This week, Nintendo will release Kirby & the Rainbow Curse. It seems a charming enough game, and though the reviews have been a bit mixed, I would wager that it’s probably delightful. At Loser City, we endeavor to cover all things delightful, alongside our dedication to all things Cambodian punk, all things erotic comics, and all things mysteriously crunchy . I regret to inform you, however, that I will not be writing about Kirby & the Rainbow Curse. I apologize for the inconvenience. There are reasons.
Let me tell you a story, dear readers. Come into my parlor. Yes, that is a nice couch, thank you. My mom bought it for me. So, Kirby & the Rainbow Curse is a belated sequel to Kirby Canvas Curse, a game for the original not-enough-D Nintendo DS, released a full decade ago. In Canvas Curse, as in Rainbow Curse, you play the game by drawing on the touch screen, creating paths out of rainbow magic. Kirby rolls lazily along these rainbow lines, as in this iteration Kirby is living in a limbless hell, forever at the whims of the God of the Rainbow Stylus (you). It’s kind of like Lovecraftian pinball. Or building a rollercoaster line by line out of magic and ableism. It’s pretty cool and I’m bad at explaining things, is what I’m saying. People loved it. I liked it, in fact. For a while.
See, I have an ongoing habit of neglecting my mobile consoles. It’s a sad pattern. I buy them, excitedly, and I get a game that sounds really fun. Then, when I have the resources to get more games, I buy console games, because they’re bigger and flashier and I spend most of my time at home anyways. Soon it’s been two years, and that DS has been sitting on my shelf, gathering dust, the redheaded step-child of my video game life (it’s okay, I can say that, my sister was a redheaded step-child once). This was especially bad when I was living under my parents’ roof, and so I had no money of my own, so the only games I got were a haul around Christmas and whatever I could convince my parents and grandmother to buy me through the power of sheer, obnoxious enthusiasm.
So for a few years, I had a Nintendo DS with only one game: Kirby Canvas Curse. The other problem with this is that I was a lonely, weird young teenager at the time, and didn’t have enough to do. So I played a lot of Nintendo DS. A lot of Kirby Canvas Curse. And I was awful at it. The indirect method of control didn’t connect with my mushy adolescent brain, and I felt the full flame of Kirby’s ire. He would hurl himself into spikes, into the embrace of cruel wizards, anything to escape my negligent pen.
I would pick it up, get a little bit of progress, struggle for what I remember now as being hours, only to put the game back down, swearing to never awaken Kirby again. Until…
I was hate addicted. Canvas Curse was the Mask, and I was Stanley Ipkiss, hapless and enthralled. Imagine doing something you hate on an endless loop in the hopes that maybe, eventually, it’ll become fun. (Those of you who work office jobs don’t need to imagine.) Sometimes, in my darker moments, I imagine I made the whole game up, like a drill sergeant Hobbes to my self-loathing Calvin.
What? Oh, oh, yeah, sorry. I guess I have been silently weeping for a long time. Anyway, no, Kirby & the Rainbow Curse isn’t for me. I hear it’s fun, though. And those are pretty graphics. 8/10.
Jake Muncy is a freelance writer, editor, and poet living in Austin, TX. In addition to functioning as Loser City’s Games Editor, his writing appears on The AV Club, Ovrld, and anywhere else he can convince people to post it. You can contact him by email or twitter, where he tweets regularly about video games, the Mountain Goats, and sandwiches. He has very strong feelings about Kanye West.