Kirby Triple Deluxe

Review: Kirby Triple Deluxe

Everyone's favourite pink protagonist is back! It had to happen sooner or later being that Kirby has appeared on every single Nintendo console since the NES in many different forms. Taking a leaf from Kirby Superstar Ultra on the DS, you get three modes of play in Kirby Triple Deluxe. This includes a fully-fledged story to play through, along with a fantastic fighting game and a rhythm action experience quite unlike any other. The two latter examples I'll get to, but first it seems only right to praise this title's main adventure as it's worth the entry price alone.

Our story starts with a beanstalk capturing Kirby's House and King Dedede's castle, some evil guy then kidnaps King Dedede so it's up to Kirby to save the day... literally I would rather say no more than that as the plot is actually fantastic, at least for a Kirby title, but suffice to say it works well in moving things along a decent pace.

Kirby Triple DeluxeTaking place on the Dreamstalk, which connects six floating islands, you need to beat all stages in each 'Level', plus a boss encounter, to extend the reach of the Dreamstalk to the next area. Throughout the stages you'll come across food items to restore health and 'star pieces', of which you can collect up to a hundred to gain Kirby an extra life, in addition to picking up lives outright.

The most interesting obtainable items are the Sunstones, of which there are between two to five per stage. Collecting a minimum amount will unlock the boss battle, while collecting them all gains you access to an extra bonus stage. Completionists will surely enjoy the myriad of keychains which are hidden on each stage, some are common but certain hard-to-find ones will net you a rarer one. These keychains are essentially the equivalent of Smash Bros trophies as they are from Kirby series and are a lot of fun to collect.

The controls are solidly constructed; controlling Kirby is extremely pleasing this time round. Having had many years of experience, the control scheme has moved forward ever so slightly, yet here it just feels as right as it ever will. You still float in the air by jumping with 'A' then pressing 'Up'. The physics for this feel more authentic, as it gives you ample movement. Inhaling is handled with the 'B' button, while you can still slide, dash or even drop down to lower platforms with ease using the D-pad. You can even block using the shoulder buttons, which I seemed to only find out towards the end of the game strangely.

Kirby Triple Deluxe

There were never any real moments of frustration caused by 'oh why didn't Kirby do this or that?' though as he quite simply always does what you direct him to do, which sounds like a pretty obvious thing but it's just an example of something we tend to have taken for granted over the years. It is refreshing to play a well-made game, but then Hal Laboratory has always been a master of their craft.

Plenty of variety is present when you consider the different main areas in the adventure, as you head into the first few stages set in 'Fine Fields', your archetypal starting Kirby land that features rolling green hills while it introduces you to many staple elements of the game. The boss is, of course, a new take on Whispy Woods, though it's certainly a more surprising battle this time around which I'm loathed to spoil for anyone. Suffice to say, all of the boss battles are more in-depth, featuring a decent mix of old and new foes to fight.

Moving forward you'll journey through to 'Lollipop Land' - all of the areas are alliterated which I'm a huge fan of - which starts in an edible area that features some unique quirks such as a Gumball-Gacha Tank, which fires candy at you from the background which can damage you and the enemies. The second stage is like a toy box complete with lots of moveable objects, a really nice throwback to Kirby's Dreamland, finished off with a ghost painting boss... I won't spoil any more than that, but what I'm getting at is that the story mode is fun as you'd expect, while containing a whole load of joyous elements that will surprise you.

Of course, a big part in any Kirby title is the abilities, which you'll be pleased to learn that there are plenty of. These include fan favourites such as the Parasol, Sword, Cutter, Spike, Wing, Block, Whip, Wheel, Ninja, Leaf plus *draws in a deep breath Kirby style* new ones such as Bell and Circus Kirby which I don't remember seeing before but then my memory may have failed me over the years.

