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3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure - 3DS Download Review

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3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure

3DS Download | Nintendo / HAL Laboratory / AKIRA | 1 Player | Out Now | $6.99 / £5.40
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24th May 2012; By KnucklesSonic8

Despite some dubious inclusions, Nintendo certainly wasn't barking up the wrong tree in using Kirby's Adventure to push the growing 3D Classics brand. Nintendo's pretty-in-pink, circular superstar has been in all sorts of great games and the charm is always felt through and through. But you know, Kirby's Adventure really is a classic in every sense of the word. Unlike some its other short-lived brethren, 3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure is a worthy departure that effectively demonstrates just how much the original has withstood the test of time.

    The very first difference you'll notice with this version of the game is that you get to make use of a new control scheme. While you may have a few minor issues at first relating to floating and exhaling due to the sensitivity of the Circle Pad, using this as your method of control is quite smooth and easy on the fingers. Other controls involve using the B Button to jump, A to inhale or use the copy ability you absorbed, and the X Button to release it from your internal database. Kirby is often mistaken for a vacuum cleaner, and newcomers (wherever they are) will quickly understand why.

    Playing through this game again is such a treat for anyone who's gone through it once before. Between the food-related naming of the individual stages, quirky animations to introduce new worlds, encounters with Meta Knight and the rest of his masked team, as well as the wide amount of variety, the game sure does leave a mark. Just looking at the unique attack system, you've got some fun power-ups to work with. The Laser is one power-up that stands out, especially since the level design actually accounts for this by using pointy edges on walls and platforms so the straight beams can bounce off surfaces. The UFO upgrade is another entertaining one, not only because it's unique but also because new things become accessible from your making use of it. For a moment you get to pretend that Kirby's an alien from outer space with advanced technology that can break through things that other forms of technology -- his copy abilities -- cannot. One other note about this area of the game's design is that enemies have a tendency to respawn if you return to an area just cleared. This may seem silly at first, but it has its uses; like if you have a run-in with a particular enemy who has a copy ability you need and you accidentally destroy it or allow it to slip past you.

On the topic of the game's level design, Orange Ocean is such a highlight, featuring great visuals, as well as fun platforming segments and settings exclusive to this world. And who could forget a world like Butter Building, which keeps a signature tower aesthetic as a commonality amongst its individual stages. Just in touching on the variety a bit more, players are also given a bunch of fun bonus activities to work with along the way. One of these is the Museum, which you can run to when you need to inhale a specific enemy to gain access to a secret route you've discovered in passing. The Arena has you doing battle with a mini-boss for the possibility of earning a bonus of some kind. Then you also have three different mini-games you can participate in: Crane Fever, Quick Draw, and Egg Catcher. These inclusions may seem insignificant, but they certainly paved the way for future Kirby titles to include similar activities as a means of keeping the level of fun at an above average level.

    This is a game that does not get old, and the fact that it is still such a highly memorable experience is a reflection of considered design decisions, fun platforming, and conscientious effort. The game is so memorable, in fact, that you might have second thoughts about picking it up again if you have indeed played it before. But in allowing it to be a part of the 3D Classics collection, Nintendo has made subtle improvements that emphasize the original as a quality experience that everyone must play.

    It certainly didn't need to prove that it had chops; both visually and in its gameplay, the original took admirable strides towards an experience that was the opposite of forgettable. However, it has been said that the 3D Classics revamp has allowed players to explore Dream Land in a whole new way. There's no denying that Kirby's Adventure was a really strong early outing for the franchise, and having it in this handheld format over the console counterpart makes that more clear. In that sense, yes, playing it offers a different experience. Can much of this be chalked up to the addition of 3D? Not exactly, no. I mean, the game is just how I remember it, except with an upgrade in the colour department. There are lots of sights one can observe in the midst of traversing Dream Land in its entirety; seeing the gorgeous starlit background in Grape Garden and the crystal clear look of the water in Orange Ocean are but two examples of the sights one can behold. Admittedly, you might not find yourself on the verge of labelling them as amazing visual feats, but they still produce an impact that's greater than what was seen in the original release.

    As far as the implementation of 3D, there are numerous cases where the extent of this is rather subtle, and with this in mind, Nintendo added a visual lighting effect that can be toggled on and off to add a bit of contrast and make the foreground elements pop out a bit more. In other instances, the doors leading off into new areas are pushed back into the background which is kind of interesting. I found the 3D was most beneficial in indoor environments where brown backdrops were present, but that aside, the usage of 3D isn't as bold as what has been seen in some of the other 3D Classics titles. Continuing on the subject of presentation, there's also a great supply of musical compositions that are just as relevant now as they were back then. These are sounds that will make you stop and admire how uplifting the overall atmosphere can be at certain points. Beyond just being impressive, they resonate well past the game world and go a long way in making the game as memorable as it is.

After saving the Fountain of Dreams, going back to the world hubs will make you aware of the fact that not all levels will be marked as being fully complete. Some doors will have flashing stars to indicate there's more to be done, which may include the activating of large switches to open up new areas. Aside from zeroing in on the main levels, there are also four bonus games you can play on a whim -- one of these being a Boss Attack-type mode while the others are the three mini-games mentioned earlier. Replay value may not be terribly high, but there's definitely more to come back to than Kirby's own Game Boy debut (also available from the eShop) and even some of the other retro platformers you could get from the service. 

    Playing Kirby's Adventure is not unlike going to an amusement park that never changes but you still love nonetheless. The rides may be the same each time, and you've more or less seen everything there is to see, but it still fills you with joy just to take part in the festivities. And when you do have the opportunity to spot something new, it still adds to the overall level of memorability. Even though I remember this game so well, it still feels fresh to a degree and is most definitely a joy to play. It bears repeating that I do not credit this to the addition of 3D visuals; if anything, the slightly more distinct colour system is what produces this feeling. So while you may not be singing praises about the 3D part of the title, there are still plenty of other positive comments you could make about the game. All in all, I see no real reason to discourage anyone from picking this up.

26/30 - Very Good

Gameplay 9/10 - Great platforming, copy abilities make the experience what it is, mid-level secrets create curiousity, handheld format a nice change
Presentation 8/10 - Warm and colourful atmosphere, nice use of 3D in isolated cases but nothing outstanding, sights to see, music still resonates
Enjoyment 5/5 - Still a joy to play even if you've played it before, memorable worlds and individual segments seen throughout, does not get old
Extra Content 4/5 - Can work towards completing all stages fully, a few bonus activities, replay value isn't high but still very much worth experiencing 

Equivalent to a score of 87% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating) - Our Rating System

Review by KnucklesSonic8

3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure
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