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Kirby Air Ride

カービィのエアライド

Developer: HAL Laboratory Publisher: Nintendo
11 July 2003
Kirby Air Ride [カービィのエアライド] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.56 / 5.0
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5.0
 
 
479 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#1,076 All-time
#43 for 2003
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Releases 2
Filter by: All 2 Gamecube 2
2003 HAL Laboratory Nintendo  
Disc
JP 4 902370 506594 DL-DOL-GKYJ-JPN
2003 HAL Laboratory Nintendo  
Disc
US 0 45496 96126 8 DL-DOL-GKVE-USA
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Title
It's funny that the spin-off Kirby games get usually a higher score than the traditional mainline games, counting Epic Yarn as a spin-off. There never was a kart racer as full of oxygen as Kirby Air Ride.

The controls are simple, yes, but they are among the smoothest I have ever encountered. City Trail is best.
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The initial reaction to Kirby Air Ride from most gaming journalists at the time was a lukewarm one. The one-button control scheme this game offered was scoffed at and ridiculed. They treated it like it was the Gamecube racing game for the sad bastard who thought the difficulty curb of Mario Kart was too tricky. However, I have fond memories of this game as I did with most games I had when I was a kid, so my perception of this game is tinted with the bittersweet dust of nostalgia.

This game was Kirby's only entry on the ol' cube, and it was also his first outing in a racing game. You control various shades of the puffball and ride on a myriad of star machines. Most of the machines were competent vehicles, but some were utter garbage. They tried hard to make every machine as unique as possible, but some special crutches were too much. The balance wasn't the main selling point for a game that relishes a one-button control scheme. There are about six good machines out of 15. There was the one-star machine I despised that looked like a purple bar of soap and slipped around like one too. Imagine while you're playing Mario Kart, your cart makes a horizontal swerve off the track or swerves you backward. It would piss you off.

There were three forms of gameplay with unique racing modes and riding these star machines. The first mode involved traditional racing, and the race tracks were all individual to one another. There was a sand level, a volcano level, a beanstalk level, and even the game's version of Mario Kart 64's rainbow road. The developers added an extra layer of Kirby flair by including familiar enemies you can suck up with different powers that you can use against the other racers and other enemies on the track. Like the racing machines, some are more useful than others, and the plasma power, for instance, will wreck everyone's shit. The races all had two or three laps, and they were all pretty short, but the control scheme worked well in this mode, and the tracks all looked pretty good too for the era.

The second mode was another racing mode but from a top-down perspective. This mode is a highly condensed version of the first mode as all the tracks are shorter top-down versions. All machines from the first mode are gone in favor of one machine. This mode is the one that I played the least.

The mode that I played the most was City Trial. It was a small open-world area with access to any machines from the first mode. You could play around on the map for as long as you wanted and sometimes engage in random events like a meteor falling on the map or Dyna Blade would sometimes appear. The city mode packs tons of different areas in a relatively small space. It had a volcano, a forest, some futuristic electric pad, tall buildings, and your choice of every star machine/vehicle in the game. I have fond memories of playing this mode with my dad and brother as a kid. We would mostly play in city mode and fight over who would have the hydra or the orange star that flew to the top of the map. We would hunt for the other person and fuck up their star vehicle and some tears we shed over the ordeal, but I think we were simultaneously having fun as well.

The sense of achievement by progressing in this game was in the form of literal achievements. Each mode had an achievement board similar to the Smash Bros. games. You could unlock many different things like the ability to play as Meta Knight and King Dedede and do something to get pieces of the OP hydra and dragoon machines. If you were using those two in any race, you were guaranteed to win. These are the only tangible things worth unlocking as everything other achievement is redundant and used as a shallow way to keep the player playing.

Does this game hold up for me now? Sadly, I think I'm on the fence. The races and city mode are fun for a while, but unlike Mario Kart, you have to have at least one other person to make this game fun. The game journalists of 2003 were right about the simple control scheme, and it's not enough to keep me satisfied several years on. The shining aspects of this game aren't enough to make it a substantial racing experience. Double Dash is just as fun as it was back then, and it didn't have to resort to gripping players with achievements to keep them playing.
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Erockthestrange 2017-07-21T20:42:55Z
2017-07-21T20:42:55Z
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Catalog

flonch カービィのエアライド 2024-04-12T15:12:24Z
2024-04-12T15:12:24Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bluecap9 カービィのエアライド 2024-04-12T04:54:48Z
2024-04-12T04:54:48Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
adg3 Kirby Air Ride 2024-03-31T20:29:55Z
Gamecube • US
2024-03-31T20:29:55Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Melody_Rose カービィのエアライド 2024-03-26T12:02:21Z
2024-03-26T12:02:21Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SciCore カービィのエアライド 2024-03-25T06:33:27Z
2024-03-25T06:33:27Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SockShadowPuppet Kirby Air Ride 2024-03-18T20:23:15Z
Gamecube • US
2024-03-18T20:23:15Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
eliottstaten カービィのエアライド 2024-03-15T06:11:45Z
2024-03-15T06:11:45Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bigcrunchbar カービィのエアライド 2024-03-11T06:16:49Z
2024-03-11T06:16:49Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jmatthewg カービィのエアライド 2024-03-05T00:43:21Z
2024-03-05T00:43:21Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
skizzenbrunnen カービィのエアライド 2024-02-27T07:53:59Z
2024-02-27T07:53:59Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
golferjoe24 Kirby Air Ride 2024-02-23T18:33:23Z
Gamecube • US
2024-02-23T18:33:23Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Threntall カービィのエアライド 2024-02-11T15:00:12Z
2024-02-11T15:00:12Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
CERO: All Ages
Player modes
1-4 players
Media
1x Disc
Franchises
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  • Kirby Air Ride
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  • Previous comments (14) Loading...
  • DomMazzetti 2023-09-12 00:06:22.286739+00
    City Trial
    reply
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • Altemo 2023-09-20 19:25:57.540937+00
    City Trial [2]
    reply
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  • rayzcore 2023-09-21 01:03:41.131153+00
    this game fuck ing aewesome
    reply
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  • jdcomix 2023-10-19 12:54:38.771369+00
    Invented Fortnite
    reply
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  • dzhakh 2023-11-14 15:24:49.714731+00
    american kirby is angry
    reply
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  • M1N4fknRVVM3Z 2023-11-27 23:17:10.364735+00
    city trial is a roguelike
    reply
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  • brewkirk 2024-01-09 00:10:11.071337+00
    combat racers keep winning. city trial is so much fun with some friends
    reply
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  • aselfcalledl 2024-02-22 01:31:12.317615+00
    NEED a spiritual successor to the city trial play. City trial but with several worlds
    reply
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