REVIEW – Kirby Triple Deluxe 3DS

Kirby Triple Deluxe boxKirby’s Smartest Adventure Yet –

Although Mario has held many positions over the years, from Doctor to sports star to kart driver, Kirby has always been Nintendo’s ace-in-the-hole, filling the shoes for whatever role Nintendo needs. While Star Stacker, Blockball, Dream Course, Avalanche, Air Ride, Tilt’n Tumble, and Pinball have covered many different genres, Kirby’s foundation is the 2D platformer and Triple Deluxe, Kirby’s latest title on 3DS, is an enjoyable romp from start to finish, filled with a ton of collectables, and includes some very entertaining minigames.

Each world ends with a boss battle
Each world ends with a boss battle

Interestingly, the story for Triple Deluxe’s campaign does not present itself until the quest’s closing moments. All the player knows is that Kirby is traveling up a mysterious beanstalk, or Dreamstalk as it is called here, and has to tackle one stage at a time from a linear overworld map. Even though the player doesn’t really have a clue about what is going on story-wise, it never interferes with the thoughtful gameplay.

Bell Kirby is just one of many Kirby types
Bell Kirby is just one of many Kirby types

HAL Laboratories has a long history with the Kirby series as well as Nintendo’s popular fighter, Super Smash Bros, and it is hard to ignore the influence they have had on one another. Triple Deluxe gives Kirby more options that ever thanks to Smash Bros-like combat and a wealth of different abilities to assume. While there mainly is only one attack button, each inhalable ability will allow for multiple types of attacks. Holding down the attack button or combining it with a direction or dash maneuver usually results in a unique attack depending on the assimilated ability. This makes experimenting and variety constant as certain abilities might work better in given situations and overall really just makes this game what it is. Luckily, motion control is kept to a minimum and is used in a simple but nonintrusive way like tilting the system to light a candle or move a platform.

There is an overworld map but it is linear
There is an overworld map but it is linear

Besides the detailed fighting system, the main gimmick behind Triple Deluxe is the ability to travel back and forth between the foreground and background and being able to become hypernova Kirby. Yes, jumping between the planes and utilizing the hypernova ability are always scripted but work passionately into each level design; this would have been a completely different game if these abilities were summoned at will. Because of this, the campaign is rather linear but the designers have crafted a detailed experience that rarely reuses old tricks. At times, Kirby will even carry this pole that extends between the foreground and background and plays to the title’s strengths in puzzle solving. Hypernova Kirby is also pretty wild as his stomach literally turns into a black hole, sucking up items, objects, and enemies several times larger than his size.

Sectonia - this queen bee is actually the final boss
Sectonia – this queen bee is actually the final boss

Depending on play style, each stage might only take a minute or two to complete. However, players are encouraged to collect the hidden sunstones within each stage that ultimately unlock more stages and content. Each stage, as well as StreetPass functionality, has hidden keychains to find that pay homage to previous Kirby games. These creative collectables are similar to the Trophies in the Smash Bros games and provide extra incentive for scouring every corner of each stage. Even the stage ending cannon minigame provides a reward for performing well.

Like Smash Bros. Trophies, there are tons of keychains to collect
Like Smash Bros. Trophies, there are tons of keychains to collect

Avoiding spoilers, the endgame unlocks a couple new features that yields the time it takes for a second playthrough and the Kirby Fighters minigame is basically a mini Smash Bros and should hold fans over until the new Super Smash Bros. titles are release on 3DS and Wii U in 2014. There is also a Dedede rhythm game that is fun for a few minutes but will definitely not hold attention like the Kirby Fighters minigame. In fact, these minigames are so fleshed out and fun on their own that rumors were spreading that these games will become available as stand-alone eShop downloads at some point in the future.

This Fighters minigame is pretty sweet
This Fighters minigame is pretty sweet

Like the Wii exclusive Kirby’s Return to Dreamland, Triple Deluxe features a bright color pallet that is rarely mimicked in modern games. Sure, this is nothing new for a Kirby title but this is undoubtedly one good looking 3DS game. In fact, this is one game that playing with the 3D effect cranked up not only looks great but also plays to your benefit as some puzzles use the stereoscopic 3D effect in puzzle solving. 2DS players don’t have anything to worry about but they will miss out on some cool effects. The soundtrack and bookending cutscenes also provide high presentation values.

Kirby Triple Deluxe is one of the best Kirby titles to date despite having a goofy name. The campaign is enjoyable thanks to a clever combat system, smart level design, difficult but never unfair boss battles, and a ton of things to unlock and collect. The meta game also opens worthwhile doors and the minigames, specifically Kirby Fighter, is one of the best minigames I have played in quite a while. The whole quest might only last a half dozen hours but this 3DS exclusive is one smart platformer.




Makes You Crave: the next Smash Bros titles
Wait For It: Kirby Tilt’n Tumble 2
Also Try: 4 player co-op Kirby Return to Dreamland on Wii


By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief
Twitter: @ZackGaz

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