Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn Being 3DS Exclusive Is a Mistake
The original Kirby’s Epic Yarn was a blast when it came out on the Wii in 2010, and its new Extra rerelease has brought along some neat new modes and additions worth seeing. But what those updates don’t include is a clear reason why Extra Epic Yarn isn’t also coming to Switch. As much as it pains me to write this, Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn is a great game trapped on an outdated system.
This is a port of a nine-year-old console game arriving on an eight-year-old mobile platform. Kirby has shown up to a party that everyone has already left, standing around wondering who inhaled all the Maxim Tomatoes.
I’ve been playing Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn and, despite still being fun, the 3DS port has a few key missteps:
- It doesn’t have 3D support.
- Co-op has been removed entirely.
- The original 480p graphics have been squished to the 3DS’s 240p.
- It doesn’t use the bottom screen/touch support in any meaningful way.
- It adds Amiibo support, but only if you have a New 3DS or the sold-separately Amiibo add-on.
Of course, it’s still a good game, and this port adds in a couple of fun perks like special abilities and alternate modes as Meta Knight and King Dedede to keep things fresh, but none of that justifies why it’s only coming to 3DS when a Switch release could solve most of the issues I listed above.
I love that the 3DS is getting an Epic Yarn port, period, but I don’t understand why the Switch has been left out.
I love the 3DS. I love the little spark of magic I felt when I would randomly StreetPass with someone and realize “there are other nerds about” in a time before every game was on your phone. I love how it refined and improved the DS’s dopey and adorable flip phone design. And I love its unparalleled library of games that’s still impressive even in 2019. It’s a system so good that its flagship feature, a 3D screen, can be completely ignored (or removed entirely by Nintendo for the 2DS) and it’s still the bomb.
But all good things pass eventually, and the 3DS has finally reached its inevitable – yet noble – end at the hands of its own maker. Nintendo simply made a better handheld with the Switch, which isn’t an insult, given it’s a full six years fresher. A few key Nintendo series that have traditionally been handheld staples are passing the 3DS by – Fire Emblem, Pokemon, Animal Crossing, and a 2D Zelda are all on their way to Switch this year, marking the final nails in the 3DS’ New XL-sized coffin.
So why is Extra Epic Yarn a 3DS exclusive? It had to kill co-op to be on 3DS, and its simple controls and lovely levels would be well-suited to playing with a friend using a pair of Joy-Con. On Switch, it would show more people the origins of Nintendo’s obsession with the awesome “handmade stuff” art style that is about to culminate in the upcoming Yoshi’s Crafted World. It’s also hard to imagine it wouldn’t certainly have an audience given the Switch’s out of control success.
You can see the new modes and lower 3DS resolution in the gallery above!
It could be this project has been in development for years and Nintendo wasn’t anticipating the Switch’s runaway success, though that seems unlikely for a port. It could be its motion controls were just better suited to the 3DS touch screen, but the Switch has oft forgotten touch screen and motion controls of its own. Or it could just be that a 480p resolution Wii game wouldn’t look up to snuff on the Switch’s enhanced screen next to Yoshi’s Crafted World and Nintendo didn’t want to make all new HD art, but it still looks worse on the 3DS’s tiny 240p screen anyway.
Whatever the reasoning, it doesn’t make much sense to me. I’m happy it’s coming to the 3DS in general – I love that we are getting a modern port of Epic Yarn, period, though the loss of co-op is a significant one – I’m just disappointed it’s only arriving there, whereas a port like Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker smartly came to both of Nintendo’s handheld systems.
If you missed Epic Yarn nine years ago and still have your 3DS handy, Extra Epic Yarn is undoubtedly worth playing, but it will remind you of all the things the Switch does better along the way.