Top 5 Most Undeserving Super Smash Bros. Characters

Super Smash Bros. is one of Nintendo’s best series, and it does a beautiful job at representing the developers’ long and influential history in the video game medium. But not every character who has made the cut is an ideal choice. There are still a number of popular characters who have yet to make the Smash Bros’ roster, and some that have made it that…well, let’s just say they feel out of place.

The original Smash Bros. had an inarguable roster of iconic Nintendo mainstays (though I still think Meowth would have made more sense as a secondary Pokemon character than Jigglypuff, and had the game had more memory, Bowser, Peach and Dedede should have made the initial cut). But with the sequels, it seems like director Masahiro Sakurai has at times gone a little overboard with how far he’s stretching his hand. At the worst of times, it seems more like he’s catering to his own ego than representing Nintendo’s history.

The following list are the five characters who have appeared in the Super Smash Bros. series at one point or another who really just don’t deserve to be there. It isn’t necessarily a list of characters I don’t like (though in some cases that’s true), but a list of characters who just really don’t belong to fight alongside Mario, Link and their ilk (mind you, this is coming from someone who still thinks Geno would be a great addition, even though it’ll never happen).

Lucario, for example, won’t be on here. Even though I don’t much care for Lucario, I understand that he’s one of the more popular Pokemon, and with Pokemon being one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, I can respect his inclusion. Similarly, I don’t like that Dr. Mario is merely a clone character, but I understand that Dr. Mario was one of the more popular of Mario’s early spinoffs, and with Mario being Nintendo’s mascot, the inclusion of the character himself makes sense.

The following characters are, quite simply, the sort of lot that make you raise an eyebrow and say “Really?” Be warned, opinions ahead!

 

 

5: Lucina

Lucina

Appeared in: Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U

Original series: Fire Emblem

Part of me doesn’t have a problem with the idea of Lucina being a Smash Bros. character. Like Dr. Mario, I can understand that she’s from a popular game and simply has the misfortune of being a clone. But when I think of how she was implemented, I have to wonder why this character was necessary.

First off, I must repeat she is a clone of Marth. It wouldn’t be too big of a deal, except that Super Smash Bros. Melee already had a Marth clone in Roy, who was removed from the series because Sakurai specifically stated he wanted less clones in the sequels. So they got rid of one Marth clone for Brawl, only to bring in a different Marth clone who is even more similar to Marth in appearance and moveset.

Now, what really renders this character superfluous is that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS introduced palette-swapped characters. Bowser Jr. becomes the Koopalings and Olimar becomes Alph. But Lucina is a separate character because reasons. By making her a separate character from Marth on the roster but practically identical in play style, it just kind of cheapens the inclusion.

I know you’re probably thinking but what makes Lucina undeserving?” Well, besides the above reasons, there’s also the fact that Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS has three other Fire Emblem characters. With all due respect, has Fire Emblem really earned more characters than Metroid or Donkey Kong? Was a fourth character, a clone, really necessary?

Lucina isn’t a bad character per se, but she isn’t a memorable addition to Super Smash Bros.

4: Pichu

Pichu

Appeared in: Super Smash Bros. Melee

Original series: Pokemon

I know Pichu is cute and all, but even as a kid, I was dumbfounded why Pokemon Gold and Silver added un-evolved versions of preexisting Pokemon. Why should I have to train these new guys just to get Pokemon I already had in the last game? It still baffles me. Pichu’s inclusion in Super Smash Bros. raises just as many question marks.

I know, I’m kind of contradicting my own Lucario statement earlier, but Lucario is at least a Pokemon entirely separate than Pikachu. It seems like Pichu made the cut just from affiliation. This is more or less the Smash Bros. equivalent of having Tom Hanks on the roster, and then adding Jim Hanks and expecting him to have a similar impact. Because Hanks.

