Review by horror_spooky

"Three times the fun?"

Kirby's career has been quite lengthy, spanning decades within the gaming industry. Kirby himself is one of the most recognizable and memorable video game icons ever created, with a major release on virtually every Nintendo system ever made. Now the Nintendo 3DS has a great Kirby game to call its own, Kirby: Triple Deluxe.

The gimmick of Kirby: Triple Deluxe is that there are three different game modes that are all very different in play style. The main mode is the Story Mode, which sees traditional 2D side-scrolling platforming that has long been the bread and butter of the franchise. This mode is filled with interesting enemies, clever puzzle design, and interesting use of Kirby's various "copy abilities". Admittedly, some of the actual level design can become somewhat frustrating at times and it's a little too easy, but otherwise thoroughly exploring each of these stages is a treat.

Boss battles are comprised mostly of bosses returning from previous Kirby titles. There are some great boss fights and some weak ones, but they are all better than most of the boss fights we are treated to by the vast majority of games nowadays.

The game takes advantage of the unique features of the 3DS in a number of ways. The 3D itself is actually important to the gameplay, which is rare for games on the system. Playing the game with the 3D slider turned all the way down is certainly possible, but it is definitely not the ideal way to experience the game. Numerous obstacles are much better avoided with the 3D turned up, and turning the 3D up will also help open your eyes to nooks and crannies that would've otherwise been missed.

The motion controls are used minimally, but they are effective when done properly. There's mainly just minor tilting, which works with the 3D turned on. Usually games on 3DS that try to use motion controls suffer because the developers don't realize that having the 3D effect on and having to move the 3DS around wildly is just a recipe for a blurry on-screen mess and a massive headache. Having minor motion controls like this still allows the game to use some unique game mechanics and it doesn't force the player to babysit the 3D slider constantly.

Speaking of 3D, it seems that developers get better and better every year at making the best with the 3D effect. I remember a lot of early 3DS games had absolutely terrible 3D, where ghosting was a major issue. In Kirby: Triple Deluxe, I didn't notice any ghosting problems during actual gameplay, but I did see some during the game's cut-scenes.

The story of the game sees King Dedede and other residents of Dream Land captured by the villainous Queen Sectonia. Kirby then has to travel through various worlds and defeat Queen Sectonia. It is by no means an award winning plot, but it does manage to do more than most platformers do with their paper thin stories.

The game doesn't take full advantage of the graphical capabilities of the 3DS, but that's fine because it still looks great. There is a lot of color, great animation, and the game runs perfectly fine, with minimal load times and no lag to speak of.

The audio is take it or leave it. The tunes aren't irritating or anything, but they also aren't very noteworthy.

One of the main gameplay hooks in Kirby: Triple Deluxe is a new ability that gives Kirby the power to inhale huge objects. This resulted in some of the more purely fun segments in the entire game, with Kirby making short work of bosses that were usually a lot tougher, and there are fun visual effects thrown in to make these moments even more amusing. For example, not only will Kirby inhale some of the bosses, but the health meter for the boss at the bottom of the screen will also get ripped from its place as well.

The second game mode is Kirby Fighter, which is a four player fighting game that plays like a flash game rip off of Super Smash Bros. At its core, it can provide some fun, but it is not nearly deep enough to warrant spending much time with it. I do appreciate that it allows four people to all play with only one actual copy of the game cartridge, but the lack of online multiplayer support is a major oversight.

The third game mode is a lot more entertaining than Kirby Fighter. It is called Dedede's Drums, and it is a rhythm game in which players control King Dedede. There's only four stages, but each stage is extremely challenging, and earning a gold medal on each one requires a ton of practice in order to perfect the various nuances found within the game. Even for veteran rhythm game fans, this will be a challenge.

The title "Triple Deluxe" sells the package short, really. There's a bunch more game modes and variations on the existing ones after players master them, beat the game, and whatever else. That being said, I feel that if more development simply went into the main game mode, then the game would've been a better overall package. As it is, it's hard to shake the feeling that the contents are spread a little bit thin.

Kirby: Triple Deluxe is one of the more enjoyable Kirby games I've played, though it's not quite on the level as some of the other games in the series. It pays homage to the games of the past and Kirby will fans will undoubtedly love it. It's a fine addition the 3DS library and features a lot of great ideas that I hope to see return for future installments of the franchise.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 05/22/14

Game Release: Kirby: Triple Deluxe (US, 05/02/14)

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