It’s no secret, especially for longtime readers, that I’ve never really gotten into the Kirby series. I still don’t know why that is. It’s sort of like Pokémon, where I had every opportunity possible, and yet for one reason or another I just never gave the series a proper chance. When I picked up my Wii U I downloaded Kirby’s Adventure on the Virtual Console and started to play through it. Once again, I couldn’t finish the game because other titles started popping up that I needed to review. At this point I figured there must be some kind of Kirby curse I have that’s preventing me from actually sitting down and finishing one of these games. Fast forward to last week and Nintendo had a pretty sweet deal on the Wii U Virtual Console. Purchase any two SNES Kirby games, and get a third one for free. So I decided it was about time I sit down and play through one of these games.
The three games included in the offer were Kirby’s Dream Course, Kirby Super Star, and Kirby’s Dream Land 3. Now what I’m about to write is basically my reaction to these games. I know virtually nothing about the series, so it’s entirely possible the information I write here is completely wrong. Just bare with me.
The first game I tried, which also happened to be the first one I downloaded was Kirby’s Dream Course. I tried it for maybe three minutes and thought to myself “wtf is this?” At first it looked like some kind of golf game, but then I realized it actually played more like pool. There was a course with three weird looking dudes on it, and the objective was to roll Kirby into those objects. I finished the first course and closed down the game, thinking to myself that I’d never return. I likely wouldn’t have either if it weren’t for Steven telling me to try it again. He explained the mechanics of the game in further detail, and so I tried it again.
It’s a really unique take pool. The objective is to take out all the enemies on the field. By doing so the final enemy turns into the hole in which you want to get Kirby into. Some enemies grant special power-ups like the ability to jump. It’s also possible to give Kirby a little extra bounce by pressing the A button at the exact moment he touches the surface of the field. These techniques make it possible to score a hole-in-one in almost every course. That’s what I’ve been trying to do at least, and thanks to the restore points it’s actually possible, although not easy. The game requires a fairly intense level of precision. You have to angle Kirby just right, and hit him with just enough power or else you’ll miss your target, or he won’t drop in the hole at the end.
While I’ve been enjoying my time with the game thus far, it isn’t a traditional Kirby, so the next game I tried was Kirby Super Star, which turns out isn’t exactly a traditional Kirby either. It’s actually a collection of mini-games and macro-games. At first I had no idea what the heck was going on, as the title screen is broken down into a bunch of squares with titles on them. Was there an order in which you’re supposed to complete the games? I had no clue. I just selected the first one and was taken to what looked exactly like Kirby’s Dream Land, except with SNES graphics.
This one I really enjoyed right at the onset. There’s a partner character you can activate whenever you gain a new ability, and the traditional gameplay feels perfect. I stopped after I finished that first game because I wanted to get to Dream Land 3. I plan to try the other games contained in this set once I have a chance.
I knew Dream Land 3 would be the best of the bunch, if only because I knew it was part of the main Kirby series. I wasn’t disappointed either. Much like Yoshi’s Island on the SNES, the hand-drawn sprites look incredible. It blows my mind just how well some of these games have aged. Gameplay is exactly what you’d expect from the series, with Kirby moving around platforms, sucking up enemies and gaining their powers. He also brings along a helper character which is extremely useful, and there are certain animal friends scattered around everywhere which you can use to mix and match different powers. Each stage also has a character that will give you a star if you do something for them. Sometimes this means not killing any plants, other times it means using the right animal friend with the correct power combination to access a mini-boss and take it down.
I played through the entire first world (six of so stages), making sure I grabbed all the stars along the way. While I had to switch gears to review Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, I plan to return to Dream Land 3 ASAP.
So there you have my current Kirby update. I really want to finish Dream Land 3, as it’s an excellent game that I missed out on years ago, and I know Steven will keep pressuring me to finish Dream Course. If I can actually play through all of Dream Land 3 I will have accomplished a life goal, actually giving the series its proper respect. Right now I’m really enjoying my time with the game, and am looking forward to finishing it!