If this were a list of “worst characters in Smash Bros.” Pichu might just take the cake, since Sakurai, in either some cruel joke or a commentary on the unnecessary nature of the character, decided it would be funny if Pichu’s every last move damaged himself. Pichu never injured himself like this in Pokemon Gold and Silver, but this odd characteristic was added in the short film that played before Pokemon the Movie 2000. Not Pokemon the Movie 2000 itself, mind you. The short film beforehand.

So Sakurai decided to toss in a Pikachu clone in the form of Pichu – whose presence in Pokemon was already questionable – and decided to turn him into an intentionally broken character just in case anyone actually wanted to play as him. Okay.

3: Palutena

Palutena

Appeared in: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS

Original series: Kid Icarus

Here’s where Sakurai decided to give himself a pat on the back. While I can at least appreciate that Palutena is a unique character and not a clone (the only such character on this list), there are so many more deserving and popular characters out there who didn’t make the cut, while Palutena more or less got a free ticket just because Sakurai made Kid Icarus Uprising.

Here’s a fun fact, out of every character who has ever appeared in the Super Smash Bros. series, Palutena is the only one, the only one, who was never previously a playable character in some capacity. Captain Falcon piloted the Blue Falcon in F-Zero, the Duck Hunt character includes the “Unseen Gunman” (the player character) from the NES game, and even R.O.B. was playable in Mario Kart DS. But Palutena? She only appeared at the very end of the original Kid Icarus. And while her banters with Pit in Uprising could be amusing, players never had the chance to play as her. Palutena is, quite literally, only in the game for Sakurai’s own hubris.

That’s not to say she’s a bad character, I even find her moveset to be kind of cool. But when it comes down to it, Palutena really hasn’t earned her spot. She’s not exactly iconic, and the Kid Icarus series hasn’t exactly been vital to Nintendo. Did Smash Bros. really need any Kid Icarus characters other then Pit?

When it dawns on you that Dixie Kong is still somehow not in Smash Bros. but Palutena is, it becomes all the more of a bummer.

2: Wolf O’Donnell

Wolf

Appeared in: Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Original series: Star Fox

Here’s where we enter bottom of the barrel territory. Wolf O’Donnell, ladies and gentlemen.

Look, I like Star Fox. I have many fond memories of Star Fox 64, and look forward to the new Star Fox on Wii U. But was the series really relevant enough by 2008 to warrant three represented characters in Super Smash Bros? More specifically, did it need three characters who are all more or less identical?

After Star Fox 64, the series kind of burned out for many gamers. Sure, Star Fox still has its fans, but I’m not sure Star Fox Assault left such an indelible mark on Nintendo’s history as to make Wolf O’Donnell a Smash Bros. must-have. Not to mention Falco has already been relegated to Fox clone, what exactly was the point of adding another?

For the record, I again point out that Metroid and Donkey Kong, two of Nintendo’s biggest franchises, each only have two playable characters in Super Smash Bros. (in Metroid’s case, it’s two versions of the same character), but Star Fox has had three. And they don’t even barrel roll.

At the very least, Wolf didn’t make a return appearance in the sequels. But if Sakurai was trying to get esoteric here, the least he could have done was resurrect Muddy Mole.

1: Dark Pit

*Groan*

Appeared in: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS

Original series: Kid Icarus

If Palutena was Sakurai patting himself on the back, then Dark Pit is Sakurai raising a toast in his own honor while simultaneously flipping the bird to everyone who requested their favorite characters, only for them to be denied a spot in Super Smash Bros. Dark Pit’s inclusion just screams egomania.

Again, I point out the abundance of Kid Icarus characters and references in the newest installments of the series (there weren’t even any new Zelda characters). A series that laid dormant for 21 years is suddenly the focal point of Super Smash Bros. representation, conveniently after Sakurai made Kid Icarus Uprising (which was a good game by the way, but come on). It should be noted that Sakurai, when making the original Smash Bros., contemplated adding King Dedede, a character from his other, more prominent series, Kirby. But he decided against adding Dedede in both the original game and Melee, as he didn’t want to favor his own characters. I wonder what happened to that humility? At least Dedede has earned his spot.

