Cubed3 Nintendo gaming, Wii and DS

Kirby’s Adventure Wii (Wii) Review

Review for Kirby’s Adventure Wii on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Hoshi no Kirby was on Nintendo release lists in Japan since back in the days of the GameCube, moving onto Wii alongside Super Paper Mario and Donkey Kong: Jet Race. However, the HAL Laboratory platform project looked ever increasingly like it would disappear into the ether as the years went by, especially given the other two old GameCube projects had long since been released onto the Wii marketplace. When it was revealed that Good Feel’s own game, Fluff’s Epic Yarn had been transformed into a Kirby title, it seemed like the final nail in the coffin for the planned console sequel to Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Thankfully, however, Nintendo has proved everyone wrong, and Kirby’s Adventure Wii is finally with us. Was the wait worth it, though? Cubed3 gleefully returns to Dream Land once more to find out.

Kirby is back, and he is brighter than ever before. Whilst Kirby’s Epic Yarn was a great success, and a thoroughly adorable platform outing, it was not the pure home console Kirby adventure that long-term fans had been waiting for ever since the days of the GameCube. Finally, though, HAL Laboratory has delivered the goods with Kirby’s Adventure Wii (or Kirby’s Return to Dream Land in the US).

The Lor Starcutter has crash-landed on PopStar and Kirby has offered to help its captain, Magolor, retrieve five key components (oars, right/left wings, emblem, and mast), as well as 130 energy spheres to piece everything back together again. There are varying amounts of spheres to be found on each level, with the total gained clearly marked to keep track of progress through the adventure, whilst the ship parts are dotted around different areas of the planet, with the journey taking Kirby further than initially expected. While the Nintendo DS has just seen a new Pikmin-esque spin-off, the superb Kirby Mass Attack, Kirby’s Adventure Wii is the purest kind of Kirby game anyone could expect. It features all the trademarks of the various Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance releases, such as Kirby Mouse Attack and Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, right down to small touches like the end of level sequence where hitting the ‘2’ button at precisely the right moment results in Kirby receiving a special bonus. Familiar artillery is at Kirby’s disposal, and classic boss battles from years gone by also make an appearance.

Screenshot for Kirby’s Adventure Wii on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Whilst so much attention has been placed upon the four-player element, following the phenomenal success of both New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Donkey Kong Country Returns, the multiplayer aspect is out-shadowed by the gigantic new weapons that can be wielded. Although being able to bring three friends along for the ride is indeed enjoyable, long-term Kirby aficionados will be pleased to know that the solo adventure is hearty enough to stand proud amongst the rest of the series. Kirby can perform his usual trick of sucking in enemies to gain their abilities, with favourites such as leaf, beam, fire, ice, water, and sword attacks all making a welcomed return, but the twist is that there are chances to obtain super-powered versions for use over a limited period of time at certain points. Small swords can be turned into giant blades that can smash through previously impenetrable blocks, or mere tiny flames can be enhanced considerably, causing ferocious fire to blast onto the screen and burn through large trees to uncover hidden sections.

Speaking of which, whilst on the prowl for Magolor’s energy segments (that basically look like machine cogs), more often than not they will actually be in plain sight, but trapped behind locked doors or special blocks, meaning some thought has to be put into how best to reach them. However, there are moments where small rips in space appear and Kirby can leap through into a continuously scrolling stage that must be navigated before facing off against a mini-boss, receiving energy spheres upon despatching said foe. Players must also keep their wits about them, since there are secret walls that can be walked through in places; there are normally some telltale signs that indicate where they lie.

Screenshot for Kirby’s Adventure Wii on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

There is no denying how gorgeous Kirby’s Epic Yarn was, with its beautiful stitch-work graphics, but the clear, crisp, colourfulness of Kirby’s Adventure Wii is a real marvel to behold, showing off visuals that are far more polished than those of New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Donkey Kong Country Returns, only falling behind the delicious cel-shaded Wario Land: The Shake Dimension and possibly A Boy and his Blob in terms of ‘best graphics in a side-scrolling platform game.’ As for the soundtrack, it is wonderfully upbeat, with some delightful themes playing throughout the five main worlds that have an infectious feel to them, managing to squirm their way into your head without you noticing and then lodging themselves there for some time to come, even after the game has been turned off.

Kirby’s Adventure Wii has come a long way since its first unveil back in the days of the GameCube, when all we knew it as was Hoshi no Kirby, watching as it was transferred to being a Wii project, along with Super Paper Mario and Donkey Kong: Jet Race, but the long gestation period has not meant this has become a lesser end product due to development turmoil. If anything, it appears that the time has been extremely well used by HAL to ensure this not only matches the impressive Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, but easily surpasses both that and Good Feel’s recent Wii release, Kirby’s Epic Yarn.

