YFJ ranks the Kirby games

Kersti

YoshiFlutterJump
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
I've been planning this for a while, having played most of the mainline Kirby games now and wanting to compile my opinions of them into a single thread. This thread will only cover the 12 main Kirby of the Stars games, mind you; you won't be seeing Air Ride, Canvas Curse, or Epic Yarn on this list. No update schedule planned, will just add to this when I see fit.

And with that, enjoy the list!

Kirby & The Amazing Mirror

By the time 2004 rolled around, Kirby was in a bad spot. Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of Kirby, had just left HAL, and with Kirby for Nintendo GameCube experiencing difficulties in development, HAL enlisted developer Flagship to create a game to fill the gap. The result was a game very different from those before it, as it adopts the open-world gameplay style used in Metroid and Castlevania. It was a game that looked great on paper. And even then, there are still many Kirby fans who consider this a favorite.

But, unfortunately, I can't share that sentiment. The level design resembles that of a labyrinth (hence the Japanese subtitle, The Great Labyrinth of the Mirror), and quickly becomes tedious with a ton of backtracking. The game was very clearly designed with multiplayer in mind, and if played that way this probably would have been the ultimate test of collaboration and teamwork. But alas, its platform is a curse; if you want a full-fat 4-person experience, you'll need 4 GBAs, 4 link cables, and 4 copies of the game. VC sure doesn't support that kind of thing! So I can't give the game any extra points for how good it might have been in multiplayer, because so few people are able to play it that way. And the AI is dumb as bricks and absolutely useless unless you just want a good laugh.

Kirby & The Amazing Mirror is a game I really wanted to enjoy, but just couldn't. If there's any game I hope to be remade someday, it's this one.

PROSCONS
Unique gameplayTedious level design
Great multiplayer......that you probably won't be able to experience
AI is dumb and useless
 

Ray Trace

You Can Tick Off Birds If You Follow My Advice
Probs won't like Metroidvanias in general if the backtracking bothers you so much.
 

Kersti

YoshiFlutterJump
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Poll Committee
Probs won't like Metroidvanias in general if the backtracking bothers you so much.
I mean, I dunno, it's not even just the backtracking. It's really the fact that the game gives you very little idea of where to go to find the map. I think I would have enjoyed the game a lot more if they just gave you the map to start with, because with brick headed AI in place of human minds, that map is pretty much your only hope of reaching the boss. Without it, you're left with an aimless quest to find the boss while hoping you don't take the wrong one-way door or accidentally run into a """goal""". The most fun I had with the game was when I actually had the maps and always knew where I was. Unfortunately, that's less than 10% of the game.

I've never played Metroid or Castlevania or any other similar games, so idk if the issues I described here are still present in those. What I do know is that Amazing Mirror followed a divide-and-conquer level design principle, and that's the most poorly aging aspect of the game because it's so hard these days to get the necessary equipment for a 4-player game. If only I could have that experience, the game would be significantly higher on the list even if nothing else about it was changed.
 

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
The multiplayer is definitely the biggest draw for Amazing Mirror, especially since it's the only one (as far as I know) that can actually be split, unlike the tethering system (revolving around Kirby) that most Kirby multiplayer games do. I guess there's also the Master Hand appearing in this game, and the birth of the Smash Bros. copy ability (way before Planet Robobot included it).

I suppose an online multiplayer variant could be introduced. After all, Kirby dabbled with online multiplayer in its latest game (Super Kirby Clash) so it won't be the first game to do it.

Thank you for reading.
 

Kersti

YoshiFlutterJump
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
Kirby's Dream Land


I'll admit that I almost ranked this #12, but I realized that, despite its extreme brevity, I actually enjoyed this more than Amazing Mirror. Kirby's Dream Land, released in 1992 for Game Boy, was Kirby's very first game. And for a first entry, it really isn't bad. But compared to many of his later games, Kirby's Dream Land has some pretty big drawbacks. Most notably, it lacks Copy Abilities, a defining trademark of Kirby, so your primary attack is the good ol' inhale. It also only contains 5 stages, so you could beat the whole game in about a half hour. Not a whole lot of bang for your buck here.

