Review by KFHEWUI

"A Dream Collection"

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Kirby, Hal took six of Kirby's adventures and put them on one disc and threw in a sound track, booklet, and some more goodies. Is Kirby's Dream Collection worth the price tag?

Kirby's Dream Collection is composed of Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby's Adventure, Kirby's Dream Land 2, Kirby Super Star, Kirby's Dream Land 3, and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.

Kirby's Dream Land introduced the world to Kirby, and he is on a quest to rescue the food that was stolen by King Dedede along with the stolen food King Dedede took the precious treasure, sparkling stars. The story is very primitive like the nature of the game however it does get the job done. The gameplay is simplistic and easy to grasp, and Kirby is a round ball with arms and feet that can shallow enemies then spit them at other enemies. Levels are short and linear and each level ends with a boss fights, and some of the levels include a mini-boss. There are a total of five levels in all, and the final level is composed of fighting the bosses from level one through four over again then the final battle against King Dedede. Kirby's Dream Land is short and can be beaten in about thirty minutes. The graphics look great, and the backgrounds are detailed. Kirby and the enemies look unique, and they are nicely animated. Controlling Kirby is a simple, and the D-Pad moves Kirby while inhale and jump are designated to a different button. The music is catchy, and the whole soundtrack is great and memorable. Kirby's Dream Land is a very easy game which makes it ideal for people new to video games however there is a hard mode and cheat mode that adds some replay value. The short length and easy difficulty do hurt the game a little however it still a solid title.

Score: 7 out of 10

Kirby's Adventure, the second Kirby game, is a much more complex and challenging game than its predecessor. Story goes that the citizens of Dream Land are going through a crisis that involves them not having dreams, and Kirby goes to investigate at the fountain of dreams and discovers King Dedede taking a swim. King Dedede takes the star rod, which powers the fountain, and he shatters the dream rod. Kirby must recover the pieces of the dream rod and restore it to its rightful place so the citizens of Dream Land can dream again. The story has a lot more depth than the previous game yet still there is little story telling in this game. While the game play for the most part follows Dream land, Adventure introduces the copy ability, and Kirby can shallow some enemies and copy their ability. These abilities include the fire, sword, ice, and electricity to name a few however not every enemy has an ability that can be copied. Adventure looks great, and there is a nice variety of levels including forests, clouds, and airship just to name a few. The backgrounds are detailed and look fantastic. Music is great and each track is catchy and memorable which is usually a trademark of the Kirby series. Gameplay consists of going from start to finish, and the levels are linear and not that long however a few of the levels will have side room with a giant switch which will open up a new area on the world map. There are eight worlds in the game, and each world has around four to six levels. Aside from the levels there are some mini games including a claw machine, gunslinger, egg catcher, arena, and museum. Museum and arena hold power ups for Kirby, and the other three mini games allow players to gain bonus points and bonus lives. Also at the end of each level there is a cloud launcher mini-game which allows the player to gain extra points and lives. Control Kirby is similar to the Dream Land with the addition of now being able to drop the current power which was not in Dream Land however the controls feel solid yet the inhale power from time to time will feel sluggish, and it is the only control that feels sluggish. There is an extra game that is much harder which adds to the replay value, and since the game is longer there is a save ability so the game does not have to be beaten in one sitting. The game does suffer from slowdowns if there are too many enemies on the screen at once, but it rarely happened for me.

Score: 8 out of 10

Kirby's Dream Land 2

Kirby's Dream Land 2 plays just like Adventure however there are a few new additions to the game, and in this game Kirby can have three animal buddies that help him out. Ricky (hamster) makes the special attacks stronger, Kine (fish) is good for swimming through currents, and Coo (owl) is good for flying through strong winds also Kirby can still attack with the animal buddies. Aside from this, the copied ability is performed differently with each animal so it does add new strategy. The story goes that the rainbow bridges have disappeared all across the Enchanted Rainbow Island, and Kirby must search out the seven Rainbow Islands and found out the cause behind the disappearance of the bridges. Dream Land 2 takes place over seven different islands with each island consisting of a hub world. Each hub world has around three to six level doors and a boss door and this time around there is no bonus games on the hub world. Cloud launcher mini game returns where the player can launch Kirby up to gain bonus points or lives, and it is still accessible at the end of each level. The levels are linear in nature and most are medium in length, and there is a nice variety of levels that range from forest, underwater, and sky. Also a new addition is star pieces and once Kirby collects seven, he will gain an extra life. The graphics are impressive with detailed backgrounds that look great, and one problem with the game is that the game could be played in color on the Super Game Boy for SNES however this option was not included on Kirby's Dream Collection. Aside from beating each level, the final boss can only be reached after collecting all seven rainbow pieces that are scattered across the game. After beating the game 100% there is an unlockable option menu that allows the player to replay the boss fights and a bonus mini game. Controls feel solid and crisp and grasping them is very easy, and the layout of the controls is great. Dream Land 2 is long game that does include a save system. This game is solid overall, but there is a lack of replay value.

