Kirby: Triple Deluxe Review – A Commentary on Difficulty

Kirby is easy. There, I said it. If you’re a longtime fan of the franchise, that statement is as obvious as the sky is blue. There’s been a lot of talk lately about the difficulty of games and the impact that it should have on a review. If a game is too hard, it can be a frustrating experience for the player. I absolutely suck at Dark Souls, but does that mean it’s a bad game? Certainly not. It’s just not suited for me and other players of my skill level. Its value may be inherently lower for those people, but not for others. Conversely, Kirby: Triple Deluxe is fairly easy throughout. Does that mean it’s a bad game?

Kirby is meant to be an approachable franchise for kids and casual gamers alike. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be enjoyed by more devout gamers – and it has been for decades. I’m in my mid-twenties, and I’ve always loved Kirby. It’s easy-going and stress-free, but it’s not completely devoid of opportunities to use your brain. Kirby has always been this way, so I’m going to assume for the sake of a fair review that you’re a Kirby fan and understand that Kirby is, has been, and always will be easy. And you’re okay with that.

Kirby: Triple Deluxe, in particular, has a lot of good things going on. For the first time, handheld Kirby has moved on from sprites in favor of 3D models and environments. I’m rather partial to the sprites, but Kirby really looks great on the 3DS – especially with that 3D slider all the way up. I’ll admit that I haven’t used the 3D regularly since the first few months of the system’s life. The process I go through when I get a new game is to play the first fifteen minutes or so in 3D, then turn it off for the rest. But not here. Kirby: Triple Deluxe is stunning in 3D. The effect is used well in relation to gameplay, not unlike Super Mario 3D Land, and it’s enhanced by the Mutant Mudds-inspired level design that requires players to move from the foreground to the background. There are more surprising, creative, and eye-popping 3D effects in this game than any other 3DS game that I’ve played.

As is the usual fare with Kirby these days, Triple Deluxe also includes a few mini-games. The most attractive of the bunch is Kirby Fighters, a Smash Bros. clