By Sean Booker
May 23, 2014 - 11:53
Kirby has always been Nintendo’s go to franchise for trying out new and weird ideas; though Triple Deluxe doesn’t change things up much it does still stand out as a fun, engaging and colorful platformer worthy of your attention. The levels remain too easy but differ enough from one another to keep you wanting to come back and explore. The game showcases all this with great visuals, smart 3D design and lovely remixed music. Top it off with a selection of bonus games to play outside the already enjoyable campaign to make Kirby Triple Deluxe a fantastic game.
The gameplay hasn’t changed from your core Kirby experience; you’ll suck enemies up and use their powers to traverse the stage. One of the new additions is an egg that turns you into Hypernova Kirby. When changed you gain the ability to suck up pretty much anything in front of you (you don’t get any powers this way though like in Return to Dreamland). It makes you extremely powerful for the duration of the stage. This doesn’t help the fact that Triple Deluxe is as easy as we have come to expect from a Kirby game. Hypernova mode does however change up some of the ways you can interact with obstacles and creates interesting set piece like moments. This power also comes into play during one of the best and deeply satisfying moments near the end of the campaign. Hypernova isn’t the most inventive addition but it does lead to some fun moments.
The second, and more important, change is the inclusion of multi planes of platforms to traverse through. Similar to LittleBigPlanet where you can jump between planes in Z-space, you can take warp stars back and forth into the background plane at pre-designated points. The levels have been designed extremely well around this dual-plane concept. Many enemies will attack you from the background until you can access their area. There will be many obstacles flying back and forth for you to dodge or destroy. For example, large trains will come hurtling towards the camera for you to avoid. You will find a great deal of ways the game and you can interact with the multiple planes.
Helping this play with depth is the use of 3D. Often you will find that some obstacles are easier to avoid when you can see slightly around them. Similar to how Paper Mario will flatten the image until you rotate the camera, Kirby Triple Deluxe will have some enemies on both planes simultaneously and the 3D helps you navigate around the actual ones on your path. The presentation is also enhanced by the great music throughout the game. Many of the usual Kirby songs have been remixed quite nicely and the final world’s general theme is really catchy. Seeing this along with the customary dancing Kirby sections really makes the game whimsical and fun.
The levels are also littered with collectable items to find. The standard three main objects are present and finding all of these will unlock bonus stages in each world. You will also find keychains that depict tons of random items or characters throughout all the Kirby games (similar to the trophies in Super Smash Bros.). Keychains are also awarded based on how well you do in the end-game mini-game of each stage. There’s a lot to find and the uniqueness of each makes them a bit more meaningful than your standard collectable.
One of the most interesting sections of the game is a bonus mode and called Kirby Fighters. In here you can select one of the various power-ups to use against enemy Kirby with differing abilities. The gameplay is very similar to Super Smash Bros. in which items will spawn that can be used while you fight on a small isometric stage. It’s quite fun with all the different variations that will come up. It can be played with up to four players locally by smartly using the DS Download Play feature - so having only one game cart is fine. There’s also a single player option here to take on increasing difficulties of computer controlled enemies. On top of this mode are various other smaller (and less interesting in my opinion) mini-games you can unlock. It’s great to see so much bonus content in the game but Kirby Fighters is the clear stand-out.
Kirby Triple Deluxe is a solid and engaging platformer with a ton of extra hooks to keep you playing. The use of 3D is fantastic as you dodge and fly your way around the stages while playing with the depth. It looks good, sounds good and has a great degree of variation to keep you coming back. Despite being too easy for the majority, the level design comes up with reasons not to turn away. There’s a lot of great content in this game and its presentation only helps prove that.
Rating: 10 /10