Game: Kirby’s Return To Dream Land
Genre: Side Scroller Platformer
Review by: MrB4
Let’s face facts, the Wii is on it’s last legs, and the lack of releases coming out for this system, in the next few months or so, only proves my point even further. I have always been a big supporter of Nintendo, but focusing primarily on their handheld systems, especially during this time of year, was a bad move on their part. Thankfully, there are still some experiences left to enjoy on Wii, and the latest installment of a very familiar series, entitled Kirby’s Return To Dreamland is one of them. Even though things may seem a little bit too familiar this time around, fans of the franchise will definitely be pleased.
Story: It’s just a normal day for Kirby, being chased by three of his friends (Waddle Dee, King DeDeDe, and Meta Knight) over cake, you know, the usual stuff. All of the sudden, a giant spaceship comes out of nowhere and crashes onto their planet, Popstar. Upon further investigation, our heroes find out that all five pieces of it have been scattered across their world, and if they don’t find them, their newest friend Magolor will never be able to go back home. The story is told primarily through short cutscenes that are cute to watch, but are more fillers for time than anything else.
Graphics: Everything on offer here, from the levels to the character designs, is bright, vibrant, colorful, and full of imagination. Levels are laid out in a basic sidescrolling type of fashion, and have enough events occuring within them to give each one it’s own unique sense of personality. Character and enemy animations are solid, but nothing special. Kirby in particular steals the show (of course), having a number of different moves to look at that that are simply just a joy to watch. My only gripe here is that sometimes the stages would not keep up with what I was doing, which ended up resulting in a few cheap deaths from time to time, but aside from this little problem, everything else was pretty impressive for the most part.
Gameplay: Anybody who has played any of the eariler installments of the franchise should feel right at home here. Everything plays just the same as the classic platformers in the series did back in the day. While things are a little bit on the familiar side, it doesn’t mean that this game wasn’t a blast to play at all. The idea here is simple, get to the end of a stage without dying, fight your way to the boos of each world, defeat him or her, and that’s it.
Where things are different are in the new abilities that Kirby has at his disposal. His inhaling power has received an upgrade, and will now allow you to dispose of enemies from a further distance, clear pathways to open up secret rooms, and so on. Another move our little pink friend can do is use super abilities to take out large groups at a time, dispose of bosses with armor on them, and can also unlock new areas as well. Boss fights are fun, and can pose somewhat of a challenge every once in awhile, but more often than not, you will be able to dispose of them on your first try.
Sound: Cute, bubbly tunes help maintain a somewhat relaxed vibe, but there are also a few tense tracks that will keep players on their toes as well. Sound effects do their job, and are about all that you should really need to ask for from a Kirby game. No voice acting is not a problem as far as I am concerned, this helps people maintain a sense of awe and wonder without being overwhelmed by obnoxious dialogue.
Replayability: There is enough offered to require to play through the experience more than once. Aside from the main campaign, there are specific ability challenges to complete, a few different multiplayer minigames to play, and the option to play through the entire adventure with up to three friends at any time. Add in an extra mode after you finished the main quest, and you are easily looking at double the playing time it took you to finish the game in the first place.
Kirby’s Return To Dreamland is a return to form for the franchise, and is definitely worth checking out for fans and newcomers alike, buy it now.
Final Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Kirby’s Return To Dream Land
Developer: Hal Labratories Inc.