meta Knight teaming up in order to defeat Kirby. He’ll have to traverse an increasingly tall tower (up to 50 floors in the final chapter), and needs to defeat a gauntlet of foes in order to get to the next chapter. While you only have to clear five battles for the first chapter, you’ll have to keep climbing up in order to succeed. Later chapters function like a roguelike, where players will have to pick up items that will help them progress (such as an item that reduces hazard damage or one that will allow you to guard automatically). Dying too many times in the final chapter will make you start over, which makes for a fun experience for those looking for a challenge. Thankfully, you can save in the middle of your run, which means it’s a great mode even if you want to pick up and play for a few minutes.

In terms of other modes, there’s a single-handed mode where you will play by yourself and fight enemies continuously (much like the single-player campaign mode in Kirby Fighters Deluxe), as well as free battle mode for online and local multiplayer. While the local multiplayer mode is a nice touch (you can have up to four players duking it out on one console), the online multiplayer options are limited, as public online is automatically a 2v2 battle rather than a 4-player free-for-all. I consider these modes to be icing on the story mode cake, however, and there’s more than enough here in the $20 package.

Kirby Fighters 2
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 86%
Gameplay – 17/20
Graphics – 9/10
Sound – 8/10
Stability – 5/5
Controls – 4/5

Morality Score - 94%
Violence – 8/10
Language – 10/10
Sexual Content – 9/10
Occult/Supernatural – 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical – 10/10

By playing the game on any mode, you can increase your fighter’s rank, which will unlock more characters, stages, and items to use in story mode. It’s recommended to play through story mode before delving into any multiplayer options, as only three Kirby abilities, Bandana Dee, and a handful of stages are playable from the start. Luckily, there’s a ton of unlockables which gives a wonderful sense of progression in the game, and increases replay value quite a bit.

Much like most of the franchise, Kirby Fighters 2 is a safe game for the whole family. There’s instances of cartoon violence, as characters can get smushed, thrown across the screen, and hit with attacks. However, there is no blood and characters are no worse for wear after the animation finishes. Fallen characters can turn into ghosts and if they attack a foe, can be revived. Additionally, the Face-to-Face mechanic returns where partners can share health recovery and other items by smooching; this is pronounced by the “SMOOCH” text bubble and does look a bit like a kiss. While the species of Kirby is considered gender neutral in Japan, the other partners are explicitly male; however, this is portrayed as non-romantic and acts as a recovery move.

Kirby Fighters 2 is a beefed-up sequel to the small 3DS minigame introduced in Kirby Triple Deluxe and is a wonderful time for those looking for more Kirby in their lives. It’s a safe game for all ages, which means you can bring it out between rounds of other party games on the Switch.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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