Original and cute adventure on the NES, but badly lack challenge and variety
Kirby's Adventure is a NES game released late in the life of the NES, and however it's still a notable game. although this game has now quite a few sequels for others game consoles, this is the only Kirby game I've ever played yet so I cannot say how the series turned out or anything, I'll review this game as a standalone game.
Being one of those late NES game, Kirby's Adventure really impress on the graphics department. You'll be constantly thinking (wow, the NES can do this ?). The whole game is really cute and nicely designed/flavored. It's really easy to fell in love for the game's universe with it's cute graphics. You control Kirby (not so surprising) a little pink ball with eyes and a mouth, and that can take almost any form he likes. He's really cute.
This game is a linear platformer, and you go from one level to the next one, occasionally having to defeat bosses on your way. Kirby has a really impressive load of moves possibles, and that's probably one of the most impressive thing with the game. Basically he can jump and slide (like Megaman), nothing too impressive so far. However, he can also inhale air to float in the air (effectively allowing him to fly), and he can swim as well. While he basically cannot attack and can only dodge, he still have the ability to inhale enemies and then either throw them back to other stuff, or effectively eat them, and then he gains the ability of the eaten enemy. Not all enemies have abilities (nor all of them are eatable, some will damage him instead), but those who does mostly have great abilities. After inhaling enemies, Kirby can have really great powers such as using weapons or magic that have various effects and ranges. Even if a couple of abilities are useless, most of them are cool (also there is one enemy that makes Kirby sleep instead, and then he's vulnerable, just like the sleep aliment in most RPGs, so beware !).
Most music in Kirby's Adventure, while not awesome, is definitely worth noting for being fast-paced and overall happy. For some reason it sounds really different from all other NES music around, I don't really know why. I just uses different "instruments" than most NES games. The boss music annoyed me tough, so did a couple of other music heard in the game.
Finally the gameplay is very varied and the controls are perfect and responsive, there is no reason to really dislike Kirby's Adventure, as the game is solid and works well. Also something I liked is the fact that even if the game is linear, all stages are re-visitable, and there is a considerable amount of secrets to be found around, in case you'll be bored.
Kirby's Adventure doesn't come without its set of flaws. The bigger flaw is that the game is really short, easy, and unvaried, so that after beating it there isn't much reason for you to come back. Sure there is extra minigames (who aren't fun anyway) and a "bossfight" mode which allow you to fight all bosses in a row, which is cool, but you've already beat them anyway.
Because Kirby can do so many things, there is many way to bypass the difficulties of the game, and this definitely make the game too easy (more specifically Kirby's ability of flying simply make all holes completely harmless).
although an excuse for this would be that the game basically targets children audience, some later bosses are still really tough. More specifically the final bosses (there is 3 of them) are all 3 REALLY hard, I mean all the difficulty that lacks through the whole game is compensated by how hard the final bosses are. While most NES games are hard all the way along but have a really easy final boss (Contra, Gradius, etc...), Kirby is really the other way around.
Oh, and yeah, a backwards from having that much gameplay features on the NES is that the game suffers from really heavy lags/slowdowns, often it's hard to bypass them. Another flaw is that the game features battery saves, which is rare for a NES platformer (saves were initially reserved for RPGs), but however, whenever the game saves your game is a complete mystery. It just does so automatically when you complete a stage without telling nor asking anything to you, and that sucks. They should have added a proper save feature that allow you to either save or not.
The Bottom Line
Kirby's Adventure is a NES game that really show what the NES can do graphics and gameplay wise. However, while the game is impressive and has a lot of features, despite the inspired levels and cute characters and enemies, the game is still too easy and you'll likely not found the adventure epic for some reason.
However, it's still a good little cute game and while I'm far from being a hardcore fan of this game, I still think it's decent and should be tempted for people who want a break form violent games and want a nice little and unique NES platformer.
I don't consider it as one of the best games around not is it a must-have or anything.
While people that like the NES and platformers should definitely give it a try being warded of its flaws, other people probably don't miss much by not playing this.