I must also reiterate that Dark Pit is a clone of Pit, despite the fact that the palette-swap concept has been introduced. Sakurai claims he separated the characters because “Pit’s Final Smash [The Three Sacred Treasures] wouldn’t make canonical sense for Dark Pit.” And Smash Bros. is clearly all about the accuracy of representation, which is why Mario’s Final Smash feels like it was pulled from Dragon Ball Z and Bowser’s involves the King Koopa transforming into a horrible, mutated version of himself (because that happened in a Mario game, right?).

To pour salt on the wound, Pit even has an alternate costume that looks like Dark Pit, and Dark Pit has an alternate costume that looks like Pit. It’s like Sakurai is magnifying the pointlessness of Dark Pit and taunting us with it!

Dark Pit is already kind of an annoying character, being a part of the endlessly rehashed dark-clad, antihero version of the main character trope. There’s nothing memorable about him. But here he is, in Super Smash Bros. while many a beloved character gets left in the cold.

The only redeeming aspect of Dark Pit’s inclusion is that now, whenever someone makes a suggestion for even the most obscure character to be added to the series, they can defend their stance with six simple words: “Makes more sense than Dark Pit.”

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Despicable Me 2 Review

Despicable Me 2

Despicable Me 2 should be a treat to anyone who was a fan of the first movie in the series. It shares the same sense of humor and fun that made the original so enjoyable. It does try to aim a little higher with its plot, and admittedly it doesn’t always hit the mark. But when it does miss, it at least lands right back to the levels of its predecessor, never lower.

Despicable Me 2 begins with Gru (Steve Carrel) , now a former supervillain, trying to adjust to being a family man. His life of crime is in his past, now his adopted daughters Margo, Edith and Agnes are his priority, and even his army of Minions spend their time helping Gru with his parenting. Gru’s henchman, Dr. Nefario, begins to miss working for a supervillain, so he and Gru part ways so that Nefario can find work elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Gru is reluctantly recruited into joining the Anti-Villain League, who seek his help as a former villain to uncover a mysterious plot. He is joined by fellow AVL agent Lucy Wilde (Kristin Wiig), a quirky and eccentric woman who serves as a great foil to the more cantankerous Gru.Despicable Me 2

Like its predecessor, Despicable Me 2 isn’t a groundbreaking animated feature by any means, but it does try to tell a bigger a story. It plays up many of the popular aspects of the original, with the Minions in particular getting a more prominent role in the plot (and somehow never feeling like they’re just taking time away from the main characters). This film’s villain, El Macho (Benjamin Bratt), is more fun than the baddies of the first film. Best of all, the humor and slapstick remains, and maintains all the energy and enthusiasm of the original.

The downsides to Despicable Me 2 are the side stories, which seem underdeveloped for many parts of the film, and capped off with abrupt conclusions. Dr. Nefario seems to switch his moral allegiances whenever it’s convenient for the plot, Margo gets a crush on El Macho’s son in a subplot that seems written off without any real resolution, and Gru forms a romance with Lucy that, while not without its sweet moments, feels a bit fragmented with everything else going on in the plot.Despicable Me 2

The subplots prove that Despicable Me 2 is perhaps working with more than it knows what to do with, but it never falls completely on its face. It’s fun and funny enough to make you not care much about its missteps.

Like its predecessor, Despicable Me 2 isn’t trying trying to be anything more than it is. It may not always know what to do with all its pieces, but it tinkers around with them in fun ways, and ties them all together with colorful animation, a good sense of humor, and all those wonderful Minions.

 

6

Despicable Me Review

Despicable Me

Despicable Me is not the most ambitious of animated films. It’s more interested with simple slapstick and humorous scenarios than it is with telling a compelling story. And that’s perfectly okay, as Despicable Me seems to aspire more to being a cartoon than an animated masterpiece. In this sense, it succeeds.

