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It has been roughly a year since I lasted played a Kirby game, and being one of my favorite franchises, I thought I would rectify that by purchasing 3D Classics: Kirby’s Adventure. I always loved this game, even though I never finished it. I know that makes little sense, but let us not dwell on that. Last weekend I sat down and finally saw the credits scroll by, which brings us to this review. Simply put, Kirby’s Adventure is an absolute blast.
Kirby’s Adventure takes place in Dream Land, which is inhabited by people who take naps after meals and later discuss their dreams with others, essentially how I live my life. One day, trouble arose as no one had any dreams during their sleep. Kirby set out for the Dream Fountain to see what the problem was, only to find King Dedede taking a bubble bath in the fountain. Kirby asked him what he was up to, and finds that King Dedede broke the Dream Wand into pieces and gave them to his friends. With that, Kirby sets out to retrieve the pieces of the wand and return dreams to Dream Land.
This game takes place across seven worlds with roughly six stages each, followed by a boss fight. Before each world, an amusing cutscene shows Kirby trying to enjoy himself but gets foiled by an enemy. It is quirky and will put a smile on even the grumpiest gamer. Levels are nicely varied with no setting being overused. Some take place in the forest, others in castles, and one on a pirate ship. Throughout many stages will be a mini boss fight, although they will be fought multiple times throughout the game. In addition to being well designed, some levels will take only a minute or so to complete. While by today’s standards it may seem outdated, it suits the handheld quite well, as you can pick up and play a handful of stages while waiting in the car or on the bus to work.
Breaking up the action stages includes a number of bonus levels with mini games. One involves a crane used to pick up doll Kirby’s that will translate to extra lives. Arena gives you a chance to win a maximum tomato and an ability if you can beat a mini boss. Quick Draw, my favorite, is a western showdown, were as soon as your opponent raises his gun, you got to press the “A” button to shoot first.
Kirby is one of those characters which everyone knows about. Mario jumps on Goombas; Link uses the Master Sword; Kirby swallows his enemies. While each game in the series usually has one innovation exclusive to that title, Kirby’s Adventure marks the first time Kirby can copy abilities from an enemy. There is a joy to be had just experimenting with some of these abilities such as Sword Kirby or Umbrella Kirby. One of the funniest is Microphone Kirby, in which he sings into a microphone and kills everything on screen. I will not spoil all of them, but some are sure to amuse and delight.
The longer a console has been on the market, the more educated developers are and as a result, can squeeze it for every last bit of power. If someone wants evidence of this, then look no further no Kirby’s Adventure. The graphics are outstanding, and even though it is merely 8 bits, they hold up quite well in my opinion. Characters have fluid movements, and the range of actions Kirby can do with his abilities are mind blowing. The environments feature colorful graphics with nice detail. Of course, having the name 3D Classics, it is obvious that this game can be played with the 3D effect, and while it is cool for a bit, I found myself playing without it most of the time. One cannot mention the presentation in a Kirby game without talking about the music. In my opinion, Kirby ranks among the best soundtracks in gaming. The soundtrack is happy, cheerful and puts you in the right mood for the pink puffball, although I am disappointed in the lack of King Dedede’s theme. Overall, Kirby’s Adventure look and style aged gracefully over the years standing as one of the best looking and sounding NES games.
As one of Nintendo’s main franchises, Kirby’s first console title stands up extremely well, and I was astonished at how many times I found myself smiling along with the game. It may not be the hardest platformer, but some stages did make me lose a lot of lives. Kirby’s Adventure is a cute, clever and fun game that I recommend to anyone in search of a platformer. At around eight dollars on the eshop, there is no excuse not to own this game and spend some time in Dream Land.