Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kirby Super Star Ultra (video game)

Platform: Nintendo DS
Developers: HAL Laboratory
Genre: Platformer
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Release Date: September 22nd, 2008

Ah, the DS remake. We've been seeing a lot of these lately. This time, Kirby's in on the action with a remake of Kirby Super Star Deluxe. Though I admittedly think of this game more as an upgrade than a remake; new quests and minigames have been added, but otherwise the game hasn't changed much.

Anyone familiar with Kirby, much less the original Super Star Deluxe, likely already knows what to expect from this title. A fun, colorful romp through Dreamland starring our favorite pink puff. For the most part, you'd be right. In other's, not so much.

This game in particular shakes up the usual Kirby formula in different ways at times. There are seven or eight small games packed into Super Star Deluxe which have translated to Ultra, each giving a different play mechanic to your powers or what-have-you. For instance, the opener, Spring Breeze, is a light romp through Dreamland with your classic Kirby gameplay. In actuality, this particular subgame is a full blown remake of the original Kirby adventure, Kirby's Dream Land. It retains your classic Kirby gameplay with no hitches and is probably the easiest of the games included. In contrast, there is The Great Cave Offensive, which is a trek through a sweeping cave with different areas, not unlike Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, on a treasure hunt for different treasures; some even from other Nintendo games. Then again in contrast is Milky Way Wishes. The gameplay hitch in this one is that you cannot swallow most enemies to gain their powers. Instead, you are forced to find statues of each individual power in the collection scattered about the planets; but the catch is that once you find a statue of a power, you may call upon it at any time, making up for the lack of power swallowing and giving you options to explore areas in previous levels.

But this is all old news for anyone who has played the Super Nintendo original. What is new are about four or five new games, two full adventures and two of the Arena sort. They come with their own gameplay hitches like all the other games in the collection, of course. Meta Knightmare Ultra, for instance, has you play as Meta Knight, complete with his own playstyle and a power/point system to replace the ability to swallow enemies to gain their powers. The other main adventure, however, is in effect just a palette swapped and harder Spring Breeze, which is an unfortunate disappointment. The Arena games can be fun though, if you enjoy Boss Rush style modes. The new minigames aren't enough of a draw to mention.

In the end, if comes down to the question of if you should buy it, which is kind of a divide. Some people elsewhere have brought up a decent point that they shouldn't have to pay thirty dollars for a game they had on the Super Nintendo years ago with a new mode or two and that it should have been a ten dollar SNES Virtual Console title downloadable to the Wii system. If you're the sort who feel's this way, this upgrade may not have enough new elements to be worth your time; there are four new modes, but two are only Boss Rush modes and one of the new adventures is kind of a copout. You'd be better served playing the old Super Nintendo cartridge if you still have it.

While the caveat above does apply, I must say that I would wholly reccomend this game to anyone who either does not mind the above much or has never played this fine game before. There is a lot to see and do in this cartridge and enough varying experiences to make a nice portable title for whatever road trips you still make. This is a great game for any gamer, young or old.
My Opinion: Play It

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