Kirby Triple Deluxe

This time around, the abilities are more in-depth. For example, Sword Kirby actually has most of Link's moves this time, yes even a Skyward Sword style charge. One thing I know that is definitely new is the Hypernova ability, which is amazing. Seeing Kirby swallow a whole tree is hilarious, plus you will use the ability to advance in game. Hypernova sections also borrow from Kirby's Epic Yarn through interaction with the fabric of the game. Some of the later Hypernova sections are unbelievable... genuinely and again I won't spoil them but I literally can never forget seeing the little pink fella swallow certain enemies as you really just wouldn't have thought it possible. I know it's only a game but yes, I genuinely salute the developers for creating some more 'memorable moments' that will surely go down in the history of the franchise for all of the hilariously wrong reasons.

I must applaud the 3D as it works really well throughout, with many of the stages featuring lots of set-pieces that look stunning. It is a decent aid to general gameplay, but mostly it's just really well accomplished, especially when you are moving from foreground to background rather frequently. Some of the challenges associated with many of the sections will surely have you trying multiple times over, so if you're a completionist then expect to be hooked for a fair amount of time.

The 3DS hardware is well used too. In addition to using Play Coins to swap for keychains, you can use StreetPass to increase the chances of getting an item given to you partway through certain stages. There are also parts of stages that use subtle motion controls, which works really well.

There are plenty of classic returning enemies too, including some mischievous moles on the first stage that you have to beat using Hypernova, plus many more besides. Play it for yourself and see how many you can spot as rest assured there is plenty of fan service.

For the second section of this terrific title we have Kirby Fighters which is surprisingly well thought out. In Single player you pick your ability from ten of the 'best', then pick your difficulty level (easy, normal, hard, very hard) and fight against other Kirbys that have the other abilities over multiple rounds. The final round will always be a shadow version with the same ability as you. It's always interesting as the arena changes throughout the seven rounds, plus you have other characters who will pop into the ring to either help or hinder you as you're attempting to clear the par times for gold medals.

Kirby Triple Deluxe

There is a good showing of power ups, including bombs and an item dubbed the 'Smash Star', which usually benefits the player who hits it and has effects ranging from putting all enemies to sleep, slowing down/speeding up, showering food/bombs everywhere and more. Essentially this mode plays like Super Smash Bros-lite, but all Kirby.

You'll want to get all of the medals for clearing each ability on the various difficulties, so with ten abilities spread across seven rounds, while trying to tackle the four difficulties you can see how time soon ticks away. Starting on 'Easy' isn't too bad, as it's relatively simple, while on 'Normal' the AI is noticeably tougher so you'll need to form some sort of strategy to win, and blocking occasionally is advised. Moving onto 'Hard' will see you thinking on your feet, using the stage to your advantage in addition to actually having to fight for the food items. Finally, 'Very Hard' is like the Hunger Games but with Kirby, so just do what you have to survive against the merciless AI. I have no shame in telling you that it took me more than a few tries on this mode, so plenty to battle your way through even on your own.

In the Multiplayer mode it is possible to play with just the one game card, but with limitations. This generally means that 'download' players can only select Sword or Cutter Kirby, so you'll still want everyone to have their own copy of the Kirby Triple Deluxe to get the most out of it. It is nice to have the option to use download play as it has always been one of the popular multiplayer options ever since the DS era.

This brings me onto my only real 'complaint' about the entire package, and I warn you now that it's a predictable one, but I am just baffled as to why there isn't some kind of online mode for Kirby Fighters at least, as it could have added so much to the experience. It could have even been a 'test' for the 3DS version on Super Smash Bros. Regardless, this is still a very fun mode to play either on your own or with a few local 3DS-owning friends and to the credit of Hal Laboratory, they have produced a very polished package overall with this being a substantial part of it that is well worth playing purely for the madness that can unfold during each battle.

