i seem to be continuing to relive my previous year of gaming. last year i played kirby’s adventure for NES, and at that time i was somewhat pessimistic about my future with the series, although my first foray into kirby super star for SNES offered a glimmer of hope. the game is eye-catching, with bright, vibrant colors, and it provides a somewhat wider variety of gameplay than previous kirby games, thanks to its 8ish (depending on how you count) distinct sections.
although i quite enjoyed the game and definitely rank it above kirby’s adventure, i still don’t quite see the appeal of the series as a whole. the design is quite good and kirby continues to be as wuvable and huggable as ever, but once again the game’s lack of difficulty makes the game feel rather feeble overall. as with other kirby games, oftentimes you can just float past the opposition, and although this game introduces a huge arsenal of flashy moves there really isn’t any need to master more than just a few basic ones. this game also includes “helper” characters for the first time whereby you can recruit enemies (or a second player) to accompany you; fun, but their presence ultimately just makes the game even easier. judged as a platformer the level design continues to disappoint as well. this review from zentendo of its DS remake sums up my feelings rather well:
- As is the case with other Kirby titles (and the SubSpace Emissary in Brawl), the level design here is mostly uninspired and seemingly random. So many points in the game feel inconveniently put together so they don’t flow very well … Kirby’s main problem — as it always has been — is that enemies feel like fodder more than adversaries and the levels and controls just don’t have the precision, fluidity, and expert pacing that more superior platforming titles (like the Super Mario games) demonstrate.
the game does offer up a bit more depth in the form of treasures and special powers to seek out, but i didn’t have much motivation to spend more time with it. one thing that struck me while playing, though, is how much of the game reminded me of the smash bros. series, including kirby’s new movesets; the boss fights, particularly a boss that is pretty much exactly like master hand; and “the arena”, a mode very much like the all-star and boss battles modes. a cursory search online didn’t turn up much on the comparison, although i’m definitely not the only one who thinks so because on a smash bros. wiki it says that “It is believed that the combat mechanics of Super Smash Bros. are based off that of Kirby Super Star” and that “In many ways, Kirby Super Star may be considered a prototypical Smash“.
anyway, it’s hard to fault the game too much, though, as i’m sure it’s perfectly fine for younger players. still, it doesn’t look like the series is going to end up ranking among my favorites anytime soon. but there are still a lot of kirby games to play, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
kirby’s super links!
– entry at wikipedia
– once again rainbow resort provides a great site, including maps and audio.
– 8-part comic about the game at brawl in the family
– IGN compiled review scores for every kirby game
– video of every ability. also, here’s a video of a samus cameo. apparently there’s also a mario cameo, but i haven’t found a video of it.