Despicable Me is a fun movie. Its ‘hero’ is Gru (Steve Carrel), who is in fact a James Bond-style evil genius. He’s not entirely good at his job, as his fellow super villains seem to outperform his every last villainous scheme. When a rival villain steals the Great Pyramid of Giza – a criminal act described as “making all other villains look lame” – Gru decides to up his ante by hatching a plot to steal the moon itself.Despicable Me

Through a series of events, Gru also finds himself adopting three young girls from an orphanage; Margo, Edith and Agnes, which might just have him rethink his villainous life choices.

The story never attempts to break any conventions, but again, this is a film primarily about the laughs. It does include enough heart and wit to prevent it from simply being cartoonish nonsense, but it’s perfectly content with its simplicity. It doesn’t seek to have the heavy emotional aspects of an animated classic, it just wants to have a good time.

It would be hard not to have such a good time with a movie like Despicable Me. It’s unpretentious, and it’s more slick than snarky. Gru himself is a likable enough guy, he’s only a villain because he wants to win an award, not to cause any real damage. His adopted daughters are cute without ever becoming too obnoxious (unless it’s the butt of a joke, of course), and Gru’s army of Minions – yellow, stubby-shaped, gibberish-speaking… things – are a constant source of hilarious nonsense.Despicable Me

What Despicable Me lacks in ambition it makes up for in simple fun. It’s not waging its fingers at anybody and it never bombards audiences with pop-culture references, it only ever relies on its own hilarity to provide a good time.

If you go into Despicable Me hoping for a Toy Story or Finding Nemo, you may be disappointed. But if you’re a fan of the likes of Looney Tunes or Spongebob Squarepants, than Despicable Me should provide similar delights, but with just a tad more heart and sentiment to it.

Despicable Me takes the laughs, thrills and fun of a Saturday morning cartoon and successfully creates a feature length film out of them. It boasts colorful animation and cartoony character designs, which compliment the movie’s rambunctious attitude. Despicable Me never aims to be anything more than what it is, and what it is is a sweet, simple and delightfully sugary good time.

 

6

The Good and Bad of Disney’s Live Action Cinderella

Cinderella

Disney’s live-action version of Cinderella is a bit of a mixed bag. Sure, it could be a whole lot worse than it is, but it also could be a whole lot better. It’s inoffensive, but it doesn’t exactly justify Disney’s recent obsession with turning their animated back catalogue into live-action films. So here’s a brief lists of the things I think worked for the new Cinderella, and the things that didn’t work.

 

The Good

It Means Well

While a straight up adaptation of Cinderella may seem a tad superfluous, seeing as Disney’s animated version is already synonymous with the House of Mouse, you have to appreciate that the live-action Cinderella isn’t trying to make the story into something “cool” or “edgy” to try to appeal to today’s audiences. It’s not trying to be hip or sexy. It’s just Cinderella. In this day and age, that’s kind of relieving.

 

It’s Better than Maleficent

Disney’s last attempt at turning one of their animated films into a live-action feature, Maleficent, was a bit of a mess. There wasn’t a single plot twist that didn’t feel both predictable and forced. It never knew whether it wanted to be a charming Disney movie or something (*cue Napoleon Dynamite-style groan*) darker and edgier. And its core relationship between Maleficent and Aurora never quite worked.

Cinderella, although lacking in surprises, at least knows what it’s going for. It may be the same story of Cinderella we all know, but I’ll take that over the clunkiness (and garish visuals) of Maleficent.

 

A Dash of Ethnic Diversity

Cinderella doesn’t aim for a whole lot of modernization, but it does have at least one respectably modern aspect about it. The movie acknowledges some diversity in the people of Cinderella’s kingdom without ever forcibly pointing it out, making it feel like a kind of idealized fairy tale world. However, there are still some areas that could have definitely benefitted from some modernization. More on that in a moment…

 

Cate Blanchett

CinderellaThank God for Cate Blanchett, who steals every last scene she’s in as Lady Tremaine (AKA the Wicked Stepmother). She commands every last scene she’s in. It doesn’t matter that her character is ridiculously antagonistic, Cate Blanchett makes Lady Tremaine interesting based on performance alone. Even when the film is at its shakiest, Cate Blanchett helps liven things up.

