Kirby Air Ride - GameCube

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Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Arcade origin:No
Developer: HAL Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (GB)
Released: 27 Feb 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Memory Card


Nintendo's fat, pink puffball (or whatever he is) is finally making his debut on the GameCube (if you ignore the small cameo in Super Smash Bros.) appearing here in his very first racing game. Offering a new approach to the genre, Kirby Air Ride focuses on the collection of items as much as the racing itself and as such, offers a simplified control system.

After selecting from a total of 15 different racing machines, you're soon thrust into the action, joining Kirby as he screeches, slides, ducks, and dives through an assortment of nine inventive tracks. The main aim is to explore every inch of each level in order to uncover shortcuts and secret areas. Consequently, the racing aspect is all about steering (there's no accelerator button) as well as attacking, boosting and using special powers that, in true Kirby style, are acquired by sucking in enemies.

There are a total of three different game modes on offer. In addition to the aforementioned Air Ride mode, the game also offers a top-down, 2D-style option called Top Ride, in which up to four players can race it out between themselves. There's also the obligatory battle option to be found in the game's City Trial mode, which sees players collect a number of power-ups, before going on to use them in an assortment of battle stages.

In true Nintendo style, Kirby Air Ride is bright, bubbly, colourful, and, above all, simple fun. It may not be able to offer a great deal to the hardcore gamer but it should definitely be checked out.