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Published on May 7th, 2014 | by APant1

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Kirby: Triple Deluxe Review: Special Sauce

I’ll admit it: I love the Kirby series. I don’t care that I’m an adult playing a game about an adorable pink puff-ball that swallows enemies to absorb their powers. SuperStar is without question my second favorite game of all time. Something about the candy-colored levels and the couple dozen abilities to pick from just clicked with me when I was a little kid. The last couple of years of Kirby games have been mixed, with great entries like Return to Dream Land and not-quite-so-terrific games like Mass Attack.

I was suspicious about Triple Deluxe when I pre-ordered it, mostly because of its cheeseburger-sounding name. Within five minutes of starting the game, I was grinning from ear to ear, and it puts a big, stupid smile on my face every time I turn it on. It’s good, is what I’m saying.

What surprised me most is that it takes 3D very seriously. It’s too late to make any difference, but this is the game that proves 3D can work and work well on the 3DS. The levels are largely based on moving into and out of the background, but not like in LittleBig Planet where you can change lanes at will, it’s only done at predetermined points. A lot of attacks, enemies, and visual effects will start in the background and move toward you, and having the 3D effect turned on not only looks great, but makes it easier to see them coming and precisely dodge them.

A Kirby game like this could easily fall into the trap of including a ton of old bosses and levels, but the content is very new and fresh in Triple Deluxe. Even the bosses they did recycle, like the evergreen Wispy Woods, have been given a big upgrade to use 3D attacks in interesting ways. The new copy abilities are good too, if a bit strange. Archer I understand, but Bell? Circus? How is Circus a power?

The one trap HAL Laboratories did fall into was the same one that every first-party Nintendo game seems to do these days. In every level, there are X number of hidden collectibles, usually three. You know what I’m talking about: Mario’s Star Coins, Yoshi’s sunflowers, or this game’s Sun Stones. If you’ve been playing video games at all for the last two decades, you know where to look to find these, There always to the left when the sign points right, past the exit, or in the hidden door behind the moon.

Yes, secrets are one of my favorite parts of any video game, but I feel this setup changes the tone of the game. It’s not as rewarding when you know there are a set number of doohickeys to grab. It’s just another box to check off, there’s not as much sense of discovery when you have a good idea what’s coming.

Overall, I’m loving the game. It looks great, plays great, and there’s a pretty good amount of content, even if it feels like it’s being artificially boosted by collectibles. It’s even got a versus multiplayer mode, sort of like a Smash Bros. Lite, which I can’t wait to try with friends. Kirby: Triple Deluxe is out now on 3DS. Fries and a soft drink available separately.

 

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