 

Frozen Fever!

Frozen FeverAww yeah! Frozen! Woo! Seriously, we all know the short film Frozen Fever is the primary reason Cinderella has done so well at the box office. People can’t get enough of their Frozen fix (self most especially included), and even seven minutes back in Arendelle is worth the ticket price.

 

 

The Bad

Cinderella Herself

CinderellaFirst thing’s first, I like Lily James as Cinderella. She’s charming. But although she fits the part, the part in question is still stuck in a very backwards role. I mentioned that the film makes some modernizations in ethnic diversity, yet no such improvements are even attempted on Cinderella herself.

Cinderella is still the same helpless mope she always was, if not more so. As a child, her parents teach her to “be kind and courageous.” Good advice, except once Cinderella ends up in the household of Lady Tremaine and her new, wicked stepsisters, she interprets her parents’ words as “let cruel and vindictive people walk all over you and never stand up for yourself.” There’s a great deal of difference between being kindhearted and being a pushover.

It doesn’t help that Cinderella is never given any real defining qualities other than her longing for a better life. It never seems to don on her that maybe she can be the one to make her life better. When the day is finally saved not by the heroine, but by a group of CG mice, I think it’s a sign that Cinderella needs to stop being such a sad sack. She could learn a great deal from those two sisters from Arendelle.

 

Character Backstories That Don’t Go Anywhere

Again, you have to applaud the effort. This Cinderella does give a couple of attempts at fleshing out some of the main characters by giving them more detailed backstories. The problem is that these backstories are all kind of forced into the movie through monologues, and the story never benefits from them. Lady Tremaine gives one such monologue, and although the delivery is great, it ends up going nowhere. Sure, it tries to make Tremaine a more sympathetic character (though it’s pretty hard to sympathize with someone so unreasonably cruel), but it ultimately doesn’t change her character, or her relationship with Cinderella. Again, at least the movie tried to add some interest to the characters, but I suppose these things are easier said (through monologues) than done.

 

 The Underutilized Fairy Godmother

CinderellaI actually enjoyed Helena Bonham Carter’s take on the Fairy Godmother. The character seemed like she knew her role as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, but she got sidetracked on her way into the story, and kind of goes through the motions to make up for lost time. It’s a fun take on the character…for about two minutes, then she never shows up again. Granted, I wouldn’t want her to just magically get Cinderella out of all her jams (I’m looking your way, Blue Fairy from Pinocchio), but she’s a fun character who disappears all too quickly.

 

The Sidekicks Just Don’t Work

I don’t know if it’s the CG, or if it’s merely a result of the story’s transition to live-action, but the sidekicks never won me over. The mice may be cute, but something about them just comes off as sidetracking. Without the cartoonish personalities found in the animated version, they just kind of take up time. The same goes for the goose-turned-coachman and the lizards-turned-footmen (the former being charmless and the latter unnerving). The sidekicks are one aspect of the animated version that simply don’t translate in this live-action adaptation.

 

 

So Cinderella has its share of problems, but at least it has some good points as well. I’m still not onboard the whole Disney animation-turned live-action train, but at the very least Cinderella proves that, even with its missteps, this subcategory of Disney flicks isn’t entirely hopeless.

Song of the Sea Review

Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea is a beautiful film. Its simple and charming character designs compliment its fluid animation to make a visually captivating motion picture. Best of all, it tells a sweet, endearing story that matches up to, if not betters its predecessor, The Secret of Kells.

