Wednesday, November 30, 2011

3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure (3DS) Review

We conclude our month of platformers with a new review. It is time to take a gander at our first 3D Classic from the Nintendo 3DS eShop. It is a title that is much more meaty than previous 3D Classics, Kirby's Adventure.

More Than Meets the Glasses-less Eyes

Kirby floats onto the 3DS in downloadable form with 3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure. For those of you not in the know, the 3D Classics series is where Nintendo takes a classic game and gives it the stereoscopic 3D touch. The original Kirby's Adventure appeared on the original Nintendo Entertainment System where Kirby first appeared pink. Prior to that and on the Game Boy, Kirby was a white powder puff as there was no way to tell what color the always hungry hero was via the black and white Game Boy screen. I digress. Is Kirby's retro journey to restore the star rod to Dream Land a successful one, or is the price tag and content of the game hard to swallow?

Kirby's rival, King Dedede, has stolen the fabled star rod from the denizens of Dream Land. He has broken it up within multiple pieces and has given them to his best bosses. A puffball on a mission, Kirby must traverse food-themed worlds to gather each piece of the broken star rod and teach King Dedede yet another lesson in civility. The entire story is set up in the opening cutscene, that is, the cutscene the occurs if players don't touch any button on the title screen. It is a simple premise great for children, but don't be fooled-- this game is for everybody.

Kirby's Adventure has our floating hero strolling through levels of increasing difficulty, sucking up enemies, and taking their powers. After a foe has entered Kirby's mouth, a downward press on the d-pad will transform Kirby into a new form (pending that enemy has a form to copy). There are many powers for Kirby to nab including tornado, laser, storm, fire, ice, sword, and many more. Storm, for instance, gives Kirby the ability to create a static shock around him, destroying any enemy foolishly standing nearby. The hammer ability gives Kirby a mallet to not only smack baddies with, but also smash wooden stakes to open otherwise unreachable paths. Additionally, there are one time only use abilities like crash and mic which take out every opponent on the screen in a grandiose fashion. However, if Kirby takes even a slither of damage, the ability will be lost. A star containing the ability will bounce away, and Kirby will have to suck it back up before it disappears if he wants to continue using it.

Beam is one of the first abilities players will come across.

Kirby can infinitely float in the air through presses of the d-pad in the upward direction. Enemies that are sucked up can not only be swallowed, but they can be shot back out at other foes. This is terrific for enemies that do not give any powers to Kirby. Case in point, Kirby has a lot to offer players with his ability to copy foes' powers, float over hazardous chasms, and take down opponents wanting nothing more than to destroy the pink puffball.

Suck and chuck.

Levels themselves are divided up between multiple "rooms." Generally it is a left-to-right affair, sometimes a vertical one with Kirby either going to the top of the screen and sometimes Kirby going to the bottom of the screen. Occasionally Kirby will come across a power that will open the way to a secret area or perhaps a secret switch. These switches open up new areas on the level select map. These can be mini-games like a quick draw competition, a crane game mini-game where players move a crane to attempt to pick up differently sized Kirby dolls, each worth a different 1up value, and a game where Kirby scarves down many eggs while closing his mouth when King Dedede chucks a bomb at him. There's even a game at the goal of each level (marked by a star over the door) where a well-timed button press will launch Kirby up to the highest platform where he'll earn an extra life.

Chunky Kirbys are worth two 1ups
while a regular size Kirby is worth one.

Every final level in each world is a boss battle. Kirby veterans will be familiar with most of the bosses that King Dedede places in Kirby's path such as Whispy Woods, Kracko, among others. The boss battles are the most difficult part of the game, and they can certainly make players get their butts handed to them-- especially Kracko's fight where the cloud creature moves in fast patterns and there is but a short window of opportunity to attack.

Kirby's Adventure works well in 3D with platforms popping out and backgrounds feeling and looking like they are far away. The parallax effects are impressive as well. This remains one of the best looking NES titles the system has to offer. The soundtrack features many memorable tunes that would go on to be included in the history of the franchise like Butter Building and Ice Cream Island. Sound effects are sometimes grating, but for the most part they are pleasant to listen to despite the technical limitations of the NES sound card.

When underwater, Kirby shoots out water to take out foes.

3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure is a relatively short romp, but it desires players to go through it multiple times. It is the type of game like Super Mario Bros. 3 or A Link to the Past that players will find enjoy in playing through once again, perhaps on a rainy afternoon. The 3D effects create an added sense of depth (no pun intended) and look sensational even if the game doesn't cover the entire 3DS top screen (the image is cropped). This is without a doubt the only 3D Classic worth purchasing unless you happen to like featureless shmups. After all, it is almost impossible to hate on Kirby.

[SuperPhillip Says: 7.75/10]

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