As far as I can remember, in my years of playing video games, I’ve never played a Kirby game before. So I was a little surprised at how much I wanted to get Kirby: Triple Deluxe when it came out recently.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe is a 2D platform game wherein the main draw is how Kirby’s power works: Kirby can suck and ingest average-sized enemies and expel them as projectiles in the same way that Yoshi can in Super Mario World, but unlike Yoshi, Kirby can take on the powers of at least half of the enemy types. For example, ingesting a sword-wielding enemy allows Kirby to wield his own sword and use this in different ways of attacking. Ingesting a flaming enemy can give Kirby the power to toss out fireballs or use jets of flame to propel himself forward like a rocket.This opens up the gameplay tremendously, allowing players to experiment with a lot of different options on how to get through each of the stages.
In addition to the many different powers that Kirby can have in this game, Nintendo also introduced the new Hypernova power up which increases Kirby’s suction strength, allowing Kirby to pull and even ingest enemies and objects that are otherwise much too large for Kirby.
Right after you get the Hypernova power for the first time, you get to uproot and ingest this tree – a good way to illustrate, without using any words, how powerful Hypernova is and how you can use it in gameplay.
While the amount of powers that Kirby can use differentiates Kirby games from other platform games, what makes Kirby: Triple Deluxe stand out from other Kirby games is how it utilizes the 3D capabilities of the 3DS. The game is played on two dimensional levels that are divided into different layers, sometimes a stage can have a background and/or a foreground. Several game effects, such as enemies and objects, can be in the background but still affect what happens on the active layer, like cannons firing at you from across the stage or enemies just flying in and out of the background. With the 3D function turned on, these game effects are really, really nice to look at.
This makes for an added layer of complexity, because in addition to focusing on what happens in the active layer of the stage, you also have to pay attention to what’s happening in the background and foreground. And it also adds more space for the game elements to move around in – bosses, for example, can hop to and from the background, giving you and the boss more room to maneuver in without needing to actually make the area bigger. So during the fight, the perspective doesn’t need to zoom out and make everything smaller to fit all of the action.
One of the many criticisms about Kirby games in general is that they are far too easy for experienced gamers, and to some degree, I would say that Kirby: Triple Deluxe is no different. If you want to just blow by this game and get to the end of stages as fast as you can, it’ll be a breeze. However, Kirby: Triple Deluxe introduces some collectible items such as keychains and the Sun Stones to increase replayability.
Keychains are nothing more than just collectible achievements that contribute to that 100% Completion rating, but Sun Stones are objects hidden throughout each of the stages that unlock the boss and EX stages. If you manage to find all of the Sun Stones in the game, a minigame becomes unlocked (I won’t spoil it here, sorry). Getting all of the Sun Stones in Kirby: Triple Deluxe is indeed challenging, but not to the extent that you’ll need intensive replays just to get them. But I also guarantee that you won’t be able to get all of the Sun Stones on your first try in a single go – some are hidden well enough that you’re bound to miss a few.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe utilizes Street Pass a little differently compared to most other 3DS games. There are several areas in specific stages (usually before a boss battle) where you can collect items obtained from Street Pass . As long as you have a Street Pass tag, even if it’s from a different game, you can get a recovery item that you can save for later use. But if you tag someone who also plays Kirby: Triple Deluxe, then you get a random keychain together with the recovery item. Again, keychains are just items to collect that don’t have any gameplay function other than being a part of the Completion rating.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe is a good enough game to be sold on its own, but Nintendo still packaged it with several minigames for more options, and two of these minigames are playable at the onset. The first is Dedede’s Drum Dash, a unique little rhythm game where you control Kirby’s on-and-off again nemesis King Dedede as he jumps on different kinds of drums scattered along before time runs out. You get higher points if you time his jumps along the music that plays throughout the stage, if you collect the many notes that are also scattered throughout, and if you make Dedede clap along the beats of the music in the middle of his jumps.
The other minigame, and in my opinion the one that really adds more value to Kirby: Triple Deluxe, is Kirby Fighters, which is a fighting game that has similar mechanics with Super Smash Bros. or the Japan-only Jump All-Stars series of fighting games where you can fight in two to four fighter battles on stages that have multiple levels of platforms. There are seven stages in total, and each stage offers it’s own set of stage traps.
Kirby Fighters offers a Single Player mode where you can choose a choose a Kirby with a specific power (choices are Bomb, Cutter, Sword, Fighter, Beam, Parasol, Whip, and Archer) and fight against a gauntlet of other AI-controlled Kirbys until you get to the end boss – a dark and more powerful version of the Kirby that you chose. There are four levels of difficulty available, and the game saves your best completion times for each Kirby type and difficulty level.
Where Kirby Fighters really shines is it’s Multi Player mode where you can play against one to three other people locally, and it offers Download Play so you only need one copy of the game in order to play with others. However, players without their own copy of Kirby: Triple Deluxe are limited to just two Kirby types, but I think that’s more than what other 3DS fighting games can offer (most don’t even have Download Play capabilities). Kirby Fighters is a solid enough fighter, it doesn’t offer as many options as other fighting games available but we have to keep in mind that this is only a minigame and not an actual stand alone game.
Kirby Fighters is a fun fighting game and currently serves as a Super Smash Bros. alternative.
I decided to get Kirby: Triple Deluxe for two reasons – to have a game that my girlfriend and I can enjoy, and to have another Download Play game that we can play in our Street Pass meet ups. And it did live up to my expectations – it’s a game that currently entertains me in different ways, either in it’s platforming brilliance or its decently implemented rhythm and fighting minigames. I’d say it’s well worth the purchase and definitely deserves a spot in my collection.