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Kirby's Adventure

星のカービィ 夢の泉の物語

Developer: HAL Laboratory Publisher: Nintendo
23 March 1993
Kirby's Adventure [星のカービィ 夢の泉の物語] - cover art
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852 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#730 All-time
#13 for 1993
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1993 HAL Laboratory Nintendo  
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JP 4 902370 501643 HVC-KI
1993 HAL Laboratory Nintendo  
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XNA 0 45496 63072 0 NES-KR-USA
1993 HAL Laboratory Nintendo  
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DE ES 0 45496 63072 0 NES-KR-NOE/FRG
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It's a longer Kirby [カービィ] game than Kirby's Dream Land [星のカービィ] and that's why this game is already pretty good. I could stop there but the game itself has a lot of things that I like, and some that I dislike, that I think is worth discussing.

As far as good things about the game go, there are plenty to highlight. First of all, it has some amazing banger music and sound design that's very fun to listen too. Second of all, this is probably my pick for prettiest NES game until further notice. It looks genuinely gorgeous accomplishing great looking pixel graphics on an old and limited piece of console hardware. Not just that but they managed to pack in a lot of great animations too from both Kirby himself as well as the enemies and general surrounding level too. The world as a whole feels really alive and well detailed which is exactly what you want a dream land to be. It also accomplishes this without a blatant disregard for ensuring that the gameplay remains fun, which is something that the makers of Star Fox [スターフォックス] should take notes from. Speaking of taking notes, this game also appears to take a good amount of inspiration from the Super Mario Bros. 3 [スーパーマリオブラザーズ3] world map design while also providing unique twists of its own. What is carried over would be the ability to travel to and play multiple levels as well as smaller sublevels that represent minigames, a place to get a power up, etc.. However, the sublevels and the world map traversal are executed far differently, respectively having unique minigames and being able to use the main gameplay mechanics which I find really cool. The minigames themselves are cool from very timing based ones like a Quick Draw minigame to a mini-museum where you can obtain a specific power-up to a coliseum where you can battle a lot of the mid-bosses of the game to the crane game where it simulates you getting ripped off just like real crane games. I think the best aspect about this game from these pros is its worldbuilding, it creates a fun world that is really fun to both look at and traverse through.

These strengths also extend to the main levels and gameplay, with a lot of levels being themed very well and the gameplay being overall still pretty fun. Alongside the amazing ability to suck and spit out enemies, we are now able to copy abilities as well and honestly all of these are fun to try out while also being more or less useful to an extent. Sword, Hammer, Laser, and Fireball are some of my favorites to use, they just feel so satisfying and effective in all the right ways. And it helps that the enemies are all really fun, both the normal and boss ones. The normal enemies have a very interesting AI in this game, you can have two enemies that are basically visually the same but can perform wildly different actions. Take the flying Bronto Burt for example. I've seen it move in a constant direction both horizontally and diagonally, I've seen it wait for Kirby until it flies up and dashes horizontally very quickly, I've seen it actually home in on Kirby as it flies. This extends to enemies with actual attacks too allowing them to use different attacks like Hotheads sometimes using an aimed single flame instead of a flame stream, or Laser Balls choosing to shoot between a certain number of lasers at a time. This AI not only makes it a bit more unpredictable to handle, which is done in a mostly fun way here, but it also adds to the world where it feels like each normal enemy is its own individual in Dream Land. Boss and midboss AIs are really fun too, having a very well defined set of moves and executing them within a pattern that makes them fun to learn and eventually counter. In terms of positives, I am very sold on the design of Kirby [カービィ] games as a whole, being able to worldbuild so well while also making a game that is simultaneously worth playing.