It's not all bad, though. Its short length gives plenty of reason to replay it, the Extra Mode is one of the toughest challenges in the series, and even beyond that the game provides a Configuration Mode that gives full control over the game difficulty. The game's levels were redesigned as part of Spring Breeze in Kirby Super Star, but you haven't experienced Kirby's genesis until you've played the original.

PROSCONS
An iconic classicNo copy abilities
Extra Mode proves quite the challengeOnly 5 stages
Configuration Mode provides fully customizable difficulty
 

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
Speaking of Spring Breeze in Kirby Super Star, I used to think it was a 1:1 variant of the original game, but it felt more like a Super Star variant of the original Kirby's Dream Land, akin to Super Mario Bros. 1 with the ability to backtrack.

Still though, it's incredibly amazing that this game is still the best-selling Kirby game, and not even Super Star beaten it although the latter beaten it in terms of being the hallmark of the series. Actually it's amusing how quite a number of first entries are the best-selling ones, like Super Mario Bros. and Wario Land.

Thank you for reading.
 

Kersti

YoshiFlutterJump
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
Kirby's Dream Land 2


Kirby's Dream Land 2 was another one of those "stopgap" games. Kirby Super Star was taking longer than expected to complete, so map designer Shinichi Shimomura was tasked with directing his own game for Game Boy to help fans wait for the big release. But don't let that assertion fool you; there's a lot to love about Kirby's Dream Land 2, and it stands as one of the greatest Game Boy games of all time.

Kirby's Dream Land 2 is perhaps most notable for introducing the Animal Friends Rick, Kine, and Coo. Rick has land-based abilities and doesn't slip on ice, Coo has sky-based abilities and flies through strong winds, and Kine has water-based abilities and can swim through powerful currents (forget about taking him along on land though). While there are fewer abilities than in Kirby's Adventure, using them in tandem with one of the Animal Friends will have a different effect entirely. Additionally, this is the first game in the series to contain two different endings: the player must find the seven Rainbow Drops to defeat Dark Matter and unlock the true ending; else the game will stop after King Dedede and play a false credits scene.

While most levels are too short for their own good, and some Rainbow Drops are a bit too obscure, ultimately it's a great game and you could do a lot worse for the price.

PROSCONS
Animal Friends add a lot of varietyLow ability variety compared to Adventure
A lot lengthier than the original Dream LandA lot of stages are just too short
Rainbow Drops add a good amount of replay valueSome of the later Rainbow Drops are overly obscure
 

Kersti

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Poll Committee
Guess this has pretty much become a daily thing.

Kirby's Adventure / Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land


Kirby's Adventure is the second installment in the Kirby series. Released in 1993, it was among the last games released for NES; the Super NES had been out for quite some time. Being a late-life title the game really pushed the system to its limits, and it is easily among the finest platformers on the system next to the Mario trilogy. It is perhaps the most influential Kirby game next to the original Dream Land, as it introduced Kirby's signature Copy Ability, including a total of 24 different abilities. Try to think of any other single game hero that can breathe fire, wield a sword, turn into a speedy car wheel, smash foes as a rock, bounce all over the place as a ball, defeat enemies with awful singing skills, and sleep on the job. Bet you can't. It adds a whole lot of variety to the game, because there's so many different things you can do. In fact, pretty much everything wrong with the original Dream Land is mended here: it's longer, it's tougher, and it's just plain better. Other fun facts: it was the first game to establish Kirby as pink, and it was also the debut of the mysterious masked swordsman Meta Knight, who would go on to become a major part of the Kirby cast. The game also contains a pretty shocking climax, so make sure you see it through to the end!

Unfortunately, the game hasn't aged quite as well as I'd hoped. The abilities can be horribly unbalanced and most are a bit too sluggish to be much use. It's also painfully apparent at times that the NES is reaching its limits when you get those tremendous amounts of lag, and it can be infuriating dropping your ability every single time you get hit.

