Mark gives his thoughts on the latest entry in the Kirby Series.
Regardless of your thoughts on the Wii U’s success (or lack thereof), they’ve been banging out one gold star after another in terms of games for the past twelve months. Sadly, Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush rarely scrapes these lofty heights. It merely glides along underneath, occasionally showing off some real quality at points only to come crashing back down with moments of uninspiring level design or fiddly controls.
At around seven hours or so of gameplay, it doesn’t outstay its welcome, though certain levels would have benefited from being broken into shorter chunks. Regardless, it’s paced evenly well, with checkpoints being placed smartly, and even though there are a few choice moments of frustration, you’ll never be stuck in one area for too long.
Having one hand solely for the stylus, meaning one hand needed to hold the rather unwieldy Wii U gamepad is a less than desired method of control. That might have worked fine for the DS, but its implementation here means you’ll likely play for shorter bursts of time or will need to sit up and rest it on your lap.
The other main problem is how gorgeous the game looks and how much you won’t be able to appreciate it. All the action takes place on the gamepad, meaning you’ll rarely have a chance to look up at the screen to see it in full HD. And that’s a great shame, because Paintbrush is one of the best looking games on any platform to date, with vibrant colours and a stunning Claymation-esque visual design.
It’s no home run, but Paintbrush is a – at times – enjoyable, innovative, unique platform game from the Nintendo mascot that typically provides – at times – enjoyable, innovative, unique platform games.
-Mark Robinson, @lithiumproject