Screenshot for Kirby’s Adventure Wii on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

In terms of extras to unlock, collecting enough energy spheres will grant access to two rooms within the Lor Spacecutter where mini-games can be enjoyed with friends, plus other doors eventually start to open up the more you collect, with Copy Abilities and Challenge Stages. Considering the main adventure is not exactly the longest or hardest, as expected for an outing featuring Kirby, the extra challenges are a breath of fresh air for those in need of a tougher test. The levels give Kirby a specific power and it must be wisely used to guide the pink ball through the stage in the quickest time possible, collecting stars along the way and clearing all enemies en-route to gain the highest score, being ranked at the end dependent on the final tally. As for the mini-games, they may seem like small, throwaway modes, but Ninja Dojo is particularly enjoyable, holding the Wii Remote vertically and flicking stars at the screen, aiming to hit the bull’s-eye on the passing targets.

There is something for everyone in Kirby’s Adventure Wii and anyone that overlooked Kirby’s Epic Yarn due to it being different from the norm can rest easy in the fact that HAL has gone back to basics with this platform outing, and that none of the addictive Kirby quality has been lost.

Screenshot for Kirby’s Adventure Wii on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Kirby is back with a bang, and Kirby’s Adventure Wii is exactly what long-term purists were waiting for; a true successor to Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, and one that blows it out of the water in terms of creativity and depth.

Graphics

Beautiful, bright, colourful, highly detailed, crisp, clear - there are so many ways to describe how wonderful Kirby’s Adventure Wii looks.

Sound

Amazingly infectious music plays throughout, mixing in some trademark Kirby themes with fantastic new compositions.

Value

Whilst the main story mode may not be overly taxing for those that cracked games like Donkey Kong Country Returns and A Boy and his Blob with ease, the extra challenge stages, mini-games, special sections to unlock upon completion of the main game, and ability to play with three friends helps extend its life considerably.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

Kirby’s Adventure Wii is a resounding success in every single area. From the gorgeous visuals to the infectious soundtrack, through to the ingenious level design, impressive new weaponry Kirby has to hand, the extra challenges thrown in to please veteran gamers, and the four-player drop-in/drop-out option. Those eagerly awaiting a high quality successor to Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards need look no further. Another spectacular side-scrolling platform game to grace Wii.

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10.11.2011

10

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Also known as

Kirby's Return to Dream Land

Developer

HAL Laboratory

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

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Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I'd have to say that this edges out Kirby's Epic Yarn, and Kirby Mass Attack edges that out as well, so this year, in my opinion, it's a case of:

Kirby's Adventure Wii > Kirby Mass Attack > Kirby's Epic Yarn

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Rob64 (guest) 14.11.2011 17:55#2

Best Kirby ever?

Great year for us Kirby fans!

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Definitely agree - I'm playing through Kirby Mass Attack again at the moment and loving every second of it Smilie Gutted that Nintendo hasn't bothered pushing that. I'd have thought given the success of Epic Yarn, there would be LOADS of adverts for KMA Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Great stuff - I will definitely try to pick this up for Christmas time. Sounds like an ace game, definitely. Haven't seen a single advert/promo for the game though, which is a massive shame. Hope this doesn't slip under the radar!

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

I really want Kirby Mass Attack and I still need to get Kirby's Epic Yarn.

Can't say I'm interested in this though. Not that it's probably a bad game, but it just looks like a standard Kirby game.

Staff Member

Marzy said:
I really want Kirby Mass Attack and I still need to get Kirby's Epic Yarn.

Can't say I'm interested in this though. Not that it's probably a bad game, but it just looks like a standard Kirby game.

I'll be getting all 3 eventually. Well, hopefully anyways. Smilie

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

If you love the standard Kirby platform formula, this is by far the best in that mold.

Anyone looking for something else should check out Kirby Mass Attack - it truly is one of the best Kirby games EVER. Why Nintendo put no advertising weight behind it I have no idea. Truly beyond belief...

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

For me the classic Kirby design and look is what's appealing! Loved Kirby on the DS and in dire need of a co-operative (or any multiplayer for that matter) game on Wii, so this seems to be this year's NSMB Wii in my eyes! Hoping some people will get my subtle hints for Christmas looool

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I was never a massive fan of the multiplayer aspect in NSMB, DKC or this, but that's because I've always preferred slowly working my way through levels without inferior gamers holding me back Smilie

...or, more likely, I don't want them seeing how crap I've become at gaming over the years! Smilie

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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