A GBA remake, retitled Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, was released in 2002. It contains enhanced graphics and audio and removes the lag issues of the original, but otherwise doesn't really do anything to smoothen out the original's flaws. However, it did add a time attack mode known as Meta Knightmare, in which the player plays through the game again as Meta Knight in the fastest time possible, as well as a 4-player multiplayer mode (similar to Amazing Mirror's multiplayer except just not as good). Between the two I'd probably recommend the remake, but you're really not missing out on anything if you go with the original

PROSCONS
Copy Abilities are a great iconic additionAbilities are horribly unbalanced and not always useful
Big Switches encourage explorationAbilities are dropped after every hit
Epic climax sequence
 
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Alex95

NIWA Nut
Wiki Administrator
Nice to see this format is working for other people :P

I've only played a few Kirby games, mainly spin-offs. Kirby Air Ride, Star Stacker, and Epic Yarn. Have Kirby 64 through Virtual Console, and just recently played some of Adventure through SNES Online. Really need to play more :sneeze:
 

Paper Mario the First

He is the one and only....
Guess this has pretty much become a daily thing.

it can be infuriating dropping your ability every single time you get hit.
Oh man I remember this being *standard* in all Kirby games I've played including this one, Amazing Mirror, and Squeak Squad. It's due to the health system being measured in units rather than bars, so all damage you take is equal. I think it's pretty straightforward, at least you know what to expect when you get hit. Also, the abilities are pretty straightforward unlike in Super Star.
 

Ray Trace

You Can Tick Off Birds If You Follow My Advice
I think there's only very few instances where you can take two damage, the final boss laser attack in the Amazing Mirror for one.

Oh, and that's why Olive Ocean in Amazing Mirror can be annoying to play through, since you're stuck with the squirt most of the time regardless of what ability you take aside from weapons like Sword.

Carrot Castle is still the worst area in Amazing Mirror though.

Try to think of any other single game hero that can breathe fire, wield a sword, turn into a speedy car wheel, smash foes as a rock, bounce all over the place as a ball, defeat enemies with awful singing skills, and sleep on the job.
Dynamite Headdy is the closest one I can think of, heh, since he's multi-talented as well AND he sleeps on the job.
 

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
In hindsight, it is strange that the numbered Kirby sequels is comparatively unpopular compared to the Sakurai ones, even though the weight of having a number in the title shows that it is supposedly a logical conclusion. I suppose the ones that Sakurai contributed are pretty much considered main games, so the sequel games felt like a smaller branch. I do not know about everyone, but I enjoyed the nonverbal and simple approach taken in the numbered games, where every ability is shown as a symbol (compared to the Sakurai ones where it's text + portrait), and the cutscenes are textless. I don't think the approach taken in the numbered sequels will return because Super Star is the premier Kirby game that all newer Kirby games take after, but man I would appreciate if they decided to make a Kirby game that is entirely reliant on body language (and contain fewness of words) again.

Thank you for reading.
 

Kersti

YoshiFlutterJump
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
The thing about the numbered sequels is that, while they were definitely great, it was Sakurai's games that made the big leaps forward. Dream Land kicked off the series, Adventure introduced Copy Abilities, and Super Star expanded those Copy Abilities into full-on movesets. The numbered sequels made some fun additions too, but they weren't as pivotal as those in Sakurai's.

I will say that all games above #11 on this list were tough to decide upon an order for because they're all so fantastic.
 

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
The thing about the numbered sequels is that, while they were definitely great, it was Sakurai's games that made the big leaps forward. Dream Land kicked off the series, Adventure introduced Copy Abilities, and Super Star expanded those Copy Abilities into full-on movesets. The numbered sequels made some fun additions too, but they weren't as pivotal as those in Sakurai's.
Yeah, I am well aware that Sakurai made the most meaningful contributions, which is why they are exemplary as to be the model to build after. But I am more so making a case with the numbered sequels having something I liked (fewness of words) being used in a newer game, and of the recent games, Rainbow Curse is the closest to this since I don't think the cutscenes have words.

If you put it that way, what is Air Ride's biggest contribution to the Kirby series?

Thank you for reading.
 

Kersti

YoshiFlutterJump
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
If you put it that way, what is Air Ride's biggest contribution to the Kirby series?
I mean, Air Ride is a spinoff and I'm more referring to the main games. But even Air Ride has more influence on the main series than most spinoffs, such as a good amount of returning music, as well as being the first game to put Kirby in a full 3D space. Kirby for Nintendo GameCube was also slated to contain several enemies that originated in Air Ride.

