Kirby is a classic platforming series from Nintendo that has received some spin-offs just like Mario. Kirby Fighters 2 is a sequel to the Nintendo 3DS original that was a surprise release last week. It is a budget-priced game for the Nintendo Switch that offers a decent amount of fun compared to its price.
Kirby Fighters 2 is essentially a brawler that plays out in side-scrolling fashion. It bears a lot of similarity to the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate fighting mode but lacks the complexity of its combat. Think of Kirby Fighters 2 as a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate except you need to strip out any special moves and combo maneuvers, but keep the dynamic backgrounds and replace every fighter with a copy Kirby.
The only proper 3D Kirby game that has been released for the Nintendo Switch is Kirby Star Allies. It was a fun game that might have lacked the complex platforming or memorable boss battles but supplemented it with plenty of playable allies. One thing that holds it back is its visuals, which looked muddy. This has been rectified now and the visuals have seen big improvements for Kirby Fighters 2, which has received updated assets on Nintendo Switch. As a result, it looks a whole lot cleaner and better than Kirby Star Allies.
There are different gameplay modes with Story, Battle, Online, and a One-Handed Mode. There is support for up to four players to duke it out in the multiplayer. The fighter selection is mostly limited to Kirby with various copy abilities, some of which are new while most will be familiar to those who have finished Kirby Star Allies. Wrestler Kirby is one of the new copy abilities of Kirby that is playable in this game. Additionally, there are a handful of buddies that can join Kirby in battles like Gooey and King DeDeDe but they have to be unlocked first.
The story mode is a classic tower battle. The player can team up with a buddy or go solo to battle through a set of floors. There are multiple playable chapters, each increasing the number of floors. At the end of each battle, the player can use one of the three items to gain a boost for health or unlock some other bonuses. Score points are accumulated after every fight and are used to improve the fighter rank, which leads to unlocking new story items, fighters, or stages.
The grinding is a real problem in Kirby Fighters 2 because it will take a while before you can unlock everything. I would have preferred to keep the fighters as early unlocks while making the customizations some of the higher level unlockables through grinding, but sadly this is not the case. To unlock everyone, there is a fair amount of grinding required either through regular battles or by playing the story mode.
The difficulty of the game is relatively modest. In the story mode, it starts easy with fights that barely require any strategy, but as you progress further into the tower and unlock more chapters, it can require a bit of skill and abilities to pull through until the end. Dodging and blocking are essential in some of the later fights and so is keeping an eye on the dynamic stages. There are elements of danger in some of the stages that pose a threat and have to be dodged.
If you are in a mood for a Kirby game that can be fun to play in co-op multiplayer, this is not a bad offer. It might not have the complexity of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate but it carries the charm of Kirby and her cute copy abilities. The grind to unlock is a problem but if you can give it the necessary time required to open everything, which honestly isn’t that long, it can become a fun portable fighter with a lighter difficulty curve.