Few people realise that pink blubber-butt Kirby was actually the inspiration for Solid Snake. In real life, he's a part-time member of the SAS. A skilled assassin and 'wet-works' expert, he's a blob not to be messed with. This makes it a little problematic telling him (and you), that his new game is not up to his usual standards. But we're very brave here at CVG, so here goes.
Kirby Air Ride is a racing game where the controls have been stripped down to the bare bones. One button to rule them all - in this case, the mighty green 'A'. Use it to perform all major actions in the game, occasionally in tandem with the control stick. Guide Kirby with the left stick as he hurtles along the courses, waggling it to Quick Spin when your rivals get too close, and tilting it to Glide when in the air. For everything else, press 'A'.
Although it's great to see a game that encourages the very young to start playing, the majority of GameCube owners and Kirby fans will find Air Ride severely lacking in any sort of challenge. Sure, it's fun and quite a laugh to race your mates round the impressive courses, or to try and beat the records in the Stadium, but the gameplay is too basic. Some of the courses appear to be trying to ape Super Monkey Ball, but they lack the finger gnawing tension and crazy humour of the simian stunner.
Great for pre-schoolers who don't know any better then, but that's all.
We can't let Kirby get away with it just because he's cute and is Pink's favourite game character (probably). The fact is, Air Ride lacks any long-term appeal for all but the tiniest of tots.