Friday, May 2, 2014

Kirb Your Enthusiasm

And now for something completely different! I'd like to talk for a minute about a game I actually liked. Nintendo released Kirby: Triple Deluxe last midnight, and I made it a point to grab a digital copy as soon as it was available. Now I've got mixed thoughts about digital distribution, but I decided to go that route anyway because 1) It's a lot faster than twiddling your thumbs waiting for a cartridge to arrive from Amazon or Best Buy, and 2) I don't really want to futz around with a stack of cartridges when I could just have all my games on one handy, high-capacity SD card. There was a slight price advantage buying the game on cart, but not enough to offset the speed and convenience of purchasing it straight from Nintendo's eShop.

(Image courtesy of
Anyway! The game itself is grand, with the quality you'd expect from the long-running Kirby series. (Well, not Kirby 64.) It feels like a heartfelt tribute to Kirby's Adventure on the NES, but with all the visual splendor the cutting edge 3DS can offer. The pastel graphics are dazzling, chock full of detail and clever 3D effects... in past games, enemies would pop into a cluster of stars when Kirby dispatched them, but here, they often spiral toward the player or off in the distance before they burst. There are also a lot of multi-tiered playfields, similar to the ones in the Virtual Boy's lone standout Wario Land. Simply hop on a giant star and it takes you to platforms in the background, often a necessity for completing stages. The music is also worth mentioning, putting fresh CD-quality spins on all your favorite tunes from Kirby's Adventure.

Commencing Operation Vacuu-suck.
Suck... suck... suck!
(image courtesy of
As for the gameplay, well, it's boilerplate Kirby, with a gimmick to keep things from getting too predictable. This time, instead of cartoon animal steeds or a small army of clones or a brain-damaged grape sidekick, there's a special fruit that kicks Kirby into "hypernova." While Kirby is flashing all the colors of an LSD trip, his suction power is dramatically increased, letting him pull massive stone blocks, devour enemies three times his size, or even peel away the screen, revealing a sunny landscape underneath. The pink puffball has never seemed more powerful than he does while on a hypernova fruit high, and it's hard to imagine how Nintendo and HAL Laboratories will be able to top it in the next Kirby game.

Above all else, Kirby: Triple Deluxe is a game that oozes optimism. It's hard not to be happy playing this, whether you've found a new keychain to add to your collection or putting the smackdown on cartoon enemies with one of Kirby's surprisingly deep copy abilities or just admiring your colorful surroundings. Triple Deluxe offers a simple, innocent euphoria you probably haven't found in too many games lately. If you're as tired as I am of the grim work of running over hookers and gunning down one-dimensional terrorists, that's reason enough to pick up a copy for yourself.


  1. First, I *love* the headline you came up with here. Of course, I've always liked punny things so maybe I shouldn't be so surprised.

    Second, I'm glad to hear you're enjoying this game so much! I didn't pick it up at launch, but I'll definitely be getting it later in the year. It looks very similar to Kirby's Return to Dreamland on the Wii, and I loved how that one both looked and played, so...

    1. Thanks! I was hesitant to use it, because curbing one's enthusiasm is to temper or limit it, and that's something I definitely did NOT want to do in this review. But I'm glad it worked anyway!

      I never played Return to Dreamland; for some reason I thought Kirby's Epic Yarn was the only major Kirby release on the Wii. There were a lot of titles I missed on that system... I *just* got around to buying Punch-Out!!, for instance. I can't believe it's been out for five years!