I agree with you on textless cutscenes though. Dialogue's great and all but there's a certain charm to seeing the characters express emotion with actions, it just makes the scene feel so much deeper. It's one of the many reasons I love Rainbow Curse so much.
 

Ray Trace

You Can Tick Off Birds If You Follow My Advice
Extensive spray paints in later games may have been Air Ride's idea as well.

Why the hell haven't spray paints been in games since, btw? It's not like they're difficult to implement.
 

Kersti

YoshiFlutterJump
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
Sorry for the delay. Probably going to slow updates down a bit but here's #8:

Kirby: Squeak Squad / Kirby: Mouse Attack


Kirby: Squeak Squad (or Mouse Attack as you Europeans know it) is the eighth mainline Kirby game, released for Nintendo DS in 2006. Like Amazing Mirror, this game was developed by Flagship, and it runs on a similar engine to the aforementioned game. Perhaps one of the more divisive games in the series, Squeak Squad doesn't do a whole lot different from previous games, although it did at least try to bring back the ability movesets that made Super Star such a success. The biggest thing here is the ability scrolls. When collected, the scroll adds a new move to one of Kirby's Copy Abilities. Think of it as Kirby's form of character progression. A few scrolls, the ones for Sword and Bomb specifically, allow Kirby to add elements to the ability, a mechanic that never quite reached its true potential until Star Allies. Another thing is Kirby's stomach. Up to 5 bubbles containing abilities, 1-Ups, and other helpful items can be stored in Kirby's insides, shown on the touch screen, and can be taken out at any time. Gross. There are also four new abilities introduced: Animal and Bubble are fun, Metal isn't, and then there's Ghost. Ghost is an incredible ability that lets you take control of nearly any enemy you desire. Unfortunately, it's brutally underused, only available postgame, and practically useless. Talk about missed potential. There are also boring midboss fights in 80% of the levels that are complete jokes and super repetitive.

Oh yeah, and then there's the story where some thieves steal Kirby's cake and Kirby stops at nothing to get it back and an ancient dark force apparently likes cake just as much as Kirby. Pretty stupid, don't you think?

PROSCONS
Copy Ability Scrolls are neatAbility mixing had a ton of missed potential
Kirby's stomach is a neat (although disgusting) featureSo did Ghost
Hilariously stupid storyRepetitive midboss fights
 

Ray Trace

You Can Tick Off Birds If You Follow My Advice
I beat that ghost boss as a Waddle Doo. It was really time-consuming but I did it.
 

Kersti

YoshiFlutterJump
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
Happy Easter y'all! Here's number 7 for you!

Kirby's Dream Land 3


What, you forgot this game existed? Don't worry, you're not the only one. Released for SNES in 1997, Kirby's Dream Land 3 was a late-life title if there ever was one. The SNES already got Kirby Super Star released the previous year, just months before the launch of the Nintendo 64, and then another mainline Kirby title is released out of the blue. Seriously, you could have been a devoted Kirby player and still have had no idea that this game existed. It was the very last first-party SNES title in North America, and didn't see release in Europe at all until VC was a thing.

All of that aside, those who did play it back then noticed one other thing: nearly everything that made Super Star such a success was completely absent here. Ability movesets, helpers (for the most part), sub-games...none of that was here. But Dream Land 3 was never trying to be the next Super Star, instead following up on Dream Land 2. In addition to the returning friends Rick, Kine, and Coo, three new animal friends are present. Nago the cat can triple-jump, ChuChu the octopus can grab enemies, and then there's Pitch the falcon, who...well, let's just say that his ability combos are pretty awesome. In addition, one new copy ability, Cleaning, is introduced, bringing the total number of Animal Friend combinations to 48 on top of the 8 base abilities (in comparison, Dream Land 2 had 21 possible combinations and 7 base abilities). Additionally, Kirby's friend Gooey, who previously played a minor role in Dream Land 2, is now the player 2 character, replacing Helpers from Super Star; he has all of the same abilities as Kirby. You can also allow Gooey to be controlled by the AI, although the two hit points required to summon him are probably worth more because the AI isn't helpful at all. You know, the sad thing about Gooey is that he was all set to become the Luigi of the Kirby franchise before he was pretty much completely forgotten until Star Allies' Dream Friends. Even there, though, Gooey is typically not the first choice compared to some other Dream Friends.

