Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Retro Saga part 30: Kirby's Dreamland 3 for the SNES

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Kirby seems to have been forgotten for some reason. I mean, he has some of the best platforming games of all time on the Gameboy and on the SNES and N64. I just wonder what happened after that. I know there were a few games on the DS, Gameboy Advance, and Gamecube, but it’s like they don’t care about him anymore. Maybe it was because the creator of Kirby, Masashiro Sakurai just wanted to move on with his company, Sora, to do some new things. I won’t pan him for moving onto something different, but I wish they could have just finished the Kirby game that was canceled. I mean, I know there is proof that the new 3D Kirby game is going to be released, but it seems like it’s taking forever. For now though, let’s review Kirby’s last game on the SNES and literally the last first party game on the SNES, Kirby’s Dreamland 3. Often seen as a game that is not up to par with some of the other Kirby games, I think this game has a lot of great fun, and stands up to the rest of the best Kirby games, so let’s swallow up some enemies and take a look at Kirby’s Dreamland 3

The main story of Kirby’s Dreamland 3 is kind of like Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, but a little simpler. Kirby is hanging out with his weird Licorice gumdrop friend when they see an evil shadowy creature fly over their planet. It starts to spread its evil across his planet, and it is up to Kirby and his animal friends from Kirby’s Dreamland 2 to stop this evil force and save their planet. I don’t know why, but the look of the villain reminds me of the villain from Kirby 64. However, it’s a Kirby game and they both have similarities.

The game play in the first Kirby game was just Kirby sucking up enemies and spitting them out. As the games evolved, Kirby gained certain abilities from certain enemies. In his third game, Kirby Dreamland 2, he can use the help of animals, and use your swallowed ability with the animals with some interesting results. The game play in this game is basically no different than Kirby Dreamland 2, but in super amazing color. You swallow certain enemies and gain their power, then basically a quarter of the way through the level, you can gain the help of two different animals. You also have to do certain tasks in the game, like lick a caterpillar-like thing or find three shapes and such to get a special star heart thing. Kind of like in Kirby 64, if you get all of the tasks done in the game, you get a special ending that is different from the normal ending. It’s interesting, since most plat formers were either like Castlevania or Mario or Sonic knock-offs. It gives the game replay value since you want to see the different endings and such.

The graphics in the game are amazing. While not pushing the limit like Final Fantasy 6, Chrono Trigger, or Super Mario RPG, the game looks nice overall. It kind of has a watercolor look and it has a certain charm to it that few games had in that time. Ganbare Goemon had its weird and Japanese-looking character designs, Mario and Donkey Kong games had their unique charm, and now this game’s water-colored-looking graphics. Just like DoReMi Fantasy, it has a calming soundtrack that is really fun to listen to. I think that sometimes games don’t need a lot of music, but they do need environmental sounds and music from making the game designers look lazy.

However, there are some small, but noticeable flaws with this game that keep it from a perfect score. While I like the idea of tasks in the game that give the game replay value, it’s very vague as to what you need to do. Unless you have a guide or a walkthrough with you, you won’t know what to do. I think one of the tasks though, where you need to do a memory game-like thing is somewhat tedious because of the speed it can go at when you play through that task. The pattern of the tasks also seems to get repetitious since it’s the same kind of task, but with different characters for every world. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to do the tasks, but from what I have seen, it’s the same for every world. Though it’s the same thing in Kirby 64 where you need to find three crystal shards in each level to get the real boss and real ending, I don’t really mind that, but modern gamers who want to get into retro games might find that a fault.

All and all though, I don’t see why people badmouthed this game so much. I don’t see why it was so bad for the very last first party game for the SNES. Yeah, you can say it’s a 16-bit remake of Kirby Dreamland 2, but I don’t think so, and that is my honest opinion. You could spend a lot of cash to find a solid copy of this game, but you can do the easier thing and go to the Virtual Console on the Wii and get it in the SNES section. Overall, I still like the Kirby games, and I hope they bring out a new Kirby game for the Wii since it NEEDS one.

This game gets a solid 9 out of 10

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