By Jonathan Higgins / May 12th, 2014
Before I wrap things up, I’ll talk for a bit about the game’s presentation and other elements. For one thing: there is a main story mode, several multiplayer mini-games, and a few bonus unlocks upon completion of the main game. Regarding the mini-games: “Kirby Fighters” and “Dedede’s Drum Dash” are decent, but hardly something I’d consider substantial. In Kirby Fighters, you use one of many copy abilities to mash other Kirbys in an arena. And Dedede’s Drum Dash is HAL Laboratory’s take on a rhythm game. Both are good, but far from great. The unlocks, however, are worth it (and look like fun!) I won’t spoil anything, but I can promise your reward for completing the game is not a simple title screen pallete swap or a star added onto your file like a certain Mario game.
Do you like collecting things? I’m sure you’ve heard of Triple Deluxe’s Key Chains by now! They don’t do anything, but there are hundreds of nostalgic little things to collect and share with others via StreetPass. Since the levels are well-built and this game is all-around decent, I would consider collecting these key chains a plus towards the game’s overall replay value. I’m probably going to go out of my way to find every single one. Each of the game’s levels has a special Gold Key Chain hidden cleverly in it—sometimes more cleverly than the game’s Sun Stones. Speaking of Sun Stones: here’s the game’s story. Kirby wakes up to find his home has been carried towards the sky on a giant bean-stalk. Then some punk captures King Dedede! You spend the whole game chasing this guy down to save the king, collecting Sun Stones as you go…without ever knowing why. Everything is revealed at the end instead of offering a steady story progression. I’m not sure if that’s the best way to go about storytelling, but…I hardly consider plot to be the selling-point of a Kirby game. Goodness knows the story is at least better than Kirby Squeak Squad where the whole premise was to recover a cake.
What the game lacks in story, it makes up for in terms of visuals and soundtrack. Known Kirby composer, Jun Ishikawa, returns to deliver top-notch tunes. Every once in a while, the music would throw me for a loop in a good way. I think a lot of the composers’ choices will leave players pleasantly surprised by the end. As far as visuals—it’s more of what made Return to Dream Land great, except it has excellent use of the 3D to better achieve a real sense of depth.
Still…if you take nothing else from my two-thousand words on Kirby: Triple Deluxe, understand this: it’s a very competent, very good game…but the reason I’ve mentioned Kirby’s Return to Dream Land so much in this review is because it does so very little to differentiate itself from it. I’m used to each new, traditional Kirby entry (with rare exceptions like Squeak Squad) showing the natural evolution of Kirby gameplay. Triple Deluxe isn’t an exception in terms of Kirby quality—but the reason I’m hesitant to call this game anything more than “good, possibly great” is because, at times, it just felt like this game could have been so much more. The boss fights and the last few worlds will impress, but beyond that…it’s more of what many love and many others have felt got too easy, or too stale.
Review copy purchased by author.
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