Kirby Triple Deluxe Review for Nintendo 3DS

Kirby Triple Deluxe Review for Nintendo 3DS

There’s a Kirby-Shaped Hole in All of Our Hearts

I’ve always considered Kirby something of an ironic, iconic character. He’s an amorphous, adorable, blobular character. Charming, to be sure, but he looks nothing like the incredibly famous video game star he is. Though, the games themselves are even more surprising. In the 22 years since Kirby’s Dream Land has been released, 23 games have been released and they’re all more than passable. Whether it’s a spin-off or a major installment, Kirby is a name you can trust. Fortunately, Kirby Triple Deluxe continues this tradition.

It begins on an ordinary day. Kirby frolicks through Dream Land, fishing, noshing, flying and napping. It doesn’t last (it never does.) During the night, a gigantic beanstalk, known as the Dreamstalk, lifts Kirby’s home up high into the sky. But Kirby isn’t the only one afflicted; King Dedede’s castle and a number of other landmasses have been carried up into the air. Kirby watches helplessly as a curious creature absconds with an unconscious Dedede. Naturally, Kirby follows through seven worlds to save the monarch and the day.

Playing a new Kirby game feels like coming home. As with all installments, Kirby Triple Deluxe takes us to a colorful world filled with vibrant locations, deceptively powerful foes and secrets. The platforming feels familiar, as do the levels, but there’s still this sense of diversity and freshness that makes the adventure more entertaining. Levels gradually grow more challenging, but are never punishingly difficult. Replays are encouraged into completed areas, to collect keychains or Sun Stones to unlock the boss level or a location’s bonus stage.

Though, while Kirby Triple Deluxe maintains the same theme and vibes as previous games, it isn’t afraid to innovate. There are some incredibly clever gameplay elements implemented. I cherished every voyage into a “haunted” area, because then it meant experiencing a clever mechanic where I had to pay attention to what I’d see in the mirrors in the background. The foreground would lie to me, and if I didn’t pay attention, I could walk straight into a ghost or spike-filled pit.

Kirby Triple Deluxe Screenshot

Speaking of the foreground and background, Kirby Triple Deluxe succeeds in being more than just another exceptional and endearing 3DS game. It happens to be one of the few games on the system that knows how to make the most of the 3D effect, further proving that only the developers most closely related to Nintendo know how to make the most of the hardware. It borrows Mutant Mudd ‘s mechanic of allowing Kirby to jump into the foreground and background of a level, which is a lovely effect and leads to quite a few gameplay mechanics that make the most of the difference in depth. But even the more gimmicky endeavors, like Kirby flying and hitting the screen in one level if a player doesn’t avoid a moving wall or a train flying forward along a track from the background toward a player, look amazing. It’s the only game I’ve made a point of playing in 3D in the last six months.

HAL Laboratory also made the most of the 3DS’ gyroscopic functions. It’s mostly used to ferry Kirby from one location to another via these cute little gondolas, usually because he’s carrying a key or bomb and can’t fly as normal, though it does pop up in other circumstances. Sometimes, a block with cannon fuses must be shifted from one place to another to fire a cannon, or the 3DS has to be tilted to aim a cannon or rocket. My favorite circumstance was involved the archer ability and perfectly positioning a thin route through a circle so an arrow could go through a passage and hit a target on the other side.

Kirby Triple Deluxe Screenshot

But we all know it isn’t all about Kirby looking pretty and the game playing well. The copy abilities can make or break a Kirby game, and I’m especially enamored with the powers in Kirby Triple Deluxe . In his earliest adventures, it often felt like only certain powers were “special.” You looked forward to getting a sword or becoming a fighter, because then there was an elaborate move set available. Here, every copy ability gets the star treatment. Every single power offers the opportunity to do more than just press B to make something happen. Each ability, with the exception of Sleep, has become more versatile and useful. I found it refreshing. In most installments, I have a few favorite abilities, which I will attempt to maintain through multiple levels. With Kirby Triple Deluxe , I was in a constant state of flux. While I had my favorites, namely the newly added Beetle and the Hypernova ability that lets him suck up any and everything, I was more likely to give other powers a chance because they all had more to offer.