Song of the Sea tells the story of a boy named Ben (David Rawle). When his mother was pregnant with his soon-to-be sister, Ben makes a promise to his mom. That promise is that he will be the best big brother ever. But tragedy strikes, and Ben’s mother dies during childbirth. Ben blames his sister Saoirse for the loss of his mother, and he grows to resent her.

Song of the SeaSaoirse is a mute, having not uttered a single word by age six. She also holds a secret passed down from her mother. It turns out Saoirse, like her mother, is a Selkie, a mermaid-like creature that lives mostly as a human, but can also take the form of a seal. Ben’s mother often told him bedtime stories of Selkies and other such wonderful creatures, and those stories turn out to be true, but in order for this other world to stay alive, the Selkie must sing a magic song.

Ben and Saoirse’s father Conor (Brendan Gleeson) wishes for the past to remain buried, blaming the responsibilities of Selkies for the loss of his wife. When he learns his daughter has inherited her mother’s abilities, he sends both of his children to live with their grandmother to prevent history from repeating itself.

Song of the SeaWhat then ensues is an adventure as sincere as it is fantastic. Ben and Saoirse must work together to find their way back home, and to prevent the magical worlds of their mother’s stories from fading away. Saoirse must find her voice, and Ben must finally live up to the promise he made to his mother.

This is a magical movie. Much like Secret of Kells, it is steeped in Irish folklore, but it is also enriched with great storytelling and striking imagination, making it feel both universal and timeless. The film evokes a similar sense of magic and wonder to that of a Miyazaki film. The animation is simpler, but it has a similar heart to those of the Studio Ghibli films.

Song of the SeaSong of the Sea deals with strong thematics such as loss while also being perfectly accessible to children with its messages of kindness and staying true to one’s promises. While many animated features feel the need to give sly winks to the adult crowd in order to win them over to a “kids’ movie,” Song of the Sea is one of those rare animated films that – like the Ghibli features – needs only to rely on the sincerity and depth of its storytelling to captivate audiences of all ages.

Song of the Sea is a little bit sad and bitterweet. It’s also a little mystifying and bewildering. It’s heartfelt, emotional, and brimming with imagination. It’s the cinematic equivalent of a lullaby, and it’s an absolute delight.

 

9

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse Review

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is the spiritual sequel to Kirby: Canvas Curse, released on the Nintendo DS back in 2005. Canvas Curse was arguably the DS’ first definitive game, as it used the stylus and touchscreen so effectively and uniquely that it remained one of the DS’ best games throughout the handheld’s entire run. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse replicates a number of Canvas Curse’s elements, this time on the Wii U. Though this time around, Kirby’s bag of tricks isn’t quite as consistent.

Much like the DS original, Rainbow Curse sees Kirby transformed into a ball, and the player uses the Gamepad’s touchscreen to draw rainbow ropes in order to move Kirby around, with quick taps on Kirby himself giving him a little boost. You only have a limited supply of ink to create these rainbow ropes at a time, but it quickly replenishes.

Kirby and the Rainbow CurseBeing only the second game in the series to use this style of gameplay (and being ten years after the first), it all still feels fresh and unique. Unfortunately, Rainbow Curse doesn’t quite do as much with its gameplay as its predecessor did. Kirby’s trademarks copy ability was left intact in Canvas Curse, which gave the gameplay some added variety. Strangely, Kirby cannot copy enemy powers in Rainbow Curse, but some transformations do occur on a handful of stages.

At certain points in the game Kirby can transform into a tank, a submarine and a rocket, with each one being far more destructive than Kirby is in his natural state. The levels involving the transformations provide a nice change of pace from the standard levels, but they are ultimately too few in number. The transformation levels also rely too much on repeating gimmicks, leaving players to wish that there were more to them.

The gameplay remains solid, but it lacks the finer details of its DS predecessor. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is brought to life, however, for its unique visual style and its exceptional soundtrack.

