Kirby: Triple Deluxe Review

Even though there are a lot of familiar things in Kirby’s latest adventure, Triple Deluxe is incredibly appetizing all the same.

Release Date: May 2, 2014Platform: 3DSDeveloper: HAL LaboratoryPublisher: NintendoGenre: Platformer

When it comes to their long-running franchises like Kirby, Nintendo often gets criticized of putting out the same exact game time and time again. In Kirby: Triple Deluxe on the 3DS, that big pink puff ball with the even bigger appetite adventures up a giant beanstalk (or Dreamstalk) to a sky kingdom called Floralia, home to a new antagonist named Taranza and his master, the evil Queen Sectonia. But while the little changes that Triple Deluxe makes are far from innovative, there’s still no denying that Nintendo knows how to craft a great platformer, pure and simple, and Kirby’s latest outing is no exception.

Curiously, this storyline in Triple Deluxe is only revealed through a cutscene leading up to the final boss fight and never at any point beforehand. You’ll play through the entire game having no clue as to what the point of Kirby’s latest adventure is, other than steadily moving up a growing beanstalk and sucking up everything in your path like always. As a result, the new villains themselves lack a certain punch, and the often hilarious King Dedede is actually rendered unconscious for a large part of it. But then again, this is still a Kirby game we’re talking about here, so does the lack of a decent story really even matter?

What DOES matter here is that Triple Deluxe is another solid entry in the long-running platformer series, and it ends up being exactly what you would expect from the Kirby camp these days. The game borrows a lot from 2011’s Kirby’s Return to Dream Land on the Wii, from its visual style, to Kirby’s power-ups and food pickups, to the overall interface. The gameplay itself is more of the same platforming goodness, with Kirby sucking up blocks, jumping over pits, and devouring enemies to make use of their quirky powers like Spark, Sword, or Needle.

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The use of 3D in Triple Deluxe is done wonderfully well, with inventive environments that call for Kirby to jump back and forth on the screen among the different layers in order to solve puzzles and progress through the stage, sort of like the layer effects in Mutant Mudds. The worlds themselves are filled with adorable creativity in their varied themes, from delicious cookie-based stages, to chilly snow levels that have Kirby moving giant snowballs to complete a headless snowman. 3D or not, this is easily the best looking Kirby game to date.

At the same time, though, Triple Deluxe does somewhat rely too heavily on its predecessors, and outside of the new level designs, there is very little that feels decidedly new here. But even so, the Kirby team still manages to put a fresh new spin on the rehashed content. For instance, the first three boss fights are the exact same bosses that you’ve fought in countless Kirby games before: Flowery Woods, Paintra, and Kracko. But surprisingly, each one of these battles feels very different and more exciting than the last time I faced the classic Kirby foes, thanks to a wide variety of attack patterns and some pretty unexpected setups thrown into the mix.

There are only a handful of new power-ups that we didn’t see before in previous Kirby titles, and while this certainly felt like a missed opportunity at first, Triple Deluxe more than makes up for it with the inclusion of the Hypernova, a new power given to Kirby at predetermined intervals throughout your adventure. The Hypernova allows Kirby to suck up and move larger items that he never would have been able to before, from trees and giant stone blocks, to even bosses themselves! This accounts for a big part of the puzzles in Triple Deluxe, or the set pieces if you will.

The game offers a ton of replay value even after you’ve reached the top of that magic beanstalk, with hundreds of Kirby-themed collectable key chains to find and some pretty in-depth sub-game modes. The best among these appendages is a new mode called Kirby Fighters, which functions just like Super Smash Bros., but with different Kirby powers. Kirby Fighters has a variety of different stages and difficulty settings to earn completion medals on, and with online multiplayer for up to four players, it’s going to be very easy to sink a handful of hours into beating up your friends.

Say what you will about Nintendo, but even if things really haven’t changed all that much for Kirby and friends over the years, it’s still an absolute blast to go through the motions once again, and to suck up enemies with that impossibly cavernous stomach. With great level designs, beautiful graphics, and tons of stuff to do, Kirby: Triple Deluxe on the 3DS is more enticing than a shiny Maxim Tomato.


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4 out of 5