There’s something special about Picross 3D 2, and it’s not that the game in general is just great. Like many recent Nintendo releases, it is riding the amiibo train. If people have the Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, Yoshi, Bowser, Link, Kirby, King Dedede and Meta Knight figures, they can be used to unlock additional puzzles in the game. It’s great, but not all Picross 3D 2 amiibo puzzles are created equal.
Put simply, HAL Laboratory is playing favorites.
See, HAL Laboratory is the developer behind Picross 3D 2. It also is responsible for Kirby’s games. This is why all three amiibo from that series work in the game, while almost everyone else is from the Mushroom Kingdom. Okay, that’s fine, but poses for HAL’s own are way better than the other ones.
In terms of difficulty, all of these amiibo puzzles are equal. They’re more challenging than many puzzles in Picross 3D 2, which is only fitting. You’d expect a little extra for the effort you put forth to find these things. They’re also all about those curves and angles, resulting in some more detailed characters for players to enjoy. But it’s those very poses that highlight the discrepancy.
Every non-Kirby amiibo’s pose is generic. They look good, sure, and they’re fun to dig out in the cluster of blocks, but they don’t pop. You could see these characters looking like that in any game.
Meanwhile, the Kirby characters all have Picross-themed poses. It’s refreshing and makes sense. This is a puzzle game, show the people (or puffins) dealing with the nonograms in their own way. Kirby is inhaling a block and Waddledee. King Dedede is smashing them. Meta Knight is cutting them down.
HAL Laboratory could have done the same with other characters, but didn’t. Mario could have been punching Picross blocks, instead of hitting the bricks. Yoshi could have been preparing to chow down on a block, instead of a 1Up Mushroom. The opportunity was there, but the developer didn’t take the chance.
It’s disappointing when you see how cool the Kirby characters’ poses are, then look to the other cameos and see they aren’t participating in Picross projects. Maybe Nintendo had rules about how the other characters had to appear? If so, everyone would have benefited if we could have, I don’t know, seen Link slicing through a row of 0 blocks. Imagine how satisfying that would have been.
Picross 3D 2 is immediately available in Japan. A worldwide release has yet to be announced.