Game – Kirby Triple Deluxe
Developer – HAL Laboratory
Publisher – Nintendo
Platform – 3DS (MSRP $39.99)
Rating – E for Everyone
Obtained – Download Code courtesy of Nintendo
Kirby, Nintendo’s pink, squishy, adorable protagonist, might as well be the poster boy for their family-friendly approach to gaming. Some might look down upon the character’s cutesy design, but Kirby Triple Deluxe shows that a game can appeal to younger audiences while still managing to entertain seasoned gamers. While it never becomes particularly challenging, Kirby Triple Deluxe compensates with its delightfully fresh gameplay ideas.
Kirby titles have never been recognized for providing very difficult gaming experiences, and the same can be said about Kirby Triple Deluxe. Kirby can puff himself up and float over obstacles indefinitely, meaning that early sections of the game can be overcome by simply floating over hazards. Fortunately, by the second world the level designs become less accommodating to this type of shortcut and provide moderate levels of difficulty. Collectible “Sun Stones” that are hidden in each stage (and are used to unlock secret levels) require some skill to snatch up, so players looking to squeeze as much challenge out of the game as possible will want to search for them.
Some Sun Stones will require you to solve a puzzle or use a specific power-up. Others are just very well-hidden
The most widely recognized and praised aspects of Kirby games lies in the combat. Kirby can suck up enemies, and in some cases absorb their powers. Each of these enemy-inspired forms has multiple attacks that can be used in conjunction with various combinations of button presses. The pause menu displays all the different attacks Kirby’s current form can use, and chances are you’ll spend a lot of time reading through them and memorizing your favourites. The “Beetle” ability can lift enemies up into the air with his horns and then slam them to the ground, while Spark Kirby builds up static electricity as the d-pad is mashed in order to unleash powerful attacks. Against regular enemies Kirby feels overpowered and in the off chance that Kirby will be hit by an enemy attack it will deal minimal amounts of damage that can be quickly healed with one of many generously-placed vitality-restoring items. Where the system truly shines, however, is in boss fights. Pulling off different combinations of attacks feels great, and the real fun of the game comes from experimenting with these moves.
What Kirby Triple Deluxe lacks in challenge, it makes up for in ingenuity. Despite being a 2D side-scroller, Kirby can jump into the foreground and background using special warp stars, and the game finds interesting ways to capitalize on this concept. Some enemies will attack you from the background where they are unreachable, and certain challenges will involve paying attention to background element to progress through the stage. Every single level introduces at least one new twist that sets it apart from the others, from enemies chopping down trees that fall into the foreground to haunted mansions where invisible platforms can only be seen through mirrors. The game also introduces the new “Hypernova” power-up that allows Kirby to suck up gigantic obstacles and enemies in segmented areas. These sections offer up new kinds of puzzles and challenges that feel consistently fresh and exciting, even though they essentially make Kirby even more overpowered.
In this stage, the player needs to avoid cannon blasts coming from the background
The name Triple Deluxe comes from the fact that the game features two additional modes: the rhythm-based “Dedede’s Drum Dash” and “Kirby Fighters”, where Kirby’s various forms are pitted against one another. Neither of these games are as fully fleshed out or lengthy as the main campaign, so emphasizing the “triple”-featured side of the game might be a bit misleading. Nevertheless, they are entertaining distractions from the main game that will grant you a few extra hours of play time at most. “Kirby Fighters” is playable via single or multi-card download play, but if your friends don’t own the game they are limited to two of the many powers available.
Kirby Fighters is fun, but unless your friends own the game you won’t spend very long playing it
Bright colours, cutesy enemy designs, upbeat music and clever level designs make Kirby Triple Deluxe an absolutely delightful experience, even if it isn’t necessarily a challenging one. There are plenty of secrets to discover across the approximately 10-11 hour-long campaign (if you’re trying to find every collectible) with a few bonus features and modes thrown in for some added value.
Final score: 8.0 / 10
While Kirby Triple Deluxe’s gameplay never reaches the precision, finesse and (most notably) difficulty of a Mario title, its wildly inventive stages and wide range of copy abilities will keep you hooked until the credits roll and beyond.
+ Inventive level design
+ Tons of copy ability variety
+ Pleasant, adorable atmosphere
+ Sun stones are fun to collect
+ Additional modes are entertaining
- Not particularly difficult
*Stay tuned to our YouTube page for a video review, coming soon!*