I’m a huge Kirby fan. Everything about the series from its cute designs to fun and simple gameplay has appealed to me since the day I played “Kirby’s Adventure” on the NES. There was no doubt in my mind when this game was announced for 3DS that I had to have it, and like many of the 3DS games I’ve bought, it was a worthwhile purchase. Let’s not waste time and break down why I enjoyed this adventure.
Kirby wakes up one day to find his house and King Dedede’s castle high in the clouds atop a huge beanstalk called the Dreamstalk. When Kirby goes to check in on Dedede, a strange spider-like creature kidnaps the king and forces Kirby to give chase. Kirby must travel to various lands collecting Sun Stones in order to discover who wants Dedede and why.
Like most Kirby games, the story’s simplistic but has a tiny bit of darkness to it once the villain shows up. Not only is the villain’s plot revealed but also the origin of the Dreamstalk itself, which was a nice touch. While the mastermind still isn’t my favorite Kirby villain, I did like its design and the motivation was pretty good. Also, the fact that you’re trying to catch up to Dedede to save him makes going through the six worlds seem more…plausible, if that makes sense. Overall, it’s pretty standard for a Kirby game, but I liked it.
I’ll admit, I don’t hardly play using 3D due to an eye stigma not allowing it to be seen properly, but despite that, Kirby: TD’s graphics look amazing on the 3DS. I liked the attention to detail in both the foregrounds and backgrounds, especially considering that you travel between both. Both the new and old enemies look as clean if not better than those found in “Kirby: Return to Dreamland,” which this game borrows elements from. The power-ups look great as well, especially the new rainbow-esque Hypernova one which allows you to suck up anything from trees to mini-bosses. Honestly, it felt like I was holding Return to Dreamland in the palm of my hand and has definitely set the bar for future portable Kirby games.
To match the great graphics, the sound is incredibly well done as well. The new tracks made for the game suit the levels they’re presented in, and it incorporates plenty of remixes of nostalgic tracks for diehard fans. The sound effects invoke nostalgia as well with everything from grabbing extra lives to playing the cannon bonus game at the end of each level. As with most recent Kirby titles, Kirby has a few minor soundbites that, thankfully, are reduced to “Hiii!” and a few pained grunts when attacked to keep them from getting annoying. I feel the music complimented the gameplay pretty much perfectly.
Speaking of, the meat of the game’s story mode is your typical Kirby fare. There are roughly five levels in each world with extra ones that get unlocked if you collect all of the world’s Sun Stones. In each level, Kirby runs, jumps, and fights through enemies and mini-bosses to collect these stones as well as special keychains. The keychains are more for show/nostalgia and are sprite representations of creatures and items from practically every main Kirby game. Needless to say, it was a fun challenge collecting all 256 of them in conjuction with the 100 Sun Stones found in the game.
Like with several Kirby games, new power-ups are available for Kirby to suck up and utilize besides the aforementioned Hypernova. These new ones are Archer, Circus, Beetle and Bell. Of the four, Beetle is my favorite for sheer attack power, though the others have their merits. Many classic mini-bosses return as well, such as Bonkers and Mr. Frosty. And once you’ve collected a certain number of Sun Stones, you will unlock that world’s boss. Many of these are new takes on old favorites, such as Whispy Woods as the new Flowery Woods, and have at least two stages of attacks. They’re not overly difficult once you get the pattern and can be fun to test out different power-ups on.
I also mentioned Return to Dreamland, and aside from the graphical style, this game does take elements from it. These include the key doors and portable cannons. Also, Hypernova sort of acts as a replacement to the “Super Kirby” segments of RtD, appearing in certain levels during scripted segments. I found that while it was used a little too often at times, it was much more fun as it incorporated minor puzzle-solving along with the path-clearing aspect.
Aside from the main story and collectibles, there are also a few special modes to play with two being available from the start and two others unlocked once the story’s been beat. The first two are Kirby Fighters and Dedede’s Drum Dash. Kirby Fighters pits one to four players against each other in small stages from the games, such as Dedede’s boxing ring. You can only use power-ups and item boxes will appear to give you healing items or attack items. It plays a lot like “Super Smash Bros.” and will probably tide me over until the next installment of that series. Dedede’s Drum Dash is a rhythm-based challenge where you must collect music notes as you bounce on drums in time with the music. It’s a bit difficult if you’re going for a gold rank, but it’s a decently fun distraction nonetheless.
The second two are the classic Arena mode and Dedede Tour!, which acts as the game’s time trial mode. Arena is a boss rush that pits you against several mini-bosses and bosses with limited healing items. Once you beat Dedede’s Tour!, you can unlock the True Arena, which features tougher bosses and even fewer healing items. Dedede’s Tour! puts you in the shoes of Dedede himself, and you must travel through all six worlds in the attempt to beat them as fast as you can. To help with this, levels involving the Hypernova segments are either shortened or removed entirely, and shortcut portals can be found hidden in each level. Both of these modes are a lot of fun and challenging. You can also unlock the Movie Theater and Jukebox, which allow you to view the game’s cutscenes and listen to every track.
Overall, “Kirby: Triple Deluxe” is an awesome Kirby game full of nostalgia that any veteran Kirby fan will enjoy. It’s easy enough for newcomers to dive into and get a little bit of Kirby “history” while they do. I honestly feel like this game could have easily commemorated Kirby’s 25th anniversary just as well as “Kirby’s Dream Collection” did. While I did feel Hypernova was a teeny tiny bit overused and the game was pretty easy for me, I had a blast playing it. If you’re looking to give Kirby a try, or you’re a huge fan of the pink puffball, you need to play this game. You’re sure to not regret it.
I give “Kirby: Triple Deluxe” a solid 9.5/10.