Celebrating 20 years of pink awesomeness…
You know what video game character everyone seems to hate? Kirby. “Orrmahgurrd Kirby is for little babies.” “Ohemmgee this Kirby game is soooo easy.” “Geezus traditional Kirby games just don’t have any character.” Yeah, a lot of people hate Kirby.
But Kirby’s Dream Collection came out today in North America, and it reminded me of how much I adore Kirby. You see, I don’t play Kirby games for challenge, nor for story, nor for depth, nor for anything, really. Anything, that is, except for fun. You see, I have a bunch of games that I’m currently in the middle of right now, from Darksiders to Kid Icarus: Uprising, but when I want to play games but don’t feel like investing my mind into anything, I go to my Wii and play a few levels of Kirby’s Epic Yarn. It’s just a fun little casual title.
What else makes Kirby unique is that because he’s practically shaped like a ball, he can be used and transformed into pretty much everything. In Kirby’s Dream Course, he was a freaking golf ball. In Kirby’s Epic Yarn, he was, well, a ball of yarn. Thus, we have a rift between traditional sidescrolling Kirby, and the more different “innovative” Kirby (though I really dislike that term, because it implies that the sidescrolling Kirby’s are not innovative).
But before I move on to my favorite Kirby title, I’d like to go through a list of every Kirby game to date:
- • Kirby’s Dream Land (GB, 1992) was Kirby’s first game, which introduced Kirby’s ability to fly and suck, but not yet Kirby’s copy ability.
- • Kirby’s Adventure (NES, 1993) was Kirby’s home console debut, and was also the first to introduce Kirby’s copy ability. At the time, it was praised for its graphics and sound.
- • Kirby’s Pinball Land (GB, 1993) featured Kirby as a pinball in a pinball game. It was the first Kirby spin-off.
- • Kirby’s Dream Course (NES, 1995) featured Kirby as a golf ball in a gold course. Yes.
- • Kirby’s Avalanche (NES, 1995) was yet another Kirby spin-off, but this time featuring Kirby in a Puyo Puyo type puzzle game.
- • Kirby’s Dream Land 2 (GB, 1995) was the first Kirby game to feature companions. A colored version called Kirby’s Dream Land 2 DX was planned but cancelled.
- • Kirby’s Block Ball (GB, 1995) was Kirby’s freaking fourth game released that year. It was basically a breakout clone in which you bounce Kirby instead of a ball.
- • Kirby Super Star (SNES, 1996) was composed of eight separate games, and also introduced helpers, which were similar to Kirby’s Dream Land 2’s companions.
- • Kirby’s Toy Box (NSV, 1996) was a mini-game collection released on the fricken NINTENDO SATELLAVIEW! Needless to say, that damn thing didn’t even come to America.
- • Kirby’s Star Stacker (GB, 1997) is Kirby’s first original puzzle game (read: not a clone of something else), though many compare it to Dr. Mario and Tetris. A remake was released in Japan for the SNES in 1998 titled Kirby’s Super Star Stacker (actually, if literally translated, it’s Kirby’s Sparkling Kids. Yeah…)
- • Kirby’s Dream Land 3 (SNES, 1997) was originally going to be on the Game Boy, but issues caused development to move over to SNES. It is a direct sequel to Kirby’s Dream Land 2, but now with even more companions than before.
- • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (N64, 2000) is the first game in the series to feature 3D graphics. It features a unique ability to combine copy abilities to feature new crazier abilities (Refrigerator Kirby FTW!). It is also known as the best Kirby ever made, and if you haven’t played it yet, go get it now on Virtual Console or something, because honestly, you’re not a true Kirby fan unless you’ve played this game. It’s amazing.
- • Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble (GBC, 2000) was one of Nintendo’s first motion-sensor game, which required players to tilt the Game Boy Color in order to guide Kirby through a series of obstacle-filled mazes.
- • Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (GBA, 2002) is a remake of Kirby’s Dream Land, but with updated graphics and sound. It was the first traditional Kirby game with cooperative 4-player support.
- • Kirby Air Ride (GCN, 2003) is a racing game featuring Kirby and was the only Kirby game for Nintendo’s GameCube platform. People liked it for its one-button gameplay. I didn’t like the one-button gameplay. I didn’t like Kirby’s Air Ride…
- • Kirby & the Amazing Mirror (GBA, 2004) is Kirby’s only original Game Boy Advance title. It features Kirby in a Metroidvania-style map, the only game in the series to have that (but hopefully, not the last ;3)
- • Kirby: Canvas Curse (DS, 2005) is Kirby’s first DS game, and is the only game in which players do not control Kirby directly. Instead, players use the stylus to draw a path for Kirby, helping the helpless ball reach the goal.
- • Kirby: Squeak Squad (DS, 2006) is Kirby’s first traditional sidescrolling game on the DS. It allowed players to combine some items to form new ones (example: ice + sword = ICE SWORD!).
- • Kirby Super Star Ultra (DS, 2008) was a remake of Kirby Super Star for SNES, but instead of just nine games, seven new games were added, making the total sixteen.
- • Kirby’s Epic Yarn (Wii, 2010) was originally going to be a new Nintendo I.P. called Fluff of Yarn, but Nintendo decided to shoehorn Kirby in there, much like they did with Star Fox in Dinosaur Planet. You can read my review of the game here.
- • Kirby Mass Attack (DS, 2011) was a Pikmin/Lemmings hybrid game featuring Kirby. Players use the touch screen to flick up to 10 Kirby’s onto enemies and obstacles.
- • Kirby’s Return to Dream Land (Wii, 2011) is Kirby’s first traditional home console sidescrolling game since 2000’s Kirby 64 on Nintendo 64. It also featured 4-player co-op, allowing players to play as Kirby, Meta Knight, King Dedede, and Waddle Dee. You can read my review of the game here.
- • Kirby’s Dream Collection (Wii, 2012) is a collection of Kirby games released to celebrate 20 years of awesomeness. It features, Kirby’s Dream Land, Kirby’s Adventure, Kirby’s Dream Land 2, Kirby Super Star, Kirby’s Dream Land 3, and Kirby’s Awesome Nintendo 64 Adventure: The Wonderful Search for the Fabulous Crystal Shards of Amazing.
- • I’ll let you guess which Kirby game is my favorite.
What is YOUR favorite Kirby game?