However, I can only wish it reaches the highs of Super Mario Bros. 3 [スーパーマリオブラザーズ3] or beyond in future entries because this game does have its fair share of issues that make it less fun than it could be. I do think the level design is generally very good especially with respect to the worldbuilding... but I think the secrets are very hit-and-miss in their design. Some are pretty fun to figure out whether it's lighting fuses in a cannon or just figuring out the correct way to break a block to enter a room. And then the others are "find the correct tile to press up into to enter a secret room" which is honestly just dumb especially if the tile gives off no indication of it being weirdly suspicious. There's a level in World 6 iirc where there is a horizontal gap at a corner of an underground area that the game expects you to press up into even though the tile blends with the background perfectly and the area as a whole just seems pointless in the surface. It doesn't help that the same area has other pointless sublocations that have no hidden door spaces at all. That's bad secret area design. Another fairly major issue for me is the slowdown. Due to it being an NES game, I do want to be forgiving towards it, especially since NES games prior had slowdown issues as well but don't happen that often. However, the game does love filling a lot of levels with enemies, resulting in many instances where there are too many enemies and/or particles happening at once, which leads to slowdown, which in turn leads to way less fun. It's not outright game ruining but it does happen often enough where I wish I had an improved version of the game. One more problem I want to mention is what I said when the enemy AI is done in a "mostly fun" manner. There are parts of the game where it feels like you can take very cheap damage or even deaths throughout the later levels. You could approach a slow enemy as Kirby and then suddenly a very fast enemy comes from the very right and hits you. You could fly over a level and then get randomly hit with a precise Hothead fireball to the point where you actually fall into a pit and die since Kirby being hit by fire makes you unactionable for a long amount of time. I do think this would be a bigger issue if the game already wasn't for the most part pretty easy especially if you don't go for the 100%, but because of this I don't trust Kirby games to be able to provide consistent fair hard difficulty like Super Mario Bros. 3 [スーパーマリオブラザーズ3]s later levels are able to execute (and thus I'm not touching the Extra Mode sorry). This game's issues do make it harder for me to say that it is truly a hallmark game that's aged well.

Overall though, yeah I still think Kirby's Adventure is a damn good game even with its issues. I'm excited to see where the Kirby series heads from this point forward. I think one last thing to note is that I did make a lot of Super Mario Bros. 3 [スーパーマリオブラザーズ3] comparisons in this review for a reason. I believe this is the second best Nintendo NES game out there and unfortunately it is a pretty distant second at that. I do genuinely wish this game was better than it already is even though it does a lot of amazing things right. However, being second is still pretty good, I'd play it over a lot of the 7/10 NES games I've rated that I feel are underrated but are limited quite a bit by their flaws let alone some of the many worse Nintendo NES games. In the end, it's still a great game and you should play it, especially if you don't mind a fairly easy game.
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Sothras 2024-05-16T18:29:13Z
2024-05-16T18:29:13Z
4.0
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I’ve never been a huge fan of Kirby. Nintendo’s spherical, sentient wad of Bubble Yum has always fulfilled the role of the 2D platformer series that one could regress to if Super Mario was giving them a hard time. Admittedly, the Super Mario games on the NES had some instances that caused players to throw frustrated tantrums and shout expletives at the TV. Still, these were few and far between compared to the stinging roulette of torment that most NES games provided. Beyond the days of the NES, Mario softened its difficulty, but there were still some occasional hefty challenges. Kirby, on the other hand, has remained consistently easy throughout the years. The series is facile to a fault. As much as I might groan and grit my teeth when I’m faced with arduous obstacles, challenge is one of the most appealing facets of the gaming medium. Without at least a fairly substantial challenge, a fraction of one’s prerogative to play video games is compromised. Kirby’s titles often feel pointless due to most players breezing through the levels at the ease of a Sunday morning drive, or at least that’s how I see it as someone who plays video games consistently. Kirby’s Adventure is a special title in the franchise, and it’s not because it’s his console debut. With Kirby’s more lenient approach to difficulty compared to its contemporaries, it bestows a unique placement in the NES library.

I sometimes forget that Kirby’s Adventure is a sequel to the pink puffball’s inception on the Gameboy only a year prior. That is, I know from years of hindsight and countless examples that Kirby is pink because the original Gameboy only offered black and white visuals. Kirby’s Adventure affirms Kirby’s canon color by being developed for the NES, and the 8-bit system always featured a wide color palette akin to a pixelated rainbow for its games. In color, Kirby’s world looks delightful. A rejuvenated Dreamland looks so delectable that one could sink their teeth into it, and I mean that literally. Kirby’s world shares a startling resemblance to The Land of Chocolate from The Simpsons, a joyous, edible wonderworld reflecting the gluttonous, childish fantasies of Homer Simpson. In all fairness to Homer, any normal adult would probably revel in the sweet ecstasy of The Land of Chocolate, which is why the aesthetic of Kirby’s Adventure is widely appealing. Land masses have more of a likeness to assorted colors and textures of birthday cake than earthly ground, water sparkles like soda, and the platforms run the gamut of hundreds of flavors of taffy. Visually, Dreamland is the video game equivalent of a candy store. The marvel of it is a splendor for the senses, associating pleasant tastes and smells with the spectacle of it. Considering the seven worlds have direct food references, the connection was an overt effort on the parts of the developers. We can at least be thankful that Kirby’s adventure provides something similar to the yummy aesthetic of Mr. Gimmick, for the latter did not emerge on American soil.

