With every new Nintendo console, you're going to get your staple franchises. You're going to get your new Mario (sometimes 2 in the case of the WiiU), you're going to get your new Zelda, your new Mario Kart and your new Smash bros (I'll get to that one later), Kirby is one of the franchises you don't hear a lot of because it either gets very little publicity or it appears closer to the end of the console's cycle. Kirby didn't get a main series game on the Gamecube (instead we got Kirby's Air Ride) and didn't appear on the Wii until Kirby's Epic Yarn. Portable consoles have been kinder to Kirby as we got 4 Kirby games for the DS. During the wait for Smash 4, Nintendo was kind enough to release Kirby Triple Deluxe, the pink puffball's first appearance on the 3DS (that doesn't include the Virtual Console), how does it compare to its predecessors? Time to see just how big his black hole of a stomach is this time.
Contrary to popular belief, Nintendo does know how to do more complicated stories then, "the princess is kidnapped, go save her", however most of what I'm about to say, you don't find out until the end of the game so "SPOILERS". A army of insect inhabitants (imagine Waddle Dee's, Sword Knights ect looking like insects) have taken control over the land above Dream World, in a attempt to save themselves from the control that is Queen Sectonia, the People of the Sky (that is there name... apparently) dropped the seed of the Dreamstalk in hopes that the hero of Dream Land will save them. Using this to his advantage, Taranza (a caterpillar apparently) flies down to Dream Land (hence the apparently) and kidnaps King Dedede, who he thinks is the Hero of Dream Land. Kirby decides that "this isn't right" and chases after Taranza in order to save King Dedede. The plot is simple, but its more in depth then "a group of mice stole my slice of Cheesecake, time to go get it back". This is also one of the games where Kirby is in the right, as there are several games where he's actually a jerk (see Kirby's Adventure/ Nightmare in Dreamland).
Gameplay wise, if you've played a main series Kirby game before, its the same here. For those who haven't, Kirby is a 2D platformer (in fact Kirby is the only platformer mascot from the time that hasn't had a proper 3D platformer game). You can run, and you can jump, when in the air, if you press the jump button again, you can float and if you keep the circle pad pointing up in some form, you can fly for as long as you want. Kirby has a slide attack, can use the air (I'm going to refer to Kirby as a male, he hasn't got a confirmed gender to my knowledge, its just easier to say) he inhaled to shoot a small puff of air and he can, by holding the B button, inhale nearby small enemies and other items like stones or food. If you inhale a special enemy, you can use their power by pressing down. Powers can be used in all levels and are used to either make combat easier or to solve small puzzles. The staple powers are back (Sword, Cutter, Needle, Fire ect) and some of the powers from Kirby's Return to Dreamland return (Leaf and Whip are the ones coming to mind). Kirby also has new powers in the form of Clown, Bell, Beetle and Hypernova.
- Clown Kirby attacks by performing different circus acts such as balloon animals, jumping through a hop of fire, juggling and more. This was honestly the power I've used the least as I find it hard to control.
- Bell Kirby can perform attacks while also creating melodies with the two bells he has. Every time a enemy is hit with a bell chime, the pitch will get higher and it will do a bit more damage. A personal favorite of mine in bosses because of its range.
- Bettle Kirby, the best way I can describe it is Hammer Kirby meets Wing Kirby
Triple Deluxe loves to use the motion control built into the 3DS to perform some puzzles, whether that be poring water over a object, reorient a cannon, move a object ect. The controls for them never get to intensive as most of them are "tilt console to the left or right". The use of multiple panes in Triple Deluxe is also really well done, never getting intrusive but always keeping things fresh. One of the uses that I personally liked was the use of the mirror in some levels as it will tell you what is actually there and what isn't.
The plot maguffins of this game are the Sun Stones. Each level has 1-4 of them in it and you must collect enough to progress through the game. Unless you don't have the right power though, you'll find them easily as I had all the stones before taking on the Queen. The key chains on the other hand... The other collectable of the game is the key chains, each level has at least one special key chain and several normal ones, each one being based on a sprite from a Kirby game, you can also get new key chains from street pass. It should be noted though that, at the end of the day, these are Smash bros Trophies, and as such you will get multiple of the same Key chain.
There is a lot of content in Kirby Triple Deluxe, but a brief synopsis of each are as follows
- The Main story: as detailed above
- Kirby Fighters: Imagine Kirby only Super Smash bros
- Dedede Drum Dash: Kirby themed mini game
- Dedede Tour: Speed run the main story with Dedede
- The Arena: Boss rush
- The True Arena: Boss rush hard mode
- And another secret, but that would be giving something away.
At the end of the day, is Kirby Triple Deluxe worth that $50-$60 price tag (curse you region lock). Yes and no. The biggest problem with Kirby games is that they are EASY! They are fun, but really easy. I play Kirby games to calm down, relax, so its low difficulty isn't a issue for me, if I'm looking for a challenge, I'll play something else. If you're a person who will only play controller throwing games, you'll find this a rip off. If you're fine with the low difficulty and looking for something to play, I'd recommend picking it up. Its fun, which at the end of the day is all that games need to be, fun. Speaking of fun, how about we break teh sound barrier next week? Up next: Sonic Unleashed for the Playstation 3 and X-Box 360.