It might have taken him longer than usual to make his platform debut but some things are just worth the wait, aren’t they? Kirby is back for his 15th instalment and his first proper release on the Nintendo 3DS. Kirby Triple Deluxe is a strong debut from the loveable pink puff and like a lot of Nintendo releases, the plot of the game is simple enough, the aim being to get you right into the action.
One day Kirby awakes from his slumber to discover King Dedede has been kidnapped by a devious villain who has also taken Kirby’s castle, and the king, into the clouds of Floralia via a giant beanstalk. Even though Dedede has been a thorn in the side of Kirby for some time, he knows the right thing to do is to save the King of Dreamland. Without hesitation, Kirby runs up the Dream Stalk and goes in pursuit of the King and his captors across various worlds.
There are seven worlds in Triple Deluxe and each is more ridiculously packed with fun than the previous. Even though this is a platformer, Kirby is not restricted from only going left to right across your screen but instead he is able to move from the background to the foreground via the catch a star system. Players jump into the star and depending where you are, you’re moved to the front or back. This mechanic has allowed HAL Laboratory, the developer, to create more interactive levels and really immerse the player into the whole world of Triple Deluxe.
As Kirby is in hot pursuit of Dedede’s captors, he traverses across some harsh terrains and locations. It is not out of the norm for him in Triple Deluxe to have to swim while avoiding under water monsters, dodge lava balls, or even push against the strong current of a wind storm. The level structure is quite diverse as well. Some levels will play like a traditional platformer, while other levels have puzzles or secret entrances to locate. No matter how you get from point A to point B, the developer keeps the action fresh and rarely do the levels feel recycled or repetitive.
Now don’t feel too bad for Kirby. He has plenty of natural skills that allow him to keep pace with the kidnappers. Inherently, Kirby possesses the following abilities: the inhale, Star Spit, slide kick, air bullet, and floating. Each skill is crucial to master, that is if you want to survive. Inhale and Star Spit are used the most often as they are vital in collecting stars, defeating enemies, and blowing up bomb bricks. Inhale is also used for eating enemies and then copying their abilities. There are twenty-six different copy abilities for Kirby to try out, some of the more useful ones being spear, archer, circus, and ice. The hypernova ability you come across in the game is new to the series and it’s the most powerful one as it creates a strong suction power. It is used sparingly in the game but it is vital for completing puzzles, navigating lava filled lakes, and of course devouring anything in its path.
For the collectors out there, Triple Deluxe should scratch the collecting itch. Each level has a certain amount of Sun Stones, stars, and keychains. For every 100 stars collected a new life is earned, while keychains are made out of classic Kirby sprites from previous games. As for Sun Stones, a certain amount of them are needed in order to unlock the final boss in each world.
The main story is the star of the show and should provide hours of entertainment. Upon completing the story, only 50% of the game was done and so there is plenty of replay value for those wishing to collect all the Sun Stones and keychains. Other modes included are Kirby Fighters, a knock-off of Super Smash Bros, a drum rhythm game called Dedede’s Drum Dash, Arena and True Arena, and lastly Dedede Tour. The latter can only be unlocked by beating the game and it stars King Dedede.
Kirby Triple Deluxe is an excellent experience from front to back. HAL laboratory could’ve made a far less complicated platformer and it still would’ve sold well. Instead they have pushed the envelope from a creativity and visual presentation perspective, its solid controls and imaginative puzzles making this a game you don’t want to put down. This game is the perfect mix between classic Nintendo platforming and cutting edge game design, which is a rare combination to find and one that should be celebrated.