Kirby is not a complicated character in terms of gameplay. The guy is but a pudgy circle with eyes, a mouth, flappy little arms, and two bulbous feet fitting snugly in some clown shoes (are they shoes?). The game’s intro further illustrates (no pun intended) how simple Kirby is in a brief step-by-step drawing that details each previously mentioned body part. As a video game character, Kirby couldn’t do much of anything past platforming. He certainly can’t hold a gun with those thumbless nubs he calls arms. For as unrefined as Kirby’s character design is, he possesses a few special gimmicks that separate himself from his fellow 2D platforming contemporaries. Firstly, he can inflate himself like a pufferfish by inhaling oxygen, which allows him to ascend upwards. Kirby’s flight is essentially limitless as the only vertical parameter is the wall the developers draw, and the horizontal trajectory is boundless until the natural point of reaching the level’s end goal. Only careening into enemies or their aimed projectiles can interrupt Kirby’s ascent, sometimes causing Kirby to crash like a falling rock. Platforms in a Kirby game almost seem like safety nets for the few moments when this occurs because Kirby certainly doesn’t need them in order to climb the terrain or circumvent death like other platformer characters. Kirby’s ability gives him the freedom to bypass mostly everything, and he’ll get away with it too on account of the enemy fire being more lethargic than a children’s little league team. The fire fight to effectively bring Kirby down would have to be equal to the blitzkrieg of D-Day, but that would compromise on the intentionally brisk difficulty level. In times when Kirby must land because the level progression leads to a grounded doorway, the interior space with tighter parameters still doesn’t confine him to the physical regulations of the common platformer. What is stopping Kirby from hugging the wall here as tightly as he does out in the open? Not much, even though Kirby doesn’t have as much legroom to stray away from enemies in these more cramped boundaries. Kirby’s innate set of skills are something that players in the NES era would implement as cheat codes for more grueling and demanding games, and nothing presented in Kirby’s Adventure would warrant using a cheat code to surpass.

The fun aspect of Kirby’s gameplay whether or not you are a seasoned gaming veteran or not is the ability to copy an enemies ability, a distinctive talent of Kirby’s that debuted in Kirby’s Adventure. Kirby’s ability to use his gullet as a vacuum to suck up the denizens of Dreamland and spit them back out as star-shaped projectiles was present in the previous Kirby game on the Gameboy, but digesting them by pressing down on the D-Pad allows Kirby to emulate their primary offensive attributes. Dreamland’s ecosystem consists of a diverse array of cartoonish creatures who have seemingly adapted to the ethereal land differently. Elemental powers of ice, fire, and electricity (spark) are granted to Kirby from their respective hosts, changing the properties of Kirby’s breath or creating a field of energy. More melee-intensive enemies will have their weapons stolen by Kirby, which mostly includes some variant of blade that Kirby either swings with the elegance of a matador or crudely chucks like a boomerang. Kirby can turn into a wheel that speeds through levels, puff up a mound of spikes to compliment his puffiness, and the laser is the closest a Kirby game will come to having him use a gun. Kirby shouting into a microphone (Corpsegrinder death growls rendered in 8-bit audio, most likely) is powerful enough to briefly stop time and clear the screen of enemies. Swallowing “normal” enemies like Waddle Dees and Poppy Bros. will not net Kirby any extra abilities, but they are equally integrated with the eclectic range of “special” enemies to the point where there will be plenty of opportunities to use these abilities. Some may gripe at the fact that Kirby will lose the ability upon being hit, but I think it’s a fair trade off considering the ability will materialize into a star that Kirby can easily retrieve. I just wish that there was a trigger to remove a power manually instead of tanking damage to experiment with another one.

