Reviews
Kirby Dream Collection: Special Edition

By Tim Krynicki - October 19th, 2012

kdc-1

He may not look like it, but this year Kirby has hit the big 2-0. To celebrate the guy’s birthday, Nintendo felt it only appropriate to release the Kirby Dream Collection: Special Edition for the Wii to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the franchise. Asking if it’s worth picking up is a redundant question, especially if you have been a Nintendo fan from the very beginning. The bonus features alone can be written off as a portion of the collection’s price point. The other portion is allocated to the six Kirby adventures that you get to experience without the need of tracking down the individual hardware and software. If you’re a collector of sorts and already own a Game Boy, NES, SNES, and N64 with the games included in the collection on hand; then congratulations – this collection may or may not apply to you. For everyone else, let me break down what comes in the pink box.

You probably have a friend who goes out of their way to get the ultimate special edition collection of a certain Blu-Ray or game release just for the extra goodies that come with it. Understand that and most of the Dream Collection’s price of admission is already taken care of. In addition to the six games mentioned previously, you also get yourself a CD soundtrack and a celebratory art book with a ton of behind-the-scenes material, interviews and the like. This isn’t even counting the extras that come bundled on the game disc itself – the six games, an interactive timeline, a series of challenge levels based on Kirby’s Return to Dreamland, and three full episodes of the cartoon series, Kirby: Right Back at Ya!

kdc-2
Check out what you get!

For the sake of newer fans to the magic ball of puff, I’ll share with you exactly what this Kirby thing as all about (shame on you if you don’t remember Kirby!): Kirby’s adventures have been designed as a non-traditional -yet whimsical- action-platformer that mixes and matches its base ingredients in every installment. To see an excellent example of this, let’s jump into the playable games themselves.

The first game, the one that introduced me to the mascot, was a very black-and-green Game Boy release called Kirby’s Dream Land. Dream Land introduced players to a white-coloured Kirby (pink was a design choice made later on) as well as the quirky denizens and food-themed locations of Planet Pop Star. Since much of Nintendo’s platforming plumbers’ work experience consists of quests that involve saving the princess and Mushroom Kingdom from disaster, Kirby’s is full of food. You travel through a grocery list of locations with nothing more in mind than racking up points, inhaling baddies, and fighting off bosses left and right to try and end with the highest score possible. That is basic, bare-bones Kirby.

The copy ability, introduced in the second game of the collection, Kirby’s Adventure, added a certain something that’s long since become a staple of his ongoing adventures. Where Dreamland consisted of inhaling and exhaling enemies back at each other, the new (now pink) Kirby could copy an enemy power for use against upcoming bosses and to find hidden goodies scattered around the environment. It has been a staple in the series and now you get to experience where it all started.

kdc-3
We have a winnah!

The music has lost none of the charm (or catchy-ness) from the original titles. Even though you may not be able to recall them by name, I can guarantee that you will be humming them in the back of your mind long after you power off your Wii. One thing that I would like to point out is that the two Game Boy titles (while still keeping their 8-bit sounds in check) sound somewhat muffled through my speakers, though I expect that this was due to the hardware limitations and coding of the original console system. On the brighter side, listening to the 8-bit tunes of Kirby’s Adventure from the NES era in stereo surround sound is one of the most beautifully nostalgic moments I have ever experienced.

With the holiday season right around the corner, you can bet your bottom dollar that you are looking at a fine choice for a potential gift (for a number of reasons): if there are children on the list, you get to sit them down and give them the “so you want to hear about Kirby” story complete with audio and visual material to back it up; maybe you have a collector friend who wants to own a commemorate piece of Nintendo history – there’s a Kirby Dream Collection for that; and if your gift-getters have nothing but short attention spans to all things charming and colourful – there’s a couple of cartoon episodes for them to enjoy as well.

Comment away!

Please keep it clean. Unnecessary cursing will be removed.

Article comments by non-staff members do not necessarily reflect the views of Toronto Thumbs.


one × 6 =