Kirby Triple Deluxe offers the experience of a console adventure right into your hands, and with its high production values and attention to detail, Hal Laboratory has produced another Supernova in Dream Land's night sky.
Editor's Note: Kirby's Dream Land 2 was my first game in the series, I remember back in the GB days I used to have this Nintendo Power issue where they highlighted a handful of games in the GB lifespan, and Kirby (back then a white puff ball) captured my eyes, I remember going to the shop and finding out there wasn't a Kirby Dream Land in stock, in its place was a new iteration of the game, and a lot of cute animals were in the box, I bought it... and never turned back, it quickly became one of my favorite game series ever! I later lent the game to a friend, only to never see it again, in exchange I got another gem of the GB era, Mole Mania, but that's a story for another day...
In Kirby Triple Deluxe our favourite pink puff ball has to traverse through the floating Kingdom of Floralia in pursue of a new enemy, Taranza, who has kidnapped the self-proclaimed King of Dream Land. Will Kirby's latest adventure become another star in the sky or will it shine like a Popstar?
Graphics & Level Design
Kirby Triple Deluxe may be one of the prettiest games ever released for the 3DS, what the game lacks in art style it makes up for with the detail put into each of the six worlds, enemy designs and animations.
The game uses a 2.5D perspective for the layout of the levels, enemies attack from the different "layers", much like in Kirby's Return to Dreamland for the Wii, the only difference is Kirby can now travel between the background and foreground thanks to the help of a special Warp Star, a mechanic perfectly suited for the 3DS' capabilities. The level themes are varied, and some of them are new to the series which is a nice addition to the ever expanding catalog of Kirby environments, from Canyons to Snowy Mountains, Green Fields and Circus Themed Haunted Houses, Kirby Triple Deluxe rarely feels repetitive!
Of all the new abilities, the biggest addition is the Supernova one, it can only be achieved whenever Kirby encounters a tree bearing a Super Fruit, once Kirby touches it, he'll transform into Hypernova Kirby, an (even greater) Eating Machine, uprooting trees, beating mini bosses and even eating the background of the levels are one of the many things Hypernova Kirby can manage without breaking a sweat.
But it wouldn't be a Kirby game without mentioning the copy abilities, more than twenty copy abilities make the roster of this game, including the four new ones, and just like in Return to Dream Land (and Kirby Super Star before it), each one of them offers a set of special moves, and most of them can be chained up in combo moves. Endless possibilities to clear a level are at your hand and the new abilities fit perfectly next to the classic ones like Sword, Hammer, and Cutter.
Of the new abilities my favorite might be Bell Kirby, it's so ridiculously cute watching Kirby beat an enemy endlessly with a couple of bells in hand. From the classic abilities, Sword got a couple of upgrades, one of them called Sky Energy Sword, seriously it wasn't taken from Skyward Sword...
Over 120 tracks, to be more specific, 132 tracks composed by Kirby veterans Jun Ishikawa and Hirokazu Ando, capturing the essence of what a Kirby Soundtrack should always strive for, contrary to what the famous "Fountain of Dreams" theme has made us believe, Kirby's characteristic style isn't about the high quality live orchestrated sound, instead Kirby Triple Deluxe opts for the use of Midi and quirky 8-bit sounds mixed in with live instruments. With styles ranging from Jazz to Heavy Metal and anything in between, the theme songs will always blend in perfectly with your surroundings, in such way that can only be described as Epic & Magical.
If you want to have an idea how Super Smash Bros. should feel like on the 3DS screen then Kirby Fighters is the best beta version of the upcoming summer blockbuster, this sub mode doesn't boast the high complexity of the aforementioned brawler, nevertheless, Kirby Fighters delivers a hectic, easy-to-play entertaining experience.
The only downside is the lack of customization options and online play, but to be honest, I don't think it was ever intended to become a competitive affair, it's just one of the many prototypes Hal Laboratory tend to include on their games, it just happens to be that Kirby Fighters is much more than just a simple mini-game.
I can't and won't say much, but for those who have previously played a Kirby game, specifically Kirby Super Star (Ultra) should have an idea what to expect after the final (?) credits rolls in, what I can say is the extra game modes will definitely extend the game's replay value by a notch.
Main Quest Length & Difficulty
Kirby Triple Deluxe main quest isn't very long, just like any other Kirby game your first playthrough of the game can be completed in 8-10 hours, depending if you're willing to get all the collectibles, and unlock all the secret levels. Obviously the length is hampered by the game's forgiving nature due to Kirby's overpowered abilities, it has always been the way of the series, and those expecting a challenge won't get it until much much later in the game.
Dedede's Drum Dash
The second sub-mode of Kirby Triple Deluxe is a rhythm mini game where King Dedede bounces to a handful of classic Kirby tunes re-arranged specifically for the game, although the game is fun and challenging, the learning curve isn't as forgiving as the main game, the first few tries will frustrate you, and once you start getting the hang of it, the game is over.
Kirby fans won't be disappointed with the game, and newcomers will fall in love with the game's charms, Hal Laboratory just made the most ambitious game in the series since Masahiro Sakurai departure after Kirby Air Ride, and for that I say...
It may not have the lovely art style of Epic Yarn, the refreshing gameplay of Canvas Curse, or the dungeon crawling exploration of The Amazing Mirror, but for what it is... an entertaining platformer with charming graphics, upbeat music, and simple yet engaging gameplay, it is simply the best "traditional" Kirby game ever released, the extra modes and the collectible Key Chains are the icing of the cake in Kirby Triple Deluxe.