A review by Rebecca Fleming
I should probably start by admitting that I had never played a Kirby game before. I also went in with fairly low expectations. I thought, “Meh, it’s a kid’s game, I’ll get bored with it pretty quickly”. It was an impulse buy because it was on special and I wanted a new platformer, otherwise I wouldn’t have bought it. I’m glad I did, though, because I ended up having a lot of fun with the game. Since Kirby Triple Deluxe contains two ‘sub’ games as well as the main game, I’ll review each one separately.
The main game begins after a huge beanstalk grows up under Dream Land (and Kirby’s house), lifting it high into the sky. Kirby finds himself in a strange new land called Floralia. The ruler of Floralia, Taranza, has captured King Dedede. Kirby sets off to defeat Taranza, rescue King Dedede and restore his beloved Dream Land to normal. The story is pretty basic but there’s more than enough cute charm and humour in this game to make up for it.
The bulk of Kirby Triple Deluxe is a 2D platformer, though you could almost call it 2.5D; Kirby can use warp stars to travel between the foreground and the background, which is sometimes the only way to traverse a level. Sometimes enemies can attack Kirby from the background (either by shooting him or lunging directly) and environmental hazards can fall towards the screen as well. Some parts of the game also make use of the 3DS’s gyroscope, requiring the player to tilt the console in order to move something on the screen. While this sounds like it could be gimmicky or annoying, I found that these sections generally worked well and there weren’t many of them anyway.
As in many other Kirby games, Kirby can inhale enemies and copy their abilities, including their costume and weapons. Some of these are from older games but there are some new abilities. I think my favourites are Beetle Kirby (a rhino horn helmet that allows Kirby to ram and slam enemies) and Archer Kirby (with the ability to shoot at enemies from a long distance with his bow). One of the new abilities is especially cool; if Kirby swallows a red-and-yellow seed hanging from a special stalk, he gains the Hypernova ability that allows him to inhale with tremendous force. This lets him swallow giant enemies or objects or move some heavy obstacles in order to solve puzzles or navigate the level.
There are six stages in Kirby Triple Deluxe, each with a different theme. Each stage contains five standard levels (plus a sixth that unlocks once all Sun Stones have been found in that stage) and a boss battle level. Once you’ve beaten the game once, a new mode unlocks where you can play through the levels again as King Dedede.
Kirby Fighters can best be summed up as Super Smash Bros: Kirby Edition. Instead of playing with a variety of characters from Nintendo franchises, you play as Kirbys (Kirbies? Not sure what the correct plural is for the little pink ball) with different copy abilities found within the game. In single-player mode, you pick one of ten copy abilities and then go through seven rounds in a variety of stages, fighting against Kirbys with various other copy abilities. Some of these fights will be one-on-one while others involve up to four Kirbys. Depending on the time it takes to complete the stages, you will be awarded medals.
There’s also the option to play against friends in multiplayer and, if you really enjoy Kirby Fighters, you can go to the eShop and buy an expanded version called Kirby Fighters Deluxe, which has five extra stages and adds a Team Battle capability, allowing you to have teams of 1–3 fighters as opposed to just having four Kirbys in a free-for-all. This expanded version will set you back $9.10, but I can’t comment on it much aside from listing its features above; while I enjoyed the mini game as part of Kirby’s Triple Deluxe, it wasn’t enough to make me want to shell out for a longer version.
Dedede’s Drum Dash
This game is a rhythm game featuring King Dedede, in which you must carefully time your button taps to help Dedede jump along a long line of drums, collecting coins and avoiding obstacles that can slow you down and/or cause you damage. You can move Dedede to the left or right, though you get bonuses for making it to the end of the level in a shorter time (as well as for avoiding damage and getting all coins). Like Kirby Fighters, this game also has an expanded version (Dedede’s Drum Dash Deluxe) available on the eShop for $9.10 but, again, I didn’t feel compelled to buy it once I’d played through the levels included in Kirby’s Triple Deluxe. Even though there were only four stages, the game play started to feel repetitive quite quickly.
In short: Kirby Triple Deluxe
The music in Kirby Triple Deluxe is upbeat and pretty catchy. I also really liked the bright, colourful graphics and the level designs, which provided a nice variety of environments for the lovable little pink ball to bounce and float through. The game also has some StreetPass functionality, which means that if you pass someone else who’s been playing Kirby Triple Deluxe, their face will appear randomly in one of the levels with a Waddle Dee, who will throw you food items to heal yourself (and sometimes other goodies). For the collectaholics out there, finding all the Sun Stones will keep you happy for a while, as will finding all the different Keychains, which you can admire in your collection. The Sun Stones and some Keychains can be found as you play through the levels, while other Keychains may be awarded as part of the post-level mini-game bonus.
Kirby Triple Deluxe is not a really difficult game to get through, so players who want something to give them a solid challenge will need to look elsewhere. On the other hand, some of the collectibles are tricky to find, let alone to actually get, so this will provide a bit more challenge for those who want it. Enemies and obstacles are, for the most part, very easy to avoid. Food (what Kirby uses to replenish his health) is in good supply throughout the levels. The mini games were a nice little addition and provided something different, though once I got through the small selection of stages there, I’d more or less had my fill. The main story was also quite short, taking about 5 hours to complete, although the ability to replay it as King Dedede increases the play time. Overall, if you like 2D platformers, Kirby Triple Deluxe is a worthwhile purchase.
Format: Digital download (eShop) and physical cart
Other platforms: NA
Price: ~$55 AUD