Kirby: Triple Deluxe (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Adam Riley 06.05.2014 3

Review for Kirby: Triple Deluxe on Nintendo 3DS

One of Nintendo's most overlooked series over here in Europe, Kirby has been delighting fans and critics alike since the NES and Game Boy days of the Dream Land releases, with some sublime entries on all subsequent hardware, both portable and home console. Now HAL Laboratory has taken a strong hold of its flagship creation and dropped any gimmicks in favour of a traditional platform romp with Kirby: Triple Deluxe, the first 3DS iteration for the venerable star.

Princess Pea…sorry, King Dedede has been kidnapped! No sign of Bowser here, instead it is a mysterious character by the name of Taranza that is doing dastardly deeds, and, as a result, places have become overgrown and filled with hostiles set on deterring Kirby from completing his rescue mission. Thus, so begins a trek through all manner of delightfully twee floating islands, embarking on what is undoubtedly one of Kirby's strongest games in recent years.

Levels on the whole are structured in such a fashion that flitting from the fore- to background on a regular basis is the order of the day, rather like in Mutant Mudds and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, but, as with those games, it is not used for mere aesthetic purposes, rather working as an integral part of the construction of stages for hiding various items here, there, and everywhere. Scouring the surroundings has never been more engaging! Intriguingly, gyroscope functionality is also added, but not tacked on, thankfully (unlike Yoshi's New Island), instead smoothly being integrated into the design, with rocket pods, baskets to ride in, and more, being tilted simply by gently moving the 3DS to one side or the other, with varying degrees of tilt changing the angle accordingly. The effect is also used for cracking conundrums, with plant watering just one particular example, all in the name of collecting all items in every stage. HAL has years of experience in tweaking its platform expertise and Kirby Triple Deluxe is an archetypal piece of development class from the veteran team.

Screenshot for Kirby: Triple Deluxe on Nintendo 3DS

One of the primary objectives is to collect Sun Stones within stages (the amount dotted around varying as the game goes on and difficulty increases), with the total helping in the ultimate purpose of making progress towards boss levels - the more collected, the greater chance of unlocking the boss battle, as well as secret zones. At the end of an area, the amount of keychains acquired en route to the finish are also totted up, with various characters from other Kirby games being stockpiled as trophies - rewards for folk not only reaching the final goal, but having the wherewithal to search every nook and cranny, sometimes pulling off amazing feats of platforming genius to reach the keepsakes. Mech Geg from Kirby Mass Attack, Bubble Head from Kirby: Mouse Attack, Bronto Burt from Kirby's Fun Pak (oddly named Kirby Super Star in the game, despite the rest of the titles bearing their European moniker) and Bloon from Kirby: Power Paintbrush are just a few examples of what can be discovered, with bosses up for grabs as well if looking hard enough. There are plenty of extra elements in and around the world Kirby traverses, making exploration imperative, but never a chore.

As the years have rolled on, Kirby games have taken on more of a battle mechanic approach, with the abilities absorbed by Kirby - thanks to literally sucking up and swallowing enemies - having all manner of moves that can be activated by chaining together button presses and D-Pad manipulation in numerous ways. Once swallowed, Kirby's appearance alters accordingly, but it is not always clear how to access all of the moves, other than a simple tap of the attack button to do the basics. Therefore, pressing Start whilst in possession of an enemy ability brings up a helpful screen with the name and description of the moves now available, as well as instructions on how to actually carry out every possible attack with the new power in tow. The oldies-but-goldies return (Fire, Sword, Spark, and so on - 20 in total), but there are also extremely cool new features, such as Bell, which has a plethora of moves from charging to unleash a small radial attack to a devastating boomerang of noise waves that knocks several foes flying at once, plus four other new moves to test (Beetle being of special note, making Kirby…'horny' - granting a giant horn to use against foes, that is!).

Screenshot for Kirby: Triple Deluxe on Nintendo 3DS

Even StreetPass rears its head for Kirby: Triple Deluxe, with Bandana Waddle Dee flinging useful items Kirby's way at points where they are likely most needed (before boss fights, being one such time!), with better items being thrown around when using StreetPass - Assist Stars can be accrued, as well as health items, and many others. More often than not these will be the necessary lifelines for making it through to the next stage.

