The Kirby series is one of Nintendo’s most enduring yet often-overlooked franchises that they have going. It all began in 1992 when Masahiro Sakurai (who is more known for creating the Super Smash Bros. series) directed Kirby’s Dream Land, which spawned countless critically-acclaimed sequels. This is the first game in the series to pop-up on the 3DS and Kirby’s first game since 2011’s 1-2 punch of the DS’ Kirby Mass Attack and the Wii’s Kirby’s Return To Dreamland. So, how does it shape up? In a nutshell, it offers just about everything a Kirby or platforming fan could want.
The story starts with a giant beanstalk called the Dreamstalk showing up while Kirby is sleeping and taking both his house and King Dedede’s castle into the sky. When Kirby wakes up the next morning he is suddenly in a new land called Floralia, which means that he must fight his way through several worlds that all contain many levels in order to make it to King Dedede’s castle and right the wrong’s of everything that has transpired.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe controls like many of the other 2d Kirby games, as you traverse from left to right as you suck up your enemies and adopt all of their different powers; such as bombs, swords, boomerangs and a hell of a lot more. You’ll also be tasked with collecting Sun Stones and Key Chains throughout each level, which help you unlock more levels and drive up the completion rating, respectively. The one major addition to the gameplay is an item that transforms Kirby into Hypernova Kirby, which allows Kirby to suck up humongous monstrosities and lay absolute waste to everything in the level.
Of course, this being a Nintendo 3DS game, the 3D element comes in with full force and actually makes great use of the system’s capabilities. Sometimes you will come across instances where you will move form the foreground to the background of the screen, which allows you to discover hidden goodies or keys that must then be brought back to the foreground. These sections truly shine when you come across a giant beam that extends to both the foreground *and* background, allowing you to reign destruction on two different areas at once. Elsewhere the 3D is simply used to make things appear as if they are coming out of the screen; such as enemy attacks, items or text.
The enemies in Triple Deluxe all vary greatly and force you to utilize different strategies to come out in one piece. Some enemies will be extremely fast and require precise timing to take them down, while others will be flinging bombs or shooting arrows at you. How you decide to take down these enemies is entirely up to you, as Kirby has a plethora of different skill sets that he can absorb that give him a huge variety of abilities. The game always gives you many different options in each level, making each new level feel fresh and exciting.
A platformer of this ilk would be nothing without great boss fights, and that is definitely one area where Triple Deluxe knocks it out of the park. Throughout the course of the game you will come across both mini and regular bosses and many of them put up quite a fight. They have large amounts of health which requires you to be patient and time your attacks, otherwise you’ll find yourself taking big amounts of damage very quickly. I won’t spoil the finale, but the final boss sequence is one of the most intense and rewarding finales that I have played in a long time.
All of this and we haven’t even delved into the other modes that this game offers! Outside of the story mode you also have access to the Kirby Fighters and Dedede’s Drum Dash modes, and once you complete the game you unlock The Arena and Dedede tour modes. Kirby Fighters is a Super Smash Bros.-esque mode that pits you against a variety of different Kirby’s all contained in a handful of Super Smash Bros.-esque stages. This mode is an absolute blast, as all of the chaotic mayhem of the smash series shines through brilliantly as all matter of items, environmental events and more all add up into a consistently exciting experience. The fact that this game packs its own Super Smash Bros. mode is worth the price of admissions, alone. It also has a multiplayer feature, making this a mode with infinite replay value.
Dedede’s Drum Dash is a rhythm-based game in which you must jump from drum to drum to the beat of the song. The better you time your beat the higher that Dedede will jump, which allows you to collect more coins and improve your score. You can also clap to the beat of the music to get bonus points, but mastering this while also timing jumps and avoiding obstacles is truly challenging. It’s not the most in-depth of modes, but the core mechanics are so addicting that I find myself coming back to it a lot.
The two unlockable modes are more standard affairs that you come across occasionally in other platformers of this type. The Arena is essentially a boss rush mode, pitting you against both mini and regular bosses in a row with a hub world in-between that gives you a breather and limited health regeneration. Dedede tour lets you play through the story mode as none other than King Dedede, who controls a bit differently and has to take down more difficult enemies and bosses. Make it through this mode and you will even face off against a new boss at the end and witness new scenes.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe offers so much content that is all insanely fun to playthrough. The main story mode is a solid length that has great level design, enemy variety and challenge that would be more than a solid package all on its own. However, the fact that the game also packs in Kirby Fighters, Dedede’s Drum Dash, The Arena and Dedede tour make this a game that is impossible for me to not completely recommend. The Kirby series has always offered consistently high quality games, but Kirby: Triple Deluxe mixes that high quality with high quantity to results in yet another must-have game on the 3DS.