Kirby: Triple Deluxe
It's astonishing to think that a giant pink ball with eyes and a mouth has made it to 13 of his own games, plus numerous cameos elsewhere. That's not bad for a character that was only originally created to serve as a placeholder, which is exactly how Kirby came to be.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe (or Kirby 3D as that can be reduced down to) continues the theme of previous games, proving to be quite imaginative if still quite simple to complete. It's not going to rival any Mario game in terms of difficulty, but it's a noticeable improvement upon the rather uninspired Yoshi's New Island of earlier in the year.
Opting for a 2.5D perspective rather than going full 3D, Kirby: Triple Deluxe is a comfortable game to play. It's the kind of title that takes seconds to pick up and learn. Holding B causes Kirby to inhale enemies with him able to either fling them towards another enemy or obstacle, or he can copy their ability by pressing down and absorbing the power. The choice of ability is varied to say the least.
Kirby can gain the power of fire breathing, he can transform himself into a stone statue falling on top of his foes, plus he can don a cowboy hat and start whipping away at his adversaries. That's without mentioning the bells based attack, circus Kirby (involving balancing on a giant ball, amongst other things) and the Rhino Kirby, whereby Kirby turns into a Rhinoceros Beetle and uses a horn to charge enemies out of the way.
It's varied to the point that it's almost a shame. Often, there's little time to truly appreciate such changes as Kirby: Triple Deluxe is rarely taxing enough to require much ingenuity. I found myself sticking to the same few abilities, such as using the archer when dealing with a boss battle (most simply involve throwing projectiles at them so a bow is very handy here) or simply using regular Kirby as he could hold his own anyhow.
Perhaps the most important addition to his arsenal is being able to go Hypernova, meaning Kirby is much stronger to the point that he can lift up trees and giant enemies, as well as move huge vehicles. It's both fun and satisfying to do with such moments never so commonplace as to feel overused.
Primarily, the platforming is 2d based but there's often the opportunity to leap back and forth between the foreground and background. At times, obstacles can go across both too, such as giant pillars taking out everything in their path. It's wise to keep an eye on what's going on both plains, something that not enough 3DS games have achieved in recent times.
The 3D effect also comes in handy during certain boss battles, with it aiding one in predicting which enemies will leap out from the background, for instance. It's a neat touch, rarely feeling overdone, much like the rest of the visuals. While Kirby: Triple Deluxe isn't as stunning as Kirby's Epic Yarn, it still maintains a certain level of attractiveness.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe is a little too easy for comfort though. Sure, no one wants Dark Souls style level challenge here but this is a title that would struggle to challenge a child. While completing the game will only take around six hours or so, there's replayability thanks to the hundreds of collectible keychains that can be acquired along the way. They're surprisingly detailed in their animations and soon enough, you'll find yourself keen to collect them all.
Elsewhere, there's the addition of two mini-games of sorts too. Kirby Fighters is a lot like a simplified version of Smash Bros, while Dedede's Drum Bash is a rhythm game all about keeping to the beat. The former is superior to the latter, but they both serve their role in making Kirby: Triple Deluxe seem a better value package than its general length.
It's a shame that Kirby: Triple Deluxe is ambitious to a fault, almost, as it's still solidly enjoyable. With a few tweaks to its difficulty level, it would have been all the more gripping with some excellent use of abilities. As it stands, it's worth checking out but it fails to offer the same longevity as the likes of New Super Mario Bros 2 and Donkey Kong Country 3DS.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe is out now on Nintendo 3DS.
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