Score: 9 out of 10

Kirby Super Star is of a different nature and instead of having just one adventure, it is composed of eight games in one. The games are Spring Breeze, Dyna Blade, Gourmet Race, The Great Cave Offensive, Revenge of Meta Knight, Milkyway Wishes, Megaton Kirby, and Samurai Kirby. Spring Breeze plays like a shortened version of Dream Land 1, and there are only four levels that cover Green Greens, Float Island, Bubbly Clouds, and Mt. Dedede. Kirby Super Star mixes up the Kirby gameplay, and in this game Kirby can not only copy abilities from enemies however he can turn those powers into a helper to help him. This helper can be controlled by either the AI or a second player. Graphics wise Super Star is impressive and gorgeous, and the backgrounds are full of detail. The background objects have a 3D look. Controls are decent at best, and the layout is strange and takes some time to get used to especially when trying to navigate the menus due to awkward acceptance commands. For example in Adventure "2" is used select an option, but in Super Star "2" is cancel. It feels awkward especially since "2" is also used for selection while navigating Dream Collection's menus. One big change to Super Star is that enemies no longer die with one hit instead using Kirby's power can take several attacks however swallowing an enemy will still kill them with one hit. Dyna Blade is a five level game that has Kirby trying to stop Dyna Blade, a massive bird that is destroying the crops, and this game plays just like Spring Breeze except there are five levels instead of four.

Gourmet Race like the title states is a race between Kirby and King Dedede and not only does the player have to win the race by finishing first, but along the way there is food they can be eaten which also helps determine the winner. Personally this is my least favorite of the games, and the game is not bad however I found it dull. The level design can be strange at times. The Great Cave Offense is the largest and longest of all games, and it begins with Kirby in a cave. Scattered around are 60 treasures, and the player must collect all 60. Out of all of the mini games, this one is can only be beaten 100% with a human partner due to one section where a second player must activate a group of switches so that player one can grab a treasure. By far the longest and hardest since the game is not broken up into several levels instead composed of several areas that are all connected by doors similar to Pitfall II. A save system is included, and they are scattered about however it does allow players to pick up the game later. Revenge of Meta Knight, one of the more interesting titles, is locked at first just like Milkyway Wishes, and this game is unlocked after playing through three other games, and this game is story driven and heavy with dialogue which is different from Kirby games plus there is a time limit. Meta Knight has built a powerful war ship, and Kirby must stop Meta Knight. Revenge of Meta Knight plays like standard Kirby affair with the only major changes being in a time limit and storytelling, and the rest of the game is solid with crisp and fluid controls. The graphics look great, and the 3D war ship looks great on the map screen.

Milkyway Wishes is very different from most Kirby games, and the story tells of the sun and moon is fighting. So Kirby must stop the fighting, and to do so Kirby must ask help from Super Nova. First Kirby must receive blessing from each planet to reach Super Nova. One major change in Milkway Wishes is that Kirby will no longer copy abilities from enemies instead the special abilities Kirby can learn are scattered about the planet in the form of icons, but once Kirby collects them then he can use them at any time and unlimited times. The game has eight levels and this time around the levels are broken up by a map screen unlike The Great Cave Offense. The last two mini games are the shortest and easiest. Megaton Punch has Kirby competing against an enemy to perform a stronger attack. First there is a bar that fills up with a red line hitting it when the red line is at the top will give a higher punch this is followed by two targets that rotate and hitting them when they are dead aligned results in a stronger attack. The last phase involves a pendulum that swings back and forth, and in the middle of the path is a green icon which the player must hit the pendulum when it is dead center for the strongest attack. After this leg work, Kirby will perform his attack, and the player must perform a stronger attack. This is repeated three more times to beat the game. The final game Samurai Kirby is the most simplistic game of the bunch, and it plays similar to quick draw from Adventure (NES). When the "!" appears the player must hit a button as quickly as they can, and this game is composed of four rounds. The final round is against Meta Knight which is incredibly brutal, and on expert difficulty, Meta Knight displays in human speed that is near impossible to beat. Kirby Super Star offers eight games in one, and most of the games are not bad however this is one of the few Kirby games that I really did not like while the game is not bad and perfectly playable it just lacked the charm and enjoyment factor of other Kirby games. After beating all eight games, an arena will unlock where Kirby can fight the bosses from the game. The biggest flaw with this game is the controls scheme with the Wii remote, and this is the only game on the collection that is better off played with the classic controller.

