Friday, May 9, 2014

Inhaling and exhaling jokes need not apply

Kirby games have, for a long time now, interesting but simple affairs. That isn’t to say that all Kirby games are simple (after all, Canvas Curse was an interesting deviation from the standard Kirby fare), but overall, most of the Kirby platformers follow a relatively similar formula. You, as Kirby, have to go collect some powerful weapon to defeat the final boss, using the powers you absorb along the way to go through stages, solve some puzzles, and eventually defeat the boss of each big area.

However, Kirby’s Triple Deluxe, while following those basic ideas, is probably one of the best Kirby games I’ve had the pleasure of playing. I’ve played plenty of Kirby games over the years, and Triple Deluxe, while, following plenty of the same mechanics of past Kirby games, is very polished.

Kirby Triple Deluxe starts off with King Dedede being kidnapped by some mysterious character. And, being the heroic pink puff ball that you are, have to go through six different worlds to rescue him. In each level is a varying amount of Sun Stones needed to unlock the final boss level in each world. Getting Sun Stones is usually easy, as a lot will be near the main path, and ones that aren’t are usually solved via simple puzzles that are often dependent on powers you get earlier in the level or world.

The stages are fun to go through, as there's a lot of variation to the stage layouts and how you go through them. There's a lot of platforming involved, even if it's something as simple as jumping between platforms when there's ground below, which helps break up a lot of monotony by giving the player something to always do when going through the stage. The game controls are tight as well, with controls being responsive and Kirby's movement being very similar to past games, between walking/running and his jumping and floating. Movement can definitely vary between powers, with some having plenty of options to get around and others not so much.

The stages offer a good variety to traverse through both with powers and without, and the variety through the worlds and levels, while relatively basic, manages to switch things up enough with scenery and with what you need to go through obstacles and puzzles wise that there's not much, if any repeating throughout the game.

Overall, the game is relatively easy, with only some of the levels or bosses offering any real trouble, but lives and health pickups are more than abundant throughout the game. Like just about every other Kirby game, Kirby Triple Deluxe is a pretty easy endeavor, though I don’t necessarily consider that to be a knock against the game by any means.

The powers in Kirby Triple Deluxe are all pretty great, with plenty of them returning from former games with few to no changes, and a number of new ones, my favorite new power in particular being the Archer power, but powers like Wheel and Fighter are fun as always. The new power of note in Kirby Triple Deluxe though, is a special power you get about once or so a world: Hypernova Kirby. Hypernova Kirby has the ridiculous ability to inhale and swallow anything and everything, from large groups of enemies, to entire parts of the stage, to boss health bars, all with ease. It’s an ability that isn’t obtained often, but the sheer ridiculousness of a glowing Kirby with the power to suck up literally anything possible is always a treat.

The soundtrack, as most Kirby games have, is great. The majority of the soundtrack is new tracks, with a number of old songs remixed. There are a number of points in the game where there is some nostalgia, but it doesn’t seem like they added those bits of nostalgia just for nostalgia’s sake, but because they work really well in the game. The tunes sound great and the level and boss ideas that are revisited from past Kirby games all work very well and don’t seem out of place.

The game also has collectibles in the form of keychains, which are sprites of enemies, characters, and items from the Kirby series that are found randomly in stages and overall they make for a neat collectible. It shows the long history of the Kirby series, and while they aren’t required to get by any means, it’s neat to be able to go look at the keychains screen and shake the 3DS a bit to see the keychains shake in the game. It’s simple, but still nice and amusing nonetheless.
Overall, Kirby Triple Deluxe is a very solid Kirby game, if not the best main Kirby game I’ve played. It was a treat to play from beginning to end, and one I’m sure I’ll revisit, whether to gather the rest of the Sun Stones, or to mess around with the mini games, in the future.



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