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3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure (3DS) artwork

3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure (3DS) review

"If you can't access the NES original, here's another version of a classic!"

I usually don't spend my money on revamped ports of older games I enjoyed in my youth, due to the ennui that spreads through me as I realize that I've just dropped cash on something I already purchased a long time ago, all for no reason other than to relive the same experience once more, but with fancier graphics or a pittance of extra content.

Once in a great while, though, something happens that inspires me to break that rule. Perhaps, for example, I find myself trying to review at least one game for every letter of the alphabet during a single calendar year. And perhaps it comes time to review a "number" entry and I realize I don't currently own anything that qualifies. And, perhaps, that's when I notice that a childhood favorite of mine is available on the 3DS eshop as an affordable download in the form of 3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure.

You might say it was a meaningless purchase. I still own my NES edition of the game, which allows me to play it every couple years or whenever the urge strikes, as I have been known to do. This is one of those games that I don't even need an excuse to play. When one comes along, though, you can bet I'll jump on it without a second thought.

As the game's title suggests, 3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure is nothing more than a direct port of the NES game with 3D effects added to the mix. What this means is extra background depth, which does enhance the graphics a bit. Since the original version initially came out towards the end of the NES's life, it already looks really good by eight-bit standards, but the improvements are still noticeable. The quality of that original release, combined with a price tag below $10, ensures that the port is worth obtaining if you're a fan of the series.

Enhanced graphics aside, virtually anything you might say of the original release is also true here. It's still super-easy, but charming in spite of that lack of challenge. Kirby still inhales foes to dispatch them and swipe their abilities, and can obtain varied forms of attack such as swords, lasers and pro wrestling-style slams. The same seven worlds exist and many levels still contain hidden switches that must be tripped in order to access the true final boss. Beat the game once and you can still access a more challenging mode where Kirby has half the health and is unable to save his progress. And, of course, all the mini-games remain, so you can gain extra lives by winning duels and swallowing eggs, or you can gain abilities by winning arena battles.

If you enjoy the casual and relaxing sort of platforming that Kirby's Adventure possesses -- where even the threat of those regularly-appearing bottomless pits is blunted by your ability to inhale air and float over them from the relative safety of the skies -- this port satisfies that urge. However, for veterans of the NES game, there is one area where the port could actually be considered inferior.

If there's one thing that has truly stood the test of time from the ol' Nintendo hardware, it's the controller. That thing might have looked like an ugly little brick with a d-pad and a few buttons arrayed on it, but it worked like a charm. It fit in my hands so perfectly that, as systems evolved and controllers grew larger to accommodate additional buttons, it took me some time to adjust to them. Hell, there's a part of me that never completely adjusted to analog controls and still insists that things peaked back when a d-pad was the default option for moving your characters around the screen. And don't get me started on the Wii's motion controls! As I get older, my ability to acclimate to new forms of control seems to have greatly diminished.

Well, with the 3DS, I can use that system's d-pad (or the analog control, if I wished) in concert with its buttons, but it's not quite the same. The handheld unit is a larger fit in my hands than the old controller was, for starters. Maybe the controls aren't quite as tight, since in today's era, the control pad is generally used for secondary purposes. Maybe it's in the system's design, since my hands aren't in the exact same position, which could throw off my muscle memory. Maybe it's all in my head. Whatever the case, I've just spent two full paragraphs complaining about how modern controllers don't have that same "feel" as the old ones, so obviously such details matter to me.

Whatever the reason, I now found myself blundering into more enemies and hazards than I would have expected. Reaching a particular hidden switch where you have to light a fuse with the fire ability and then cross a good bit of terrain to reach a cannon in a small amount of time took an eternity to accomplish. It just wasn't the same.

Still, I had a good time with Kirby's Adventure, just like I always do. Real or imagined issues with the controls aside, 3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure was still able to scratch the recurring itch I have for this game. The added 3D effects also served to make things appear a bit more vibrant and multi-dimensional, which was a nice addition. While I'd still recommend playing the NES original first, for anyone who doesn't possess that system and the original cartridge, this is a more-than-adequate way to experience the easily-accessible gloriousness that is Kirby's Adventure.


overdrive's avatar
Staff review by Rob Hamilton (December 08, 2015)

Rob Hamilton is the official drunken master of review writing for Honestgamers.

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