Kirby is overpowered, and the enemies of Floralia don’t stand a chance. While Kirby may not get out as much as the Super Mario Bros. crew, Kirby games rarely disappoint and Kirby: Triple Deluxe is no different. If you’re expecting a challenging Nintendo platformer in the vein of the new Donkey Kong Country games you are going to be disappointed. Kirby is an entry-level platformer that is appropriate for younger players and an absolute blast to play through for experienced gamers.
Utilizing copy abilities (new and old) Kirby is an unstoppable force. With the ice copy ability Kirby glides gracefully at high speeds through the stage turning anyone that gets in the way into an ice cube and flinging them across the stage into the next enemy. After inhaling an archer enemy, Kirby now wears an archer’s hat and can fire charged arrows and camouflage itself to hide from enemies. Each copy ability has a number of different combos that can be used, but mostly they are just for show and fun. The game was never difficult enough where I really needed to make use of anything other than the most basic moves. When it came down to it though, I didn’t care. Cutting through enemies as an adorable pink blob of doom is great no matter how it’s done.
Some stages have sections where Kirby must use its new hypernova ability to complete, turning Kirby’s inhale into an inescapable black hole. It’s an enjoyable addition at first, but by the end of the game the puzzles that it is used for start to grow stale. Hypernova was entertaining for a while, but it’s not something I would miss if it weren’t included in future games. Using Kirby’s other abilities are simply more fun.
Since Kirby is so powerful, flying through each stage in the main game won’t take very long. I was able to beat the game in just over 10 hours and collected about 50% of the optional key chains and sun stone collectibles along the way. Collecting all of the sun stones in a world will unlock a more difficult secret stage. It will certainly take some time to collect everything, but a larger variety of things in order to reach that 100% completion would have made the frustrating pill of a short main game easier to swallow.
Although the length of the game was disappointing, once the game is over there are a variety of different modes that offer a fair amount of replay value. Outside of the main game there is a Super Smash Bros-like AI/local multiplayer and a boss arena mode, which pits Kirby against harder versions of each boss. Frequent series villain King Dedede also gets some time in the spotlight as he is playable in a time attack version of the main game and oddly enough, a rhythm based mini-game. None of these modes are as deep as the main game, but they add a decent amount of stuff to do after the game is over to further justify the price of admission.
The 3DS’ 3D slider is often lamented as a gimmick and rightfully so for most games. However Kirby: Triple Deluxe is one of those rare exceptions and is the best use of the slider since Super Mario 3D Land. Flying baddies swoop in from the background, globs of paint get flung towards the screen to obscure my vision, and at certain locations Kirby can hop on a star to leave the foreground and move into the background. If you can’t handle the 3D, the game is certainly playable without it, but the effect definitely adds, not distracts, from the gameplay.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe delivers what Kirby fans expect to see and brings enough new features to the table to freshen up the series for veterans and attract newcomers. It will overload you with charm and have you humming its melodies long after you shut it off. More importantly, it is a solid game that will appeal to gamers of all ages and skill levels. For some, the length and relative ease of the main will be a deal breaker. At the end of the day though, Kirby: Triple Deluxe is pure bliss in cartridge form and will keep a smile on your face for the entirety of that short campaign.