The Imperfect Pink Puffball Package
Kirby is without a doubt Nintendo's most versatile character. He's been in traditional platformers, atypical platforming games like Kirby: Canvas Curse and Kirby Mass Attack, racing games like Kirby Air Ride, puzzle games like Kirby Star Stacker, pinball games, and even a blend of billiards and golf in Kirby's Dream Course. This year marks the pink puffball's 20th anniversary. (Nintendo's little bundle of cuteness is almost old enough to legally drink!) To commemorate, Nintendo has released Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition, a compendium of six Kirby games on one disc with numerous extras. Is this collection a dream come true?
As stated, Kirby's 20th anniversary package possesses six of the more popular and well-known Kirby games. In the package there is Kirby's Dream Land (Game Boy, 1992), Kirby's Adventure (NES, 1993), Kirby's Dream Land 2 (Game Boy, 1995), Kirby Super Star (SNES, 1996), Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SNES, 1997), and finally Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (Nintendo 64, 2000).
|The six games of the collection.|
|The Game Boy titles have a special border around them.|
Kirby's Dream Land 2 brought with it animal buddies for Kirby to ride. Depending on what power Kirby had copied, each animal had a different attack style. There were three animals that joined Kirby's second handheld outing: Rick the Hamster, Coo the Owl, and Kine the Fish. Beating the game 100% is probably one of the most difficult tasks in a Kirby game. The game already is more challenging than your typical Kirby, but the addition of Rainbow Drops and trying to attain them makes matters more arduous.
|Oh, how a series can evolve over time.|
Kirby's Dream Land 3 took the handheld franchise and placed it on a home console for the first and last time. The game is most notable for having an art style reminiscent of someone using colored pencils for all of the aesthetics. It is incredibly pleasing to the eye. Each level in Kirby's Dream Land 3 had its own side objective. For example, one level's objective would be completed by not trampling over any flowers. To reach the true final boss of the game, all objectives needed to be finished off.
|Animal partners returned in Kirby's Dream Land 3.|
Perhaps my only gripe with the collection of six games is that they are 1:1 conversions. That is to say that no alterations were made at all to make the games run or look better than they did when they released on their respective systems. Now, one could argue that this is a good thing -- they're faithful to the originals -- but there are obnoxious technical problems. For instance, in Kirby's Adventure, when there is too much hubbub happening on the screen at one time, there is an immense amount of slowdown. I would have loved to see Nintendo fix this. I knew it was not going to happen as Nintendo with their classic games (Virtual Console) are satisfied with releasing the original game with no touch ups, but it is disappointing regardless.
Apart from the six games the compendium contains, there is a slew of bonus content attached in the box and on the Wii disc. In the box alone are two goodies: a 40+ song soundtrack spanning across Kirby's stellar career (with two original tracks and a remix included), and a 45 page celebration book that possesses never-before-seen art work, design documents, and the history of every Kirby game ever released.
|The collection in all of its opened glory.|
|From games to trivia, the timeline has you covered.|
|Return to Dream Land lovers will feel right at home.|
Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition is definitely one of the best collections Nintendo has put out. It puts Mario's 25th anniversary Super Mario All-Stars package to absolute shame. I would have liked to see the classic Kirby games given upgrades as done with Metroid Prime Trilogy's original games. That said, for forty dollars you get six excellent Kirby games, a soundtrack spanning Kirby history, a book with loads of information to absorb, a cool interactive timeline, original and fun challenge stages, and three episodes of the Kirby anime to sit down and enjoy. Kirby's Dream Collection will no doubt be a dream come true for Kirby fans. As for everyone else, what do you have to lose by trying out one of most accessible (but still enjoyable) franchises in gaming?
[SuperPhillip Says: 9.0/10]