Rainbow Curse mimics the look of claymation, with the characters and locations all giving the impression that Aardman had a go at a Nintendo title. The game looks absolutely beautiful, and it’s swimming in details (when Kirby is closer to the screen you can make out tiny fingerprints on his character model). The clay visual style is so wonderfully realized that you can’t imagine it would look much better if it were actually made with claymation.

There is one downside to this. With the game’s focus on the Gamepad, the player’s eyes will be more drawn to the touchscreen than what’s presented on the TV. Given that the Gamepad’s screen presents everything in standard definition, as opposed to the high definition of the Wii U itself, you may actually need to watch someone else play to fully soak in the game’s visual beauty.

In terms of music, Rainbow Curse boasts one of the best soundtracks in the series’ history, and Kirby has always been a series of consistently catchy music. The soundtrack pays homage to the 16-bit era of video games, with the musical styles sounding like SNES and Genesis tunes brought up to date. The game also includes a sound test, where players can listen to any music they’ve unlocked. It should be noted that the game’s soundtrack is so hefty that there are a number of remixes from past Kirby titles that only appear in the sound test (giving players all the more reason to find the hidden tracks).Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

There are a few bonus features in Rainbow Curse, most of which are unlocked by playing through the game’s story mode. The aforementioned music tracks, as well as character models and biographies, are found in hidden chests strewn about each level. Challenges are unlocked by completing certain stages, and there’s a charming (if not entirely useful) storybook that can be found – piece by piece – in a roulette wheel at the end of every stage. Aside from the music, the additional content doesn’t pack a whole lot of punch, but it should catch the eyes of completionists.

One thing to note is that Rainbow Curse is one of the more difficult Kirby games in recent memory. It’s never Tropical Freeze difficult, but you will find a number of instances where Kirby comes face-to-face with one-hit kill obstacles, and moments where the player must react quickly with the stylus to prevent Kirby from falling into a bottomless pit. Again, it’s nothing intensely difficult, but it is more challenging than its adorable exterior might suggest.

One aspect that could have used a little more variety are the boss battles. Between the game’s seven worlds, there are only four bosses among them. The first three bosses are each recycled for another round, with little to differentiate the fights other than a color swap.Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

Multiplayer is an option, with additional players taking on the roles of multicolored Waddle Dees who use more traditional platforming controls to aid Kirby. It’s not the Wii U’s best local co-op, but it is nice to have as an option should others want to join in the fun.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse may not rank among the best Kirby games, as it falls short of its predecessor and some gameplay aspects are underdeveloped, but it is nonetheless a fun and different take on the world of Dreamland that, above all else, is an audiovisual delight.

 

7

Frozen Fever Mini-Review

Frozen Fever

Frozen Fever, the seven-minute short film that accompanies Disney’s new live-action Cinderella, is an absolute delight. It returns audiences to the world of Frozen for a brief, but incredibly fun little ride through the kingdom of Arendelle.

The story is appropriately simple for its short running time, but nonetheless sweet. It’s Princess Anna’s (Kristen Bell) birthday, and her sister Queen Elsa (Idena Menzel) wants to make it the best birthday ever, to compensate for all the birthdays lost when she shut herself away from her sister. The problem is that Elsa is feeling under the weather, and her illness is making her ice magic run amok.

Frozen FeverObviously, this simple plot and short running time mean that Frozen Fever doesn’t share the more complex character elements of the feature length original, but it still manages to produce some sweet moments between the sisters. But Frozen Fever is aiming more for fun anyway, and it succeeds greatly at just that.

A new song “Making Today a Perfect Day” is as fun as it is catchy, and the short is filled with good humor and plenty of fan service (as Elsa begins to catch the sniffles she proclaims “a cold never bothered me anyway”), there’s even a quick nod to a running gag from the Back to the Future sequels.

Frozen FeverIt’s a testament to how immensely likable the Frozen characters are that at a mere seven minutes, this short film is more charming and fun than the feature film that follows it. Frozen Fever only gives audiences a quick taste of a Frozen follow-up, but there’s so much fun to be had that you’ll savor every minute of it.