Now the final 'main' part of this game is Dedede's Drum Dash which, while seemingly smaller than the other two parts, is actually a surprisingly addictive 'Rhythm-Action' experience spread over four stages based around classic Kirby music tracks - three main with one unlockable. This will surely test all of your reactions and reflexes as a gamer. In this mode you need to press the 'A' button the instant you hit each drum to get a high jump, half second delay for middle jump, or not at all for normal transition to the next drum. You control your ascent and descent direction with the D-pad, while avoiding enemies as you will lose a life upon impact.

Kirby Triple Deluxe

During all of this you need to collect all the coins while racing against the time limit of two mins or less to finish each course. Bonuses are awarded for time completed, all coins, no damage and also if you manage to 'clap' at the peak of EVERY jump... I have no yet managed to get this award on any of the tracks because it's just too cruel, especially in the later stages. If you're up for the challenge then it's there. After a few hours of trying and giving myself RSI, I can honestly say that if it's needed for 100% file completion then this will be the one thing that will stop me from getting it for certain, but it is another original game mode that is fun to play, at least for a short while.

There are actually more unlockables for when you finish the main story mode, but of course I am in no way about to spoil those. All I will say is that one of the items is something that you'll find easy to predict but it is a welcome addition. The second unlockable is something that you wouldn't quite expect - even I was surprised - but suffice to say that it's something which should extend your play time by a fair bit; it adds the sweetest cherry on top of an already well layered cake of game goodness.

Also worth mentioning is that while you can complete your keychain collection by playing through the story mode lots, grabbing them in the stages on your way, if you prefer you can actually opt to spend Play Coins on them. There are a fair few to obtain, as I haven't even got them all yet, but some of them are quite spectacular. On the file selection screen you will see keychains from your collection hung up on the top screen and if you then tilt the 3DS left or right you'll see them slide from one end of the screen to the other. It might seem like a small thing, but it's ever so pleasing to see such attention to detail.

As you might assume, this being a Kirby game the visuals are quite striking. The art style is absolutely fantastic, even on its own, but with the 3D everything takes on a rather sumptuous quality as the level of detail, from the background, foreground and even at the 'front' of the screen, are wonderful. For example, trains come right at you as Kirby dodges between them, having travelled right from a tunnel seemingly within the back recesses of the screen all the way along the track until they're 'in your lap', so to speak. It's all a trick of course, but it's nicely done.

Kirby Triple DeluxeEvery animation has a painstaking amount of detail to it, while every stage within each 'level' of the Dreamstalk has it's own distinct style, all while running at a consistent framerate which never dips. It is really something to behold indeed.

Music has always been a particular highlight of Kirby titles, and let me assure you now that practically every single memorable piece of music is here. Uou will remember them all as they are recognisable, yet they have a fresh spin on them as the new arrangements seem to showcase the best bits while adding in subtle flourishes that work with the overall tone. Of course there are some original pieces in there too, but there is not a particular piece which I would rate as being lower than the rest. It is all just such a joy to listen to as you play, then once you're done you'll be humming the tunes, which is truly a mark of masterful composition.

Simply the best Kirby game I have played bar none, if you discount 'Epic Yarn' as being something of a different beast. I would say that it definitely had its influences in parts of this fantastic title, so if you like to think of Kirby Triple Deluxe as the little pink fella going back to his roots then this is definitely a quality title of the highest calibre that both Hal Laboratory and Nintendo should be proud of.

If you're a fan of the franchise then it should go without saying that you need this game in your life, but I would just simply recommend it as worth buying if you like good games. Yes, it might be another platformer in what seems to be the 'year' of them, but truely this is one of the finest examples of the genre I have played in a long time and I don't expect another Kirby game to come along to top it any time soon. So grab that warp-star and whisk yourself off on another fantastic adventure!


N-Europe Final Verdict

If you're looking for a fantastic platformer then Kirby's the one that you want. Everything you could ask for plus more is here just waiting to be played and enjoyed.

  • Gameplay5
  • Playability4
  • Visuals5
  • Audio5
  • Lifespan4
Final Score



Excellent use of 3D
Huge amount of variety in stage design
Multitude of things to do
Very fun to play


Online multiplayer might have added more

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