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Kirby's Adventure (NES) artwork

Kirby's Adventure (NES) review

"The stars... they're bright tonight. "

The stars... they're bright tonight.

Kirby's Adventure, a unique and very original platformer, was Nintendo's last hurrah-- being released in NES's final years. Nintendo has shown their experience with Kirby's Adventure, the game is a technical masterpiece. But in order to really appreciate the game; you need to understand its atmosphere.

A small, pink marshmallow awakens from his slumber.

With his nightcap askew, Kirby rises from his bed slowly to realize the people of Dreamland are in a panic. Who could have done this? The far-off peaceful planet of Dreamland has been corrupted. The evil king, Dedede, has tampered with the Dream Spring. The Star Rod, the powerful item that keeps Dreamland in its peaceful state, has been been stolen and broken up into seven pieces and moved across various locations, being held by horrible beasts.

Kirby, the delicate beast.

On his mission to collect the Star Rod, Kirby uses his special power to defeat any in his way. By sucking in, Kirby can swallow a whole enemy and inherit their powers. Essentially, Kirby can also blow himself up like a balloon and float about his surroundings.

Initially, Kirby is your basic platformer. You have small edges scattered about the area, guiding you in your quest to the end. You have your enemies that, in attempts to stop you, get sucked in and manipulated so that the powers they once used against you are now being used on the side of Good, instead of evil.

Though some of the areas can be completed by just floating your way to safety, there are certain platforming techniques that can only be found in KA that are critical. You can't walk on that ground in front of you, or that fire beast is going to cook you. You don't want to float up, because those birds, that are ready to sweep down at your suspended and vulnerable body, are eyeing your every move. Precise jumping and flying are critical in your adventures through the land.

Set up so even a child can put the pieces together; Kirby's Adventure has a very easy-to-recognize single player game. You are put into a World, and in each World there are six levels. You complete the levels and then you fight the boss that each world has. After fighting the boss, you are given another world that has levels of its own, bosses, et cetera.

Though it isn't that easy. The bosses aren't just about to let you waltz through their world, getting one step closer to the Star Rod. Each boss is unique in looks, attacks, and attack patterns. It will spew out a few enemies, and when sucked up and absorbed, its powers are used against the boss that, ironically, uses the same kind of attack.

Not to be forgotten, Kirby's Adventure has some excellent mini-games. Disguised as normal levels, mini-games are found in each world. Though all of them are just a free way of getting 1-Ups, they are all very fun. I've never seen something as original nor as fun as the hand/eye coordination game Egg Catcher. The Crane Fever is a fun, but rather random, take on the everyday 1.00 dollar real-life cranes you see in gas stations. And lastly, the Quick-Draw Kirby is another great Western-Gun bout that tests your hand/eye coordination.

Kirby's Adventure isn't extremely hard nor will it take that long to complete, but some of its more advanced levels will pose a problem for even the most elite out there. For example, you'll run into stages that have spikes all around the top, sides, and bottom. The only way of getting through is to float your way carefully through the middle. Some stages have you flying up, with tons of enemies falling down right on you. The only way to get through the barrage of baddies is to recognize the pattern by which they drop.

Sunset filled skies, Aurora ridden Nights. Welcome to Dreamland.

I haven't seen anything quite as beautiful as Kirby's Dreamland. Each stage is portrayed magnificently, based on the theme of its World. The screen is lit up with stunning color gloss and detail. All the characters, Kirby and enemies, move with brisk and fluid animations.

Last, but not least, the audio in this game does an excellent job. The music score is done with precise atmospheric tones and instrumentals that fit right into the already gorgeous levels' atmospheres.

The sound effects have a nice touch to them. Kirby sucking in air, like a vacuum cleaner, is done with great tone and effects. The other necessary sounds that are found in platformers such as jumping, enemy weapons, and other such things have a nice quality to them.

No game is perfect, unfortunately. Kirby's Adventure does suffer some very noticeable slow-down with constant enemy animations and sound hindering system performance. Though it's easy to notice, it doesn't affect much game play wise.

As the day comes to an end, Dreamland dozes off into a peaceful sleep.

Though it isn't in stone, many claim Kirby's Adventure to be the NES's last great game. Such unique platforming skills will never be witnessed on today's systems, and such a great game will never be forgotten. -Shin (7/4/02)

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Community review by shinnokxz (December 18, 2003)

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