Talking of eating, coming across and subsequently munching on a 'Miracle Fruit' from the magical Dreamstalk (rather like a beanstalk but with a touch more pizzazz) gives Kirby something called a Hypernova move, imbuing him with a special ability to suck anything and everything into the black hole that is now in place of his stomach. Watching trees, enemies and all sorts of parts from the surrounding area shake, rattle and finally succumb to the insane inhaling power is thoroughly enjoyable. It also acts as part of puzzling solving, from manoeuvring blocks around to uncover secrets to swinging wrecking balls backwards and forwards to smash through barriers. This is no mere 'for show' move, rather one that plays an important role in completing certain levels. It is used sparingly, though, so as to not ruin the tougher than normal difficulty found here.

Then, as per the norm for the series, at the actual end of each stage - and this is where having a 3DS trumps 2DS - Kirby jumps into a cannon and is shot into the screen, how far being dependent on where the constantly moving power bar was stopped. The depth effect comes into play very well indeed here and accompanies the general level of 3D greatness HAL has brought to the first Kirby outing on 3DS in the general level layout. Plenty of care and attention has gone into how the depth of the 3DS could be maximised and whilst both Retro Studios and Renegade Kid did fine jobs of employing such a graphical technique for their products mentioned earlier, HAL has achieved near perfection in level design, making constant use of tricks and techniques that will keep gamers on the edge of their seats.

Screenshot for Kirby: Triple Deluxe on Nintendo 3DS

For all the merits of the main adventure, there will be those wanting a little more for their coin, and there are two extra games included to satiate such desires, as expected from the series (there are other elements to unlock, but why spoil the fun of finding them out?). The first, Kirby Fighters, is a small game in its own right, working as an against-the-clock mini version of the Smash Bros. series, with a specific weapon being chosen and fights taking place either in solo or multiplayer bouts across numerous arenas. The solo mode pits the chosen Kirby against one foe to start with, building up through consecutive levels to face off against more and more enemies, each with varying weapon types before reaching a final boss. Whilst not as high octane as Masahiro Sakurai's brawler, and lacking real depth to play over long periods at a time, it does add a hefty chunk of extra life to Kirby Triple Deluxe, especially when played with friends on an infrequent basis.

The other extra mode is Dedede's Drum Dash, a modified edition of Rhythm Paradise with a bit of Taiko no Tatsujin mixed in for good measure. King Dedede can be moved across from left to right, bouncing along on drums at the lower part of the screen, and tapping A in time with the tune playing launches him high up to collect gold, silver, and bronze coins. Hitting the A button again at the peak of flight - in time with the music's backbeat - builds up further points and at the end of a stage there are ratings based on damage taken (avoid enemies along the way!), how many coins have been grabbed, how accurate the backbeat taps were, and the time bonus for those completing a stage quickly. Moving drums and ones that break in later stages make this a bigger test than expected, but highly addictive!

Screenshot for Kirby: Triple Deluxe on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Kirby is back with a bang! Whilst many adored Kirby's Epic Yarn, the team at Cubed3 actually preferred the more traditional Kirby's Adventure Wii and Kirby Triple Deluxe follows in that game's footsteps. Although the quirky Kirby Mass Attack was indeed sublime, going back to the core of the Kirby series is much welcomed. This is everything that Yoshi's New Island should have been - inventive stages, tight platform action, cleverly hidden secrets that are worth finding, and a general high level of polish throughout.






2D Platformer



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (4 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop


I'm surprised - no US readers played this yet? It's definitely not one to miss out on!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]
Goddess (guest) 26.05.2014#2

Better than Yoshi's New Island? I really didn't enjoy that one. Soured my memory of the original. This looks pretty cool, but aren't Kirby games dead childish and easy?? Smilie

Definitely better than Yoshi - miles better! Thankfully it's doing well in its second week in the UK: Really pleasing to see a Kirby game finally getting the attention it deserves!!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Azuardo, devidise, jesusraz, RudyC3

There are 4 members online at the moment.