While I enjoy the gameplay diversity the copy ability adds, I still have to question whether or not it’s merely a gimmick. Without swallowing enemies, Kirby can still damage enemies just as effectively by exhaling onto enemies while flying, which also doesn’t halt his momentum while airborne. All common enemies perish in one hit regardless of what attribute Kirby is currently gallivanting around with, and this includes his base ability. Oftentimes, I’d simply forsake altering Kirby’s genetic makeup with the creatures in his environment. Flying while blowing onto the occasional airborne enemy kept up a certain rhythm to Kirby’s gameplay that felt smooth and natural. Humoring the suck mechanic only occurred as a lark rather than implementing a strategy to succeed through the course of a level. Bosses are the only enemy types where the copy abilities are useful, and they shred through their health bars the tissue paper no matter what the ability is. Is their shaky defense against the abilities a reward for maintaining them up to a certain point? Either or, fighting these bosses without the abilities still accommodates the player with stars they generate to use as offensive measures against them almost like visual cues of vulnerability. It’s the only consistent example of Kirby’s Adventure providing a substantial challenge. The sole boss that forces the player to use a specific power is Meta Knight, Kirby’s rogue rival who dons a cape and silver mask. After so many fruitless attempts to stop Kirby by sicing his impotent gang of medieval minions on him to no avail, Meta Knight implores Kirby to pick up a sword and duel with him honorably like the mysterious gentleman he is.

On top of every other factor in Kirby’s Adventure that makes the game a walk in the park, the game is loaded with accommodating features and extras. For one, the game includes a save battery that lets the player continue at any given point after taking a break, a rare perk seldom seen across games on the NES. The median length of Kirby’s Adventure arguably warrants a save feature, but the difficulty does not. Continues are limitless in Kirby’s Adventure and Kirby’s maximum six hit points will guarantee that his lives will not be quickly expunged. Extra lives are given out like pamphlets at an airport in Kirby’s Adventure. Ample opportunities will be found on the field, the ending mini-game with the trampoline, and the minigames located in the hub of each level. Even though I find all of this to be unnecessary, the minigames in the hub are fun little breaks in the gameplay regardless of the rewards they grant. The western dueling minigame is actually tense, and the minigame where Kirby mustn't eat a bomb among the flood of eggs requires sufficient reaction time.

Surprisingly, Kirby’s Adventure possesses a veneer of depth that comes to fruition near the end of the game. I haven’t touched on the story of Kirby’s Adventure, for it’s merely the jejune plot of Kirby recovering the sacred Star Rod Macguffin from King Dedede and his droogs so the capacity to dream can be restored to the land of Dreamland. In order to unlock the true culprit, Nightmare, as the final boss, the player must find a series of large buttons strewn across the levels. I fought Nightmare at the end after King Dedede without seeking these buttons knowingly, so I guess the search needn’t be too thorough. Still, it’s impressive that an undemanding game like Kirby’s Adventure offers something like a true ending, and the shadowy Nightmare is defeated across three phases in which the player will need a standard of dodging accuracy and aim with the Star Rod to conquer. Fighting Nightmare should be requisite not only for the slight story, but as a final test to see that the player wasn’t skating along through the course of the game too smoothly.

In relation to the candy store analogy, I guess my main issue with Kirby is that the series is too sweet for my liking. The visuals are spectacular, but the aspect of Kirby’s sugariness that becomes sickening is how it mollifies the NES era 2D sidescroller to a juvenile degree. Cherubic visuals are one thing, but constantly carrying the player through the game with too many perks in a game with a protagonist whose abilities fracture the foundation of the 2D platformer is borderline patronizing. I realize this is the point of Kirby and perhaps I’m not the target demographic. Kirby’s elementary direction has persisted throughout his time as one of Nintendo’s prime IPs, solidifying the fact that alienating an experienced gamer like myself has always been the intention. The reason why I give Kirby’s Adventure more clemency and respect is that the NES library needed something care-free and effortless among a library of notorious ballbusters. After spending too much time at the Salty Spitoon (Castlevania, Ninja Gaiden, fucking goddamn Battletoads), sometimes it’s a relief to visit Super Weeny Hut Jrs. for a while. Kirby's Adventure is still joyful for what it is.

Super Mario is regular Weenie Hut Jrs. in the metaphor if you were wondering.
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Erockthestrange 2017-07-21T20:26:59Z
2017-07-21T20:26:59Z
8.0
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I dont like the gameplay but I like the boss fights especially final boss it was awesome so fun I dont like the musics either but overall game was fun
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Donmusdomuz 2022-11-17T19:52:27Z
2022-11-17T19:52:27Z
3.0
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As a platformer released in the last years of the NES's life, Kirbys Adventure is an excellent and charming little excursion. As a mainline Kirby game, wellllll, its hard to say if it really holds up. But really for its day I can definitely see how impressive and unique this was in comparison to everything else on the market. Truth be told the final years of the NES library are a night and day difference between what was on offer at launch and with nearly 8 years of hardware experience and evolving tech, the final games really are something rivaling the "retro-throwback" platformers of contemporary gaming. Ironic. However as a mainline kirby game, Adventure is about average, and that's me trying to divorce my entire 22 year obsession with the Kirby franchise from this. Its a decent platformer, the controls are what you would expect, though doing nothing to portray the floaty puffball. Kirby is absolutely clunky in a dead run.
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_tumbleweed_ 2022-03-07T03:26:55Z
2022-03-07T03:26:55Z
3.5
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A cute little distraction
I've been meaning to give the kirby games a go for awhile now and I was absolutely shocked at how well this game has held up! It's a beautiful platformer (best looking NES game I've ever played) with whimsical floaty gameplay to match its aesthetics. It has some pretty unique boss fights for the time, an alright soundtrack, and the copy ability is really innovative.