Additionally, Dream Land 2's two-ending mechanic returns here, although replacing Rainbow Drops from the aforementioned game are Heart Stars. There is a Heart Star in each of the 30 regular stages, which are typically found by solving puzzles using the hint shown on the stage icon. Collecting them all will allow Kirby to assemble the Love-Love Stick and fight...that one boss that famously uses his own blood to attack. Reminder that this is a Kirby game. Just wow.

One last thing. The presentation of this game is rather controversial as far as graphics and soundtrack are concerned, but personally, I think it's beautiful. That picture up there doesn't do it justice; you have to go see it yourself. The soundtrack also sounds different from most other Kirby games, but in a good way, I think.

PROSCONS
Six animal friends add even more variety than Dream Land 2Gameplay is a step back from Super Star
Heart Stars will take a good amount of time to hunt downAI is useless
Beautiful presentation
 

winstein

Justice is not limited, it is a universal quality
I thought it was amusing that (Squeak Squad's) Prism Plain's theme is very reminiscent to Kirby Dream Land 3's Grass Land 3.

Anyway, although Kirby 3 is destined to be a forgotten game in favour of Super Star, plus its timing meant that it will be forgotten, at least it was the first game to be released on the SNES Online service so it's got some attention, although it's probably superseded by Super Star after that was released on the next wave. Unpopular opinion, but Super Star's graphical style felt generic as opposed to Kirby 3. The art style made it very charming, plus every character is always moving, even when they are still.

Thank you for reading.
 

Kersti

YoshiFlutterJump
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards


Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is the sixth main-series title in the Kirby series, released for Nintendo 64 in 2000. Most of Nintendo's major franchises made the jump to full 3D upon hitting the N64. Kirby did too...kind of. Kirby's movement is still locked to 2D, but man, the camera here really works wonders. I mean, just look at how beautiful that level in the above picture looks!

Anyway, this is the final of the three games directed by Shinichi Shimomura, the previous two being Dream Land 2 and 3. The trademark of this game, besides the obvious camera, is the new Power Combo feature; of the seven base abilities, any one of them can be combined with any other, even itself. This creates a total of 28 Power Combos. Some of these are better than others, of course (looking at you, Melting Ice Cube), but all at least look entertaining and the best ones are the Sith Lord, Refrigerator, Volcano, and Giant Shark Teeth abilities. I'm not kidding, all four of those actually exist, and there's plenty more like it. While Animal Friends, the trademark of Shimomura's previous games, do not return, one of the Power Combos lets you play as stone forms of each Animal Friend (but woe to you Kine fans out there).

Besides that, this game is remembered for its memorable cast of characters. A fairy known as Ribbon flies to Kirby for help after her home planet, Ripple Star, is overtaken by Dark Matter. She and Kirby venture to find the scattered shards of the Great Crystal, the only weapon that can destroy Dark Matter for good. Along the way, they find a Waddle Dee, artist Adeleine (who previously appeared in Dream Land 3), and King Dedede, who subsequently join their cause. Each character has unique abilities: Ribbon holds the Crystal Shards that Kirby has collected, Waddle Dee is good with moving vehicles, Adeline helps Kirby solve puzzles, and King Dedede can bust through rock walls. They're all only secondary characters though; most of the time you'll be playing as Kirby. And unfortunately, Adeleine and Ribbon met the same fate as Gooey after this game, although they were at least luckier than Gooey in terms of fan reputation...

The two-ending system returns, with the Crystal Shards being the new essential item. There are three Crystal Shards in each regular stage and one in each boss stage, making a total of 72 to hunt down. Every one must be collected to defeat the true final boss, who seems to be an undead form of that bloody boss from the previous game.

