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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Review: Kirby: Triple Deluxe

This game sucks.
Kirby is a strange anomaly in my history with video games. I can truly say that I've never once felt that a Kirby game has been difficult in any way, and my love of the series has mostly revolved around their aesthetic charm and flexibility with their protagonist. Yet, many Kirby games often have challenges within them that are surprisingly difficult, whether boss encounters or platforming elements.

While Kirby: Triple Deluxe doesn't necessarily challenge the player to complete the game, it features something not seen in more recent Kirby titles- a lot of side-content. Not just modes with slightly modified campaign gameplay (though they are present, as well), but a jamboree of fun Kirby-things to do. So let's take a look at what makes Triple Deluxe so great, shall we?


-Triple Deluxe utilizes the 3DS capabilities in all the best ways- its gyro puzzles are impressive and fun, and the 3D visuals are used in platforming and combat in great ways. You will feel left out if you choose to go through this game in 2D.

-A number of modes with their own unique challenges are present in Triple Deluxe- three very unique ones available right off the bat with Story, Kirby Fighters, and Dedede Drum Dash, with two more modes that feature Streetpass and other record fun.

-Every aesthetic in Kirby: Triple Deluxe is popping with vibrancy and excitement. Colors are bright and fresh, enemies and powers make satisfying sounds, and the music is great, as usual.


-While many Kirby titles lean towards enjoyability rather than difficulty, Triple Deluxe hides its progression-based collectables in relatively predictable areas while the bonus collectables are in the tough spots. Since bonus collectables are a randomized affair, it makes the whole idea seem a bit backwards.

-While classic bosses feature more new moves than ever, they're still the same enemies we've faced many times over and at this point, it's hard to reinvent them without feeling very similar.

-Hypernova Kirby sections feel less like challenging areas and more like straightforward puzzles and cinematic clips rather than actual gameplay.


If you've ever played a Kirby game before, you know what to expect. The cute puff-ball romps through a bunch of worlds, stealing enemy powers and destroying the hopes and dreams of all those in Dreamland because he's a gritty hero who will sacrifice one to save millions. There's some new abilities here and there to spice things up, and many old abilities are given the most comprehensive set of skills I've seen in a Kirby game yet- more on that later.

The level design in Triple Deluxe is pretty standard affair- it's interesting to see very classic Kirby level design in 3D. However, the game makes use of two-tiered platforming with interaction in the foreground and background quite often, and though it's not as sophisticated as the plane-jumping in Mutant Mudds, it's very fun to see enemies interact with both sections of the level as you try to dodge their attacks. Bosses cover the screen with vision-impairing hazards, reach between planes to attack, and cause Kirby to switch his positioning to dodge attacks- it's a very unique affair and it brings some much-needed freshness to bosses that have been seen before.

Nothing about the main campaign is really hard- the most difficult portions are those that require timing or gyro control, which is a highlight of the game with its clever uses and solid mechanics. The Sun Stones needed to progress are easier to obtain than the bonus collectables, and though there are a few bonus collectables that are rare and tough to get, they bring nothing interesting to the table aside from bragging rights. The inclusion of air-dodging, blocking, and rolling also means you're able to cover the field in ways you never could, and the Hypernova sections, which are a main feature, feel more like scripted elements than the effort of the player- there's a few puzzles here and there where you do have you utilize the Hypernova moveset in some engaging ways, but it's not really that clever or necessary. Luckily, these portions are removed in the "hard mode" setting, which is actually quite fun and offers a more substantial challenge.

The other modes, Kirby Fighters and Dedede Drum Dash, are actually very fleshed out, with Kirby Fighters borrowing the expanse movesets of the copy abilities as well as the air-dodging and blocking from the campaign and putting them to the test. While some abilities feel better suited towards battle than others, it's still fun to try to work around the shortcomings of specific abilities and claim victory- and Dark Kirby, the final boss in Fighters, is always ready to show you a trick or two you haven't seen before. Dedede Drum Dash is the sort of game that I could see score chasers enjoying, and has some tight mechanics that make its rhythm-based platforming feel really complex and satisfying. The additional unlockable modes feature Streetpass support and more score chasing, which should be fun to post on Miiverse.

While there's not a harsh challenge in the story mode of Triple Deluxe, the amount of content is truly impressive, and the variety is also much appreciated. Triple Deluxe feels like the 25th anniversary Kirby title we should have got, with its franchise spanning collectable keychains, multiple modes, and Smash Bros-esque multiplayer experience. Even if you don't find the basic game difficult, there's plenty more to keep you invested in this title.

Final Verdict: While the story mode lacks a real challenge, a number of modes with more substantial difficulty can be found in Kirby: Triple Deluxe. The overall package is an extremely well-rounded title that offers a lot to do on the 3DS, which is more than can be said about most games. If you love Kirby, you will love this game.

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