What’s especially cool is that the enemies also seem to be aware of these improved movesets. The lesser enemies will tend to just use one of the abilities available to them, but the mini-bosses know, and use, every move their copy ability has. It really makes you look forward to these matchups, because the character you’re facing could have a surprise up their sleeve. It won’t be the same old pattern of jumping and dodging, which is always a good thing.

There’s another bonus to the moves being so comprehensive. It makes Kirby Fighters , a sub game available from the outset, a lot more interesting. It’s exactly what it sounds like, a fighting game featuring different Kirbys. Each one can use one of 10 of the copy abilities available in the Story mode and someone can play alone or against three other people over local wireless. Why? To determine power superiority. It’s a surprisingly fun diversion, even solo, and plays a bit like Smash Bros. and Guilty Gear Dust Strikers . There can be stage hazards, like an occasional appearance from Lololo and Lalala, and items can be used to improve your Kirby’s performance or hinder opponents.

Kirby Triple Deluxe Screenshot

Kirby Fighters isn’t the only impressive extra in Kirby Triple Deluxe , which only further serves to make it a more essential addition to our libraries. There’s also Dedede’s Drum Dash , a rhythm platformer that requires players to move through a stage, jumping on drums with perfect timing to earn medals if they keep up with the beat. Given how wonderful the music from the Kirby series is, it’s a fantastic bonus. I only wish there were more than four levels, because there are so many memorable tracks from the series.

The other two modes require players to actually beat the story mode. Dedede Tour takes players through a harder version of the main game as King Dedede. All of the Hypernova power areas are removed, every mini-boss and boss is tougher, the final fights are different, and, naturally, you’re playing as King Dedede. Saving the day as Kirby also unlocks The Arena , which is the requisite boss rush mode.

There’s just so much to do in Kirby Triple Deluxe , further proving that Kirby is still our lovably stalwart companion. He’s been by our sides as we’ve grown up, and will undoubtly remain a part of our lives as long as Nintendo makes games. For this, we should be thankful and, it seems as long as HAL Laboratory is around, we will be guaranteed fantastic installments. Kirby Triple Deluxe is an amazing game with tons of replay value and is one of the few games that makes the most of the 3DS’ capabilities. It’s a sure winner and will long be remembered one of the best games the 3DS has to offer.

Kirby and his world look utterly amazing, and the 3D visual effects are some of the best I’ve seen on the system. 4.9 Control
Kirby Triple Deluxe is responsive, though sometimes it takes a bit of finessing to get the perfect position when the gyroscopic moments come along. 5.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
You’ll be humming these tunes for days. It’s just a shame Dedede’s Drum Dash doesn’t have more songs. 5.0 Play Value
You’ll be playing Kirby Triple Deluxe long after the main story is done. 4.9 Overall Rating – Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.

Review Rating Legend
0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 – 2.9 = Average 3.5 – 3.9 = Good 4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 – 2.4 = Poor 3.0 – 3.4 = Fair 4.0 – 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Kirby’s powerful copy ability returns, allowing him to inhale, spit and transform.
  • Jump from the foreground to the background in dynamic 3D side-scrolling levels.
  • Employ new and returning abilities, including: Archer, Beetle, Fire, and Sword.
  • Kirby’s new Hypernova ability lets him inhale obstacles and big chunks of levels!
  • Use the Download Play feature to duke it out in Kirby Fighters, a fierce battle mode for up to 4 players! You can also sharpen your skills by playing solo
  • Enjoy a selection of additional game modes including Dedede’s Drum Dash and Arena.
  • Unlock improved items and new keychains by using the StreetPass™ function to tag other players.

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