That being said, it does suffer from some flaws. The first is the technical flaw of the game slowing down because it can't handle everything on screen. Makes an otherwise smooth experience hellish at times. The level design is inconsistent and often leaves too many moments where the player can just float over everything and not worry about platforming. It's also painfully easy, and when you do die it's usually because of something that spawned in off screen which gave you minimal reaction time. I lost a few lives but never even came close to seeing the game over screen.

Overall this was a fun little experience and I am super excited to try out some of the other games as I have a gut feeling they solved a lot of my issues I have with this one
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OGDreamcast 2021-12-29T01:46:27Z
2021-12-29T01:46:27Z
3.0
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Baby Boy
Kirby's Adventure is the first great Kirby game in my opinion, taking everything learned in the first game and adding to it. Adding a lot more content, the iconic copy ability, more great music, and, of course, color! I think it's safe to say this is up there with the most beautiful NES games, or even at the top, mix that with a pleasant soundtrack and an all around better-controlling experience and you get a wonderful experience for all five senses.

Er, I assume Kirby's world smells and tastes great, at least.
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electrode 2021-07-03T16:30:39Z
2021-07-03T16:30:39Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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Catalog

Sothras Kirby's Adventure 2024-05-16T18:29:13Z
Switch
2024-05-16T18:29:13Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
100%
misutaapopo 星のカービィ 夢の泉の物語 2024-05-12T07:01:38Z
2024-05-12T07:01:38Z
3 /6
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Josh783 星のカービィ 夢の泉の物語 2024-05-11T22:14:42Z
2024-05-11T22:14:42Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Bandurria 3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure 2024-05-11T19:17:46Z
3DS
2024-05-11T19:17:46Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
lauracomfy Kirby's Adventure 2024-05-07T22:05:37Z
NES • XNA
2024-05-07T22:05:37Z
9
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
themusicofghost Kirby's Adventure 2024-05-04T11:15:06Z
NES • XNA
2024-05-04T11:15:06Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
RadioNoodlez 星のカービィ 夢の泉の物語 2024-04-26T01:27:50Z
2024-04-26T01:27:50Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
mrmoptop2 3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure 2024-04-24T00:38:24Z
3DS
2024-04-24T00:38:24Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Foppishcrow 星のカービィ 夢の泉の物語 2024-04-23T17:57:39Z
2024-04-23T17:57:39Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
pkbean 星のカービィ 夢の泉の物語 2024-04-23T08:47:58Z
2024-04-23T08:47:58Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
GojiraTaiMosura 星のカービィ 夢の泉の物語 2024-04-19T14:12:51Z
2024-04-19T14:12:51Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Phamtomas 星のカービィ 夢の泉の物語 2024-04-15T09:24:31Z
2024-04-15T09:24:31Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x Cartridge
Franchises
Also known as
  • Kirby's Adventure
  • Kirby of the Stars: The Story of the Fountain of Dreams
  • Hoshi no Kābī Yume no Izumi no Monogatari
  • 3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure
  • View all [4] Hide

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  • Previous comments (8) Loading...
  • kaaisu 2023-03-04 09:39:44.497939+00
    is tehre a hack that removws slowdown?
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  • feargm 2023-03-27 08:04:51.624518+00
    happy 30th!
    reply
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  • HeatherMadhouse 2023-05-30 16:32:23.627941+00
    beautiful graphics and a neat way to spend time but doesn't have much for me to keep returning to it. just an another "very good" game in the catalog of many very good and very varied NES titles
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  • jdcomix 2023-10-19 12:53:05.977865+00
    Peak
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  • Kittyhat 2023-11-30 23:50:09.979471+00
    one of the few NES games that hasn't aged a day
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  • foiebump 2023-12-16 07:12:21.097261+00
    i dont see the appeal tbh
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