Aug 20, 2010
After Kirby: The Crystal Shards for the N64, the Japanese decided that North American gamers wouldn’t buy Kirby unless he had a bad attitude on the box art. If you check out any of the GBA, Gamecube, or DS games since then, you’ll notice that Kirby sports “angry eyes” on each cover. Kirby’s Epic Yarn’s art is a little different in that it is overtly happy, with the exception of Kirby’s helper, who seems to have inherited the angry brow in place of Kirby.
As a disclaimer, I’d like to point out that Kirby: Super Star Ultra for the DS does in fact have a happy version of Kirby on the box art, but I didn’t include it because its a remake for the SNES game. What do you guys think? Do North American audiences need an angry hero for a game to sell well? Is Kirby too feminine for a guy gamer to pick up off the shelf? As you can tell, I certainly don’t think so. The main Kirby games have always provided a solid experience from beginning to end- so what if he’s bubble gum pink. He eats enemies and absorbs their core essence, taking on their abilities, and discarding their souls as nothing of importance. Kirby is hardcore enough for me, with or without angry eyes.