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Kirby: Triple Deluxe Review: Short, But Sweet
Kirby: Triple Deluxe certainly takes its inspiration from Kirby’s last major appearance in 2011’s Kirby’s Return to Dream Land, but let’s get it out of the way early – this isn’t some sort of rehash title. From the moment King Dedede is kidnapped and Kirby sets out to Floralia to rescue him, Triple Deluxe is another solid Kirby title. Along with Kirby and the Amazing Mirror being released recently on the Wii U’s Virtual Console, Kirby fans should have no shortage of Kirby titles to play.
There are a few things missing, but Kirby: Triple Deluxe adds several concepts based around the features of the Nintendo 3DS. They all work brilliantly. Whether it’s using the gyroscope to manipulate various objects, or learning to pay close attention to the background and foreground, Triple Deluxe is definitely a 3DS game.
In fact, turn your 3D up, because the game looks great with it on, as there’s a variety of effects involving it. Projectiles, enemies, and even Kirby will fly towards the screen, comically smashing into it.
There’s constantly something happening in the background, and you’ll often be using special warp stars to jump in and out of the background. Bosses and enemies alike will make sure you’re dividing your attention between both fields, and sometimes, things can get pretty frantic.
Kirby is as expressive as always, and the game is colourful, looking about as good as Return in Dream Land, just running at the 3DS’s resolution.
The graphics look smooth, with very few jagged edges on the character models and the enemies are as cute as always. You’ll be facing off with large, intimidating bosses who look great and are well animated. Not only does everything look good, but it sounds great – the music is amazing, especially the boss themes.
You’ll hear classic Kirby tracks remixed and reinvented, and you might even find some unexpected songs hiding in the sub games.
I’m not sure if it’s because of the consistent attention paid to the background, but Kirby: Triple Deluxe seems to have more personality than older Kirby games – there are numerous funny moments throughout the game with Waddle Dees, who are often totally abused by Kirby and his new Hypernova ability.
Let’s talk about the Hypernova, as it forms a significant amount of what makes Kirby: Triple Deluxe a fun and satisfying game. In specific levels, Kirby is able to grab a large glowing seed which gives him the Hypernova ability, turning his regular vacuum ability into something much crazier.
Replacing the Super Abilities from Return to Dream Land, Hypernova is used mostly for interesting puzzles or causing complete destruction. From using Kirby’s powerful suction to move blocks, or even enacting a Three Little Pigs moment and ruining some houses, the Hypernova sections are a blast.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe has two types of items you’ll be watching out for in levels. Keychains, which are collectible references to many past Kirby titles, are incredibly plentiful and hidden all throughout each level, or you can buy them with Play Coins.
There’s also Sun Stones, which unlock the boss of each world. They also unlock an extra level in each of the six major worlds if every other Sun Stone in the world is found. They’re very much like the Energy Spheres found in Return to Dream Land.
Sun Stones are often the reward for solving various puzzles, usually focused on copy abilities or the use of gyroscope mechanics. Various items like keys and cannons found in Return to Dream Land can also be found in Floralia, and they’ll play a fair share in the game’s numerous puzzles as well.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe, unfortunately, doesn’t feature the cooperative multiplayer from Return to Dream Land, and outside of one of its sub games, Kirby Fighters, lacks a multiplayer component.
This is a let down, but it doesn’t take away from how solid the game’s main mode is. It’s a well designed single player adventure, and the game, in typical Kirby fashion, isn’t done once you beat it. There’s an Extra Mode, as always – although this time, you won’t be playing as Kirby.
This is good, as while it’s a great game, it’s not a very long one. I made it through the main mode in a little over seven hours, and that includes collecting every Sun Stone and completing every extra level. This is a handheld game, so its shorter length is expected but definitely disappointing.
It’s undeniable that you’ll be left wanting more, and I’m not sure if the Extra Mode or the Arena mode are enough to make up for it. The Arena does condense the game’s wonderful boss fights into a full on gauntlet mode, which is certainly appreciated.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe has some of my favourite boss fights of the entire series – bosses have large movesets and consistently surprise you with new attacks. Old staples like Kracko come back with newly found power, and even Whispy Woods gets an upgrade into a more interesting form.
Speaking of new power, Kirby isn’t a stranger to that. Kirby has access to 25 copy abilities (outside of Hypernova), with four of them debuting in Triple Deluxe. Of the four new powers, Archer and Beetle stand out the best – Beetle has already became one of my favourite powers. Any Kirby player should be able to find uses for any of the powers in Triple Deluxe, new or classic.
Other than that, Kirby’s moveset is very similar to previous games, and its all very responsive – you shouldn’t have issues controlling this game.
Two new mechanics stand out to me – one is the very useful ability to tap a part of the touchscreen to drop abilities. The other is a dodge, usable by moving in a direction while holding a shoulder button to guard: no doubt in this game due to the Smash Bros like Kirby Fighters.
It’s smart to go into this game not expecting Return to Dream Land in a handheld form – this isn’t quite that (and that’s not a bad thing). What Kirby: Triple Deluxe does offer is a short but sweet experience to play on the fly, and I can see Kirby Fighters being a fun game to play with your Kirby loving friends, especially if they’re competitive.
Another thing to note is that Triple Deluxe is by no means a difficult game. It’s very generous with extra lives, dying will only bring you back to the beginning of a screen, and while more challenging than the rest of the game, even the bosses don’t offer much resistance with the right abilities. This means even newer players shouldn’t be spending more than 10 hours on the game’s main mode.
In the end, Kirby: Triple Deluxe is a game for Kirby fans at its core, and as a platformer, it comes recommended to anyone who enjoys them. Be ready to have fun, just know that it’ll likely be over before you realize it.