Kirby Air Ride is a solid party game. However, some major flaws can make it unappealing. Rent it first.
Difficulty: Very Easy
Time Spent: 20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line: "Rent it first"
I'm going to start this review off by saying that Kirby Air Ride really isn't a game that everyone will enjoy. It can be very basic at times, but it serves that purpose well, as it is in essence, a "family game". I wouldn't recommend it to single player gamers, but definitely to party gamers and family gamers alike. In short, Kirby Air Ride is a game you must play with others.
The game starts off with three core modes: Air Ride, Top Ride, and City Trial.
Air Ride is by far the best mode, since it is the main mode of the game. In Air Ride, you can choose from over 20 karts that have very different pros/cons. These karts are also carried on through the other modes, which gives you a better chance to familiarize yourself with the cars' distinctive controls and abilities. Similar to the mario kart series, you race on tracks that are brilliantly designed. However, there are only about 8 different tracks, which can limit the experience. Despite this, Kirby Air Ride manages fine due to its very diverse racing system. Besides all the usual racing, the tracks are just mind-blasting. There is practically a different experience on each and every track. Additionally there are a vast variety of enemies that you can encounter on the course, and you can suck them up to give kirby power-ups. Frankly, this kart racing system works absolutely fantastic, and should be the main reason why one would pick this up.
Then there's Top Ride, which is pretty unique, but a bit too repetitive. Basically, you race from a bird's eye view on completely different tracks and power-ups from Air Ride. This gives the mode a whole new feel, which is great. Just like Air Ride, the tracks are superbly designed, and give you plenty of replay value. However, these tracks are extremely short to the point where you can complete a lap in less than 20 seconds. This is a major con of the mode, as it makes the overall gameplay feel a little bit like a mini-game. To add to this, the controls and overall presentation are a bit mediocre. Overall, this mode could have been better, but falls short with glitches, bugs, and unbalanced gameplay.
Lastly, there's City Trial. In short, City Trial is practically a sandbox city where players find karts and race around collecting performance boosters. When the match is over, there's a mini-game that everyone competes in. These mini-games vary from destruction derbies to fighting arenas, etc. While the mini-games are good, collecting performance boosters in the city gets way too repetitive and can become very boring. As a whole, the City Trial mode can be fun at first, but there really isn't much to do in the city provided.
In conclusion, Kirby Air Ride is a great racing game with lots of fun to be had, taken that you have others to enjoy it with. While Top Ride and City Trial are not nearly as good as Air Ride, they still are fairly decent. If you like party/family games, you should give Kirby Air Ride a try.
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