PROSCONS
Power Combos are wacky and crazy funGameplay isn't as smooth as other games
Beautiful 3D environmentsSome Power Combos are not very great
Memorable characters
 

Kersti

YoshiFlutterJump
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
Kirby Super Star / Kirby's Fun Pak / Kirby Super Star Ultra


Kirby Super Star (originally known as Kirby's Fun Pak in Europe) is the fourth main-series title in the Kirby series, released for SNES in 1996. It is the third and final main-series title directed by Masahiro Sakurai, following Dream Land and Adventure; he would later direct Kirby Air Ride before leaving HAL and starting his own company. Super Star is a fan favorite and is also perhaps the most well-known installment in the series. The game pretty much introduces the next big step for the series, that being that Copy Abilities now have wide and diverse movesets. Returning abilities with similar concepts, such as Fire and Burning, are now merged into a single Copy Ability; others, like Sword, now have a lot more flexibility. The gameplay feels really smooth because of it, and it has this modern feel to it that a lot of other Kirby games of the time didn't have. The game also introduces 2-player co-op to the series; at any time Kirby can sacrifice his current Copy Ability to create the enemy he gained it from--only the enemy is now a Helper. The Helper can then be controlled by either a second player or the AI (which isn't great, but Kirby's seen a lot worse).

The main game is divided into six different sub-games. The first is Spring Breeze, a remake of Kirby's Dream Land that serves as a tutorial for the game's mechanics, including Copy Abilities and Helpers, which weren't featured in the original game. The second is Gourmet Race, in which Dedede challenges Kirby to some sort of cross between a footrace and an eating contest. The third is Dyna Blade, a more traditional adventure in which Kirby must defeat a giant bird who is destroying the farmers' crops. The Great Cave Offensive is an open-world exploration mode in which Kirby must find as many treasures as possible while escaping an underground cave. Revenge of Meta Knight is a timed mode in which Kirby must stop Meta Knight and his crew from taking over Dream Land before time runs out. Lastly, Milky Way Wishes sees Kirby on a quest to activate the Galactic Nova to make peace between the sun and moon; Kirby cannot gain Copy Abilities by inhaling enemies in this mode, and must collect Deluxe Copy Essences to add them to his permanent inventory. There are also two smaller minigames, Megaton Punch and Samurai Kirby, as well as The Arena, a boss endurance mode unlocked after Milky Way Wishes is completed.

A remake of the game, Kirby Super Star Ultra (yes it's called that in Europe too for some reason), was released for Nintendo DS in 2008. It introduces a seventh main game known as Revenge of the King, a sequel to Spring Breeze that features altered level layouts and harder bosses. It also adds Meta Knightmare Ultra, a successor to Meta Knightmare from Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land, and like its predecessor, it pits Meta Knight on a timed quest to play through all main games (barring Gourmet Race and Revenge of the King) to become the strongest warrior in the galaxy. The remake also adds two more boss endurance modes, Helper to Hero and The True Arena; the former has you play The Arena as a helper of your choice, and the latter puts you against an altered form of The Arena that instead uses bosses from Revenge of the King and Meta Knightmare Ultra. Even if you already have the original game, the remake is worth getting if at all possible, but if Amazon prices are too high for your tastes then you can't go wrong with the original.

PROSCONS
Story is split into six main games with unique play stylesYou can't drop Copy Abilities without summoning a Helper (fixed in Ultra)
Reworked Copy Abilities make the game feel surprisingly modern
2-player co-op is a blast
 

Kersti

YoshiFlutterJump
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
Kirby's Return to Dream Land / Kirby's Adventure Wii


Kirby's Return to Dream Land, or Kirby's Adventure Wii for you folks in Europe, is the long-awaited ninth installment in the main Kirby series, released for Wii in 2011. It was the first major Kirby game released on a home console since Kirby 64 in 2000, as the culmination of three distinct canceled projects conceived and developed over a span of 11 years. And Shinya Kumazaki's first original game sure was worth the wait!

