Why did the team behind Kirby: Star Allies change the map style? Did the Switch help lead to that?
Kirby: Star Allies was the first major 1st Party game to come to the Nintendo Switch this year, and it changed up some things to the Kirby formula. Not only could you have a party comprised of three allies or foes that you turn to your side, you could work together to make some fearsome attacks, or do unique abilities. But also, the World Map of the game was vastly different. Before, you were led around the “Rails” to your next destination, but here, you got to pick and choose where you went.
This was done for many reasons, but one of them was that they simply could because of the Nintendo Switch’s higher resolution. This reveal came from director Tatsuya Kamiyama, who noted:
A major factor in this decision was the higher resolution on Nintendo Switch, which gave us a wider range of expression and made it easier to show more of the surroundings. Higher resolution meant we could display Kirby better at smaller sizes, so we had lots of space to broaden the scope of the map. WIth a wider scope, you can see more locations on the screen, meaning that the player won’t get lost, even given free movement.
With Nintendo Switch, we’ve moved away from rail-based movement to something freer, so the player can go directly wherever they want to go.
Many have appreciated the change, and Kirby: Star Allies has done very well on Switch, selling over a million units so far.
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