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A Highly Impressive NES Platformer - Kirby's Adventure Review
Kirby’s Adventure on the NES has always been somewhat of an overlooked title. It launched long after the Super Nintendo took over as the home console of choice and featured a rather obscure mascot that had only been seen once before on the Game Boy. As a result of this, many gamers may have missed out on a classic 2D platformer that’s worth playing by anyone who enjoys a fun gaming experience. Thanks to the Virtual Console, gamers can now play and enjoy Kirby’s Adventure.
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Kirby's Adventure Storyline
King Dedede has taken the Star Rod—the source of dreams within the region of Dream Land—and broken it into seven pieces. As a result of the ruler’s actions, the citizens of Dream Land haven’t been able to dream at night. This is where Kirby comes in. The pink hero sets out to find the pieces of the Star Rod and bring King Dedede to justice.
The plot in Kirby’s Adventure mainly serves as a means to get the game going. This game isn’t built around deep storytelling, but once you get started on Kirby’s quest, you see that the main draw is the creative platforming gameplay.
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Kirby's Adventure Gameplay
The main focus in the gameplay of Kirby’s Adventure is the titular hero’s ability to suck enemies up and copy their abilities. That element was introduced in this second entry in the franchise and has become customary in subsequent Kirby games. The pink puffball can inhale a number of foes and in turn equip different maneuvers such as Fire, Freeze, or Cutter. Different abilities have different results, and experimenting with the game’s countless attacks is half the fun.
The other half would of course be the actual platforming. Kirby games have always been known for their inventive platforming that not only has you going from left to right, but from top to bottom and vice versa. Kirby’s Adventure is no exception as it features great level design in each of its colorful stages.
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Graphics and Sound
By the time Kirby’s Adventure was released on the NES, the Super Nintendo had already been around for a while and was home to many great titles. Due to the game’s late release, HAL was able to extract every last bit of juice from the NES and create a technically impressive title on that console. It isn’t at the level of games such as Super Mario World or even subsequent Kirby games, and it does suffer from a deal of slowdown in certain parts, but Kirby’s Adventure is a masterpiece with detailed backgrounds, great character sprite design, and fluid animation. The sound in Kirby’s Adventure is equally impressive, featuring countless catchy themes. The game’s soundtrack is solid, and it drips with the same amount of colorful charm as the visuals.
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Overall, Kirby’s Adventure is a grand platforming romp. The only things going against it are its length and difficulty. The game includes 40 levels that aren’t very long despite featuring great design, and it’s very unlikely that you’ll have much of a problem clearing any of the game’s stages. There are secrets to discover, though, and completists will get a little more lasting value out of this title, especially since a harder difficulty setting can be unlocked after achieving 100% completion.
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Kirby's Adventure Review - Overall Score
Kirby’s Adventure is a worthy download for platform game fans as well as retro gamers. The platforming is solid and crafted ever so artfully, and Kirby’s Copy Ability is a nice addition to the formula. It won’t take you weeks or even days to beat, but Kirby’s Adventure will impress and entertain you for as long as it lasts. And it’s so much fun, that you may be enticed to play through it all over again.