Considering how fast Kirby Fighters 2 appeared on the store and then subsequently disappeared from Nintendo’s social media feed, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking that this was a quick cash grab, or just another of the many small side-titles in Kirby’s library. It’s not the deepest game the pink puffball has had but Kirby Fighters 2 is easily the strongest side game we’ve seen (not counting Kirby Air Ride).
The concept of Kirby Fighters 2 is that Kirby has been challenged by King Dedede and Meta Knight to a fight atop a 30-floor tower. You choose from eighteen of Kirby’s copy abilities and fight to the top of the tower, taking on other Kirby abilities and bosses all the way up. You’ve also got an AI partner with you the entire time, which can be another Kirby ability or a character like Bandana Waddle Dee.
As you continue up the tower, things get more and more difficult and new conditions and enemies are introduced. The real twist here is that Kirby Fighters 2 actually has some rogue-lite elements to it. Each time you advance up a floor you get the choice of a reward, whether it be the option for more health, better damage, better recovery and so-on. It starts out pretty basic but as you go on there are some genuinely cool things to pick up and choices to make. It’s incredibly basic stuff but it makes going back and trying to complete the tower over and over again a bit more interesting.
Kirby Fighters 2 feels really great to control, as it always has done. There’s no real improvement to the formula here beyond being in 60fps, but playing as each of Kirby’s copy abilities is as fun as it was in Star Allies. I do wish that they were expanded upon a bit since you’ll be focusing on one at a time, but thankfully they each have just enough to not get old too fast. There’s also a good selection of abilities here which will keep you occupied for most of your playtime. Bell is as overpowered as usual thankfully.
Speaking of abilities, Kirby has a new copy ability introduced here- Wrestler. It’s pretty much an expanded version of the Suplex ability, so it doesn’t feel brand new, but it’s a fun ability nonetheless. I wish there was more to say about it but it really is just an expansion of a pretty uninteresting old ability.
Once you’ve completed the story mode, you’ll unlock an even harder variation that has twenty more floors, as well as a single-player mode that gets rid of the AI partner. Much like other Kirby games, you can get as much out of Kirby Fighters 2 that you put into it. If you just want to clear the game, then there’s about four hours of content here, but if you want to unlock every bonus hat, every stage and every ability then you could be looking at 10 plus. The bonus outfits are a very cool touch that made me want to level up beyond just progressing through the game.
The big question is whether Kirby Fighters 2 is worth the £17.99 asking price. If you know what you’re getting into is just a Kirby combat-focused tower climb then I would say that it can be great fun, but if you’re expecting anything more then you might find that a bit too steep.
Beyond a new ability and some rogue-lite elements, Kirby Fighters 2 doesn’t do much to add or change the Kirby formula, and that’s not a bad thing. Kirby’s combat has proven it can sustain itself time and again, and not only is Kirby Fighters 2 no exception, it’s arguably the best out of the bunch.
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by Nintendo