Nintendo has announced that the next N64 game to arrive to the Expansion Pack for Nintendo Switch Online will be Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. The most recent N64 game for Nintendo Switch was Mario Golf, which was added to the service on April 15, and Nintendo recently confirmed it wasn’t done with adding new content to the online serice.
The Nintendo Switch received the first-ever 3D Kirby game in 2022, with Kirby and the Forgotten Land being a highly-acclaimed title that took a lot of inspiration from Super Mario Odyssey. Kirby and the Forgotten Land was only the first 3D Kirby game in a gameplay sense, as there have been plenty of Kirby games with 3D graphics released in the past, but they still kept the gameplay restricted to a 2D plane. There have also been 3D Kirby spin-offs, like Kirby Air Ride, but these belonged in different genres than the mainline Kirby games.
At launch, Kirby and the Forgotten Land won over critics and it’s time to revisit the first 3D Kirby game that set the stage for the pink puffball’s new adventures. The official Nintendo YouTube channel has announced that Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards will be added to Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack on May 20. The Nintendo Switch version of the game will feature local and online multiplayer, as Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards has Mario Party-style minigames for up to four players. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards on Nintendo Switch Online also supports save states, though its short runtime means this probably won’t be necessary.
The story in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards involves one of Kirby‘s scariest enemies of all time, an eldritch abomination called Dark Matter, who wishes to use the power of the Great Crystal for his own ends. The Great Crystal is shattered into 74 pieces and it’s up to Kirby and his allies to find them all. The gameplay in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is standard fare for the series, with Kirby able to copy the powers of his enemies by inhaling them. One new twist that was introduced in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards was Power Combos, which allowed Kirby to combine the powers of his foes into one move. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards received a positive reception at launch, though many criticized its short length, which isn’t as much of an issue when it’s a downloadable title.
When the Expansion Pack was first revealed, Nintendo announced several N64 games for Switch Online. Now that Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards has been given a release date, it only leaves Pokémon Snap as the last of the announced games to be added to the service, which will likely happen in June. A datamine of the N64 app revealed that there are slots for more games in its files, so it’s likely that Nintendo will announce a new batch of N64 games during its next Nintendo Direct.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards will be available for Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack on May 20, 2022.
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