Why do we never talk about Kirby?
Sure, he’s not as INTENSE as Link. He doesn’t have huge blockbuster games. But he’s always there. Kirby games are always fantastically overlooked. However, I am a BIG-TIME Kirby fan. Ever since I was 4 years old, I’ve been kicking butt as the lovable pink blob.
For those of you who are unaware of the Kirby franchise, you’ll be shocked to hear that they are platformers. I’m going to go out on a limb here, but I feel as though most of you know Kirby as that turd character in Super Smash Bros. who floats around and transforms into a rock – but there’s so much more.
Kirby has been in so many games; I can’t even keep track of them all. I’ll start with my favorite Kirby game of all time, Kirby Super Star. It’s a beautiful little gem for the SNES, and it sits happily as my tenth favorite game ever.
Kirby Super Star has a catchy little slogan: 8 games in one. And they weren’t kidding. There are, indeed, 8 games within the tiny SNES cartridge. Now, these are not full-length games, mind you, but they are games none the less. One of these games is a cleaned-up version of Kirby’s very first adventure, Kirby’s Dreamland. In these 8 games, players can steal enemy powers, they can fly through levels, they can find secrets. The fun never ends, but best of all, Kirby Super Star has almost infinite replayability.
Now, Kirby Super Star may be my favorite Kirby installment, but Kirby is a malleable little guy. Along with his chameleon-like characteristics, Kirby’s games each have their own quirks.
Kirby Air Ride may be the most underrated game of all time. Throughout the entire game, you use two buttons- and one doesn’t even count as a button. First off, it’s an obscure racing game. You use the A-button to charge/break, and you use the joystick to steer. Simple, right? WRONG. In City Trial mode, you and three other players drive around this cartoony landscape, gathering power-ups. With these power-ups, you try to whoop each other. Also, rather than choosing one vehicle, in Kirby Air Ride, you can get off your ride. You can run around and fly and whatever. And then, if you find a cooler vehicle, you can ride on that one instead.
So you have your spazzy platforming Kirby, and you have a Mario Party-esque racing game. But wait, there’s more!
Rather than sticking with a formula that works, Kirby decides to break the mold. By taking advantage of Nintendo’s creativity, Kirby has two adventures that highlight the touch screen: Kirby Canvas Curse and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. In these games, Kirby is a ball. Just a ball. He doesn’t do anything but roll on the lines that you draw. Of course, Kirby’s familiar enemies are there to impede the path, but the touch screen quirk makes for a game of unrivaled originality.
And that’s the beauty of Kirby. As amazing as his first couple games were, Kirby always has a new gimmick to bring to the table of gaming. The folks down at Hal Laboratory never disappoint (they are the developers FYI). I can highly recommend every single Kirby game. They all rock… except for Kirby Tilt ‘n’ Tumble. That game sucks, yo.