The game has two major selling points. The first of these is the return of 4-player co-op. While Nightmare in Dream Land and The Amazing Mirror also supported 4-player co-op, limitations of the GBA had prevented them from realizing its full potential. Return to Dream Land finally makes drop-in drop-out multiplayer a reality, and all you need to use it is a spare Wii Remote. Furthermore, in addition to alternate Kirby colors, additional players can hop in as King Dedede, Meta Knight, or Bandana Waddle Dee (although their use in single player is restricted to The Arena, unfortunately). It really is as seamless as it sounds.

Copy Abilities return to the moveset-based structure of Super Star at long last, and now I question why the games ever reverted to the single-move format of Adventure. Four new abilities introduced as well: Leaf, Spear, Whip, and Water (yes, Water had only ever appeared in the cartoon before this game). In addition, stronger variants of abilities known as Super Abilities appear, which is the other selling point of this game. There are five such abilities: Ultra Sword, Monster Flame, Flare Beam, Snow Bowl, and Grand Hammer. While none of these abilities are very deep, which is a little disappointing, you can't deny just how amazing these things look on screen.

The presentation in the game is fantastic, with impressive graphics for a Wii game and one of the most memorable soundtracks in the series. This is just the cherry on top of one of the greatest games in the series. ...Why is it only #4, you ask? Because this was only the first of four different masterpieces created by Shinya Kumazaki.

PROSCONS
Moveset-based abilities return after a 15-year absenceSuper Abilities are a tad disappointing
4-player co-op is seamless and a ton of fun
Presentation is fantastic
 

Kersti

YoshiFlutterJump
Awards Committee
Poll Committee
Kirby: Triple Deluxe


Kirby: Triple Deluxe is the tenth mainline Kirby game, released for Nintendo 3DS in 2014. Its name is particularly peculiar, and several theories have been made as to what it means. Some say that it's a callback to Kirby of the Stars: Super Deluxe, the Japanese name of Kirby Super Star. Others say it represents the 3DS, when abbreviated 3D, which coincidentally also references Dedede, who plays a major role in the game's story. HAL's answer? They came up with the codename 3DX, with the "3D" representing the 3DS and the "X" representing the roman numeral for 10, as this is the tenth mainline Kirby game. The 3 became Triple, and DX became Deluxe. And I'll admit, I would never have been able to come up with such a clever name.

As for the game itself, it's a lot like its predecessor, Return to Dream Land, running on the same basic engine. The graphics and gameplay are essentially the same. But there are some new mechanics that make the level design that much more entertaining. Firstly, 3D Warp Stars allow Kirby to jump between the foreground and background, with certain areas spanning two planes. This is great for visual effects, but there are also times where the game gives you an item of some kind to influence the background while platforming on the foreground, and that's where the game really gets wild.

In addition, four new Copy Abilities are introduced: Archer, Bell, Beetle, and Circus. These are all very fun to use, Bell especially, and are fantastic additions to Kirby's arsenal. There's also the new Hypernova power-up, which dramatically enhances Kirby's inhale, and could be considered the sole Super Ability in the game. Kirby can inhale anything--blocks, enemies, trees, even bosses! This ability is often used for various puzzles, and its use is a lot deeper than the previous Super Abilities in Return to Dream Land.

Additionally, this game is known for its two sub-games: Kirby Fighters, a Kirby-fied version of Smash, and Dedede's Drum Dash, a rhythm platformer. Both provide more in-depth experiences than most other Kirby sub-games, and received enhanced standalone releases on the eShop as Kirby Fighters Deluxe and Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe, respectively. The game also features a new mode called DededeTour, which is essentially a successor to Meta Knightmare and Meta Knightmare Ultra, only this time, King Dedede must journey through the game to restore peace to his kingdom and take his place as Hero of Dream Land.

Lastly, the presentation is very much like that of Return to Dream Land, and every bit as good. Levels now opt for a more floral theme to complement the fantasy-like story and atmosphere, and the soundtrack is a real jam. All in all, Triple Deluxe takes everything that made Return to Dream Land such a success and runs wild with it. It's every bit as great as its predecessor and never ceases to impress.

PROSCONS
Two planes complement the level design wonderfully and unlock all sorts of possibilities
Hypernova is used to its full potential and doesn't disappoint
Sub-games provide a more in-depth experience compared to previous games
 
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