Kirby’s appearance varies between his Japanese and North American box art because Nintendo of America believes a fierce face is more appealing to local gamers.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe director Shinya Kumazaki told Gamespot that Nintendo of America provides developer HAL with “feedback and insight” into what the local market wants.
“What we have heard is that strong, tough Kirby that’s really battling hard is a more appealing sign of Kirby, so that’s what we feature in the US,” he said.
Kumazaki said it isn’t a hard and fast rule, as Kirby has donned the same angry face on a few Japanese releases too, but in general the cute version “brings ion the most people to play” in Japan.
“For the Japanese versions we are, at HAL, involved in everything throughout development, including the package design. The most powerful image of Kirby is that cute image, we think that’s the one that appeals to the widest audience,” he said.
“While it does start cute we know there is a serious side to Kirby as well, and throughout the gameplay we see more and more of that, and the games themselves have quite a bit of depth. That being said, we recognise that Kirby’s cuteness is his biggest draw in [the Japanese] market.”
Kirby: Triple Deluxe will be released for 3DS on May 2 in North America and May 16 in Europe. Check out our review round-up for all the scores.