Score: 7 out of 10

Kirby Dream Land 3 tells of Kirby and his friend Gooey that are enjoying a relaxing day fishing until a dark shape appears in the sky, and the dark shape takes over King Dedede and with his minions they starting causing trouble all over the land. Kirby must stop King Dedede and his minions while figuring what the ominous shape that appeared in the sky was. After the radical departure from the norm for the Kirby series with Super Star, Dream Land 3 returns to the old style of gameplay. This time there is a map system for each world and each world has six levels and one boss except for the final which only has one level, and Dream Land 3 bears a striking resemblance to Yoshi's Island. Not only is the map very similar, but the graphics having a unique art style that has a color pencil look to it. The art is unique, and I quite like it. It has a unique look to that that adds to the flavor of the game, and the bad grounds are detailed and beautiful. There are few minor touches that are really cool like in one level Kirby has to climb to the top of a tree, and as he climbs high the leaves from the tree top will add a green hue over the branches. The sound track is catchy and unforgettable. Controls are solid and thanks to a great layout it is very easy to grasp the controls in no time at all. While the game plays like DL2 there are a few minor changes this time, and the animal buddies return, but this time there are a few new animal buddies with their own unique skills which also affect the copied abilities. This time Kirby can summon a partner named Gooey, and Gooey can be controlled by the AI or a second player. Scattered throughout each level are star pieces and after collecting a lot of them, the player will be rewarded with an extra life. Also in the game there are heart stars scattered about with one in each level except for boss levels and collecting all of them are required to fight the final boss. While Dream Land 3 is solid game, there are a few issues, and the game moves along at a slower pace than the previous Dream Land games and with longer levels it can feel like they drag on. Also scattered about are mini games and some of them must be beaten to obtain the heart stars, and these mini games have no explanation and make no sense at all. One notable mini game has players counting the number of spikes then they have to name out many of the spikes had the face the game is asking for. One major problem with these mini games is that there is very little time to count and failing the mini game means having to replay the level just to get another chance which feels cheap. There are a few bonuses that are accessible after beating the game including some mini games and boss rush that add to the replay value. Kirby's Dream Land 3 is a good game that is long and a save system allows players to come back at any time.

Score: 7 out of 10

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards starts with Kirby enjoying a view of the night sky when he spots a crystal shard, and a fairy appears. She explains to Kirby that there are 75 crystal shards that compose a powerful crystal. An evil creature is trying to gain control of the crystal, and Kirby sets out with the fairy to recover all the crystal shards. Kirby 64 is a radical change from previous Kirby games, and this time around Kirby can not only copy abilities but combine them for stronger attacks for example combing fire plus cutter allows Kirby to wield a flame sword. This adds a huge depth to copy ability, and along the way certain combined abilities are required to beat the game 100%. There are seven worlds in The Crystal Shards while the last world is simply the final boss; the first six worlds have four to fix levels each with the last level being the boss of the world. Game play is 2D while the graphics are 3D, and everything looks amazing in this game. The backgrounds look beautiful from the first level where Kirby is walking through a forest and in the background are trees with orange and green leaves giving an autumn look. In each level, except boss levels, are three crystal shards and collecting all of them is required for reaching the final boss, and most of the crystal shards are not that difficult while others are well hidden. Some of the crystal shards will be hidden behind blocks that can only be destroyed with a certain power which is where the combining powers come into play. Every once in a while there is a mini boss in some levels, and the mini bosses are a complete push over while the bosses can be quite challenging. At least there is a nice variety of bosses in the game, and some of them are unforgettable. Music is fantastic and unforgettable, and each track fits the mood right. There are three mini games and boss rush that add to the replay value, but the biggest incentive to replay the game is the enemy info book. After each level, not including boss fights, Kirby will have the chance to gain an item from a picnic mat, and one of the items is an enemy card. Filling it up does net any rewards, but it is worth filling out for perfectionists. Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is great and is my favorite game, and the combining copy abilities add a breath of fresh air to the series.

Score: 10 out of 10

Aside from the six games, Hal threw in a lot of nice bonus content, and the challenge rooms from Return to Dreamland are included along with a few new challenges. An interactive time line of the Kirby series is included which also includes footage from game and a virtual copy of the game box, but one problem with the game box is that the camera does not zoom in close enough for the back of the box which makes it pretty impossible to read them. Also added is a music video, three episodes of the Kirby anime, a sound track with around 45 tracks, and an art book that includes concept art and trivia.

Kirby's Dream Collection uses only the Wii remote which is held horizontal similar to an NES controller, and it works for the most part. Kirby's Super Star controls are strange and is the only the game where the classic controller is better suited than the Wii remote. The Gamecube controller is also supported.

One issue I ran into is random glitches, and this is due to the games being emulated so far I have only run into one minor glitch which was not severe or game breaking. Also some of the games suffer from slowdown, and these slowdowns were also in the original versions of the game and Kirby's Adventure is the only game so far that I ran into slowdowns. While this game has a nice selection it would have been nice if Nightmare in Dreamland would have been included since it is a remake of the Kirby's Adventure. Another issue which I mentioned above is that Kirby's Dream Land 2 does not include the color graphics from the Super Game Boy which would have been a nice addition. There is one thing that Kirby's Dream Collection does right that most collections fail to do which is that in KDC, the player does not have to exit out of the game and restart the game to select another game instead hitting "home" will bring up a screen with the option to reset the game so they can choose another game. Also every game be reset by holding "A+B+1+2" simultaneously for several seconds, and Kirby's Dream Land is the only game where this is essential since the game does not restart after beating it.

Kirby's Dream Collection is a fantastic collection that includes six games and a load of bonus content making worth the price tag, and it is definitely worth picking up.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 09/24/12

Game Release: Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition (US, 09/16/12)

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