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Kirby's Adventure (NES)

87
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.2
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Pixelspeech (951)
Written on  :  Jul 10, 2011
Platform  :  NES
Rating  :  4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars

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Summary

Cute, sweet and a good challenge for inexperienced platformers like myself

The Good

There are a lot of different enemies and you just keep discovering more as the story progresses, this is nice since most games (Like Zelda II) have specific enemies for each zone whereas in this game you can always be surprised by something. This is also important because you need those enemies to give Kirby weapons like a sword or a boomerang. Also nice is that the enemies and Kirby don't get any stronger during the game, so even the enemies you encountered in the first level can prove a challenge due to the brilliant level design (read: spawn-locations).

The whole game is very cute and colorful which is very nice for the kids and for some reason I kind of liked it myself as well, does this mean that I am not manly anymore, I don't think so, I just think that it's because game doesn't rub it in your face. Yes, you are a pink blob trying to save a land of dreams by defeating a penguin, but the game focuses on platforming in colorful environments, you never have to go care-bears on anything or use the power of love to solve problems. The kids are probably the only ones who notice the cuteness while I only noticed that platforming.

I will admit it: This game was quite a challenge for me, the guy who played roughly 500 games since he started in 1998, had to try his hardest to beat a Kirby game, I am ashamed. The problem is that I never really played 2D-platformers all that much and the level designer made sure that a lot of jumps are very tricky to pull off without bumping into enemies, he also made sure that you often run into the hardest combinations of enemies possible. Luckily this game is very child-friendly, so if you die you start at the beginning of the screen you were on and if you go game-over you just start the stage again (instead of the whole game or the whole level).

I really like the music in this game because it really fits with the cheerful tone and it's probably in the top ten best soundtracks on the Nintendo Entertainment System which was probably very important because this game came out very late (1993), the Super Nintendo was already available for quite a while, so I can understand a lot of people stopped buying games for the older systems. it also shows that this game was one of the last ones graphic-wise, it's right up there with Super Mario Bros. 3.

You can do a lot of mini-games in between the stages that give you more points and lives, these games are pretty creative (like a western stand-off or eating eggs while avoiding bombs). It's too bad that aside from the arena fights you can't retry any of these games because they close after doing them once, but I can understand this since they are probably meant as a short distraction from normal platforming... and they probably didn't want people to farm lives like crazy.

I want to know who was the person that walked into the office one day and said: "You know what would be cool, if people could play the game with a save-feature, so they don't have to do everything in one sitting", that guy/girl deserves a golden trophy and nothing less. In my Super Mario Bros. 3 review I made the point that I just don't have the time or interest to cancel all my appointments to play through the entire game in one sitting, but in Kirby's Adventure I don't have to do that, I can put the game down for a week and play some other game.

The Bad

There were a few annoying control problems from time to time, like when you want to jump up, but Kirby goes into his flying mode which makes him unable to attack (this was especially annoying during the last boss). At other times it was very hard to hit an enemy with a certain power without getting hit yourself and some powers were just overpowered (such as a spike shield that kills everything it touches or the powers that you get from eating the bosses. I also want to mention entering doors which you do by pressing up, but was often confused for jumping.

I experienced a lot of glitches, mostly graphics related, but the most common one is when I am trying to start up the game and it just keeps repeating two seconds from the opening cinematic over and over again, that one often takes several cartridge-blowing sessions to fix. Most graphics errors involved my screen going dark or textures having seizures, but these were easily fixed by clicking the reset button after finishing the stage. The cartridge is in a perfect state, so I think this is a programming error, although I could be wrong.

The Bottom Line

Kirby's Adventure is probably one of my favorite games and the fact that I got a box with the original price tag on it (69.90 Gulden) gives it some emotional value, it reminds me of better times. The game itself is also great and without a doubt my favorite platformer (not counting Zelda II) thanks to a great level design and a very colorful and charming aesthetic.

If you really don't want to play something this cute, don't worry, I won't force you, but if you want to play a good platformer with a very interesting (a brutal when taken out of context) way to fight enemies, then Kirby's Adventure is definitely a recommendation. This is also a nice game for kids, if I may point out the obvious.