Thursday, 29 May 2014

Kirby: Triple Deluxe

Back in 1992 when most of my days were spent hunched over my Nintendo Gameboy, I had plenty of games to help pass the time. From Pokemon to Tetris and Super Mario Land to the great (and hugely under appreciated!) Mercenary Forces, I sunk hundreds, if not thousands of hours into my Gameboy. However, there's one hugely popular Gameboy game that I avoided, mainly due to its main character. That game was Kirby's Dream Land, while the character was, of course, Kirby, the pink, happy spherical creature. I just didn't like the cut of his jib, but over the past decade I've been slowly making my way through all the past Kirby titles. I'm a believer! Now I have both a love and appreciation for the series. Now available is the latest title in the Kirby series. Is it any good? Read on...

Brought to us by long time Kirby developers HAL laboratory and out now on Nintendo 3DS comes Kirby: Triple Deluxe, the loveable pink orb's first foray onto Nintendo's 3D hand-held. It was only a matter of time until Kirby made his way to the 3DS, but it really couldn't come at a better moment for Nintendo. Amid dismal sales for the Wii U and the fact that they're bleeding money, the ever-impressive gaming arsenal of the 3DS continues to grow. Thankfully, Kirby: Triple Deluxe can be added to that list of must-have 3DS titles. It's awesome!

As expected Kirby is a platformer, and while that may tie down some titles in the way of innovation, HAL laboratory have aimed to squeeze as much potential out of the 3DS' capabilities as they can. The story is rather straightforward yet wonderfully presented. While Kirby is taking a nap, a large beanstalk (known as the Dreamstalk) grows from under Dream Land and, upon waking up, he finds himself in the new land atop the beanstalk called Floralia.  This new land has uprooted various locations and landmarks from across Dream Land, and is under the watchful eyes of Taranza, an evil, multi-armed caterpillar. It's now up to Kirby to defeat Taranza and restore Dream Land to its previous state.

For anyone who has played a Kirby title before, the basics here are the usual fair, namely when it comes to controlling Kirby, floating in the air and using his signature ability of sucking up enemies or items. At its heart it all seems so familiar, but its true genius comes into play when HAL laboratory start flexing their 3D muscle. For instance, all the action doesn't happen on a 2D plane, as Kirby now has the ability to move into the background. Sure, it looks pretty, but the possibilities this adds to the gameplay are truly wonderful. However, Kirby doesn't have it so easy, as this ability also extends to his enemies. From a train that rushes towards the camera with the chance of squashing Kirby up against the 3DS' screen to the fantastic boss battles that make perfect use of 3D, this is one of the few 3DS titles that is 100 times better with the 3D turned on. It's inventive, always surprising and a true testament to the fact that the 3DS is not a gimmick.

The visuals are without a doubt some of the best on the hand-held too, with level design being both fresh and comfortingly familiar. From the truly Mario-tier boss designs that utilize a great sense of 3D depth to the diverse colour pallet seen throughout the game, Triple Deluxe isn't just an hugely fun game to play, but it's also insanely gorgeous. This level of graphical beauty also extends to the new extra modes in Triple Deluxe; Dedede's Drum Dash and Kirby's Fighters, with the former being a rhythm game, while the latter is a truly excellent Super Smash Bros clone.

Overall Kirby: Triple Deluxe is one of the best Nintendo 3DS titles to date. It's fun, inventive and one of the few 3DS titles that actually does an impeccable job with its 3D capabilities.

Kirby: Triple Deluxe is modern Nintendo classic and easily gets a 5/5.


Denis Murphy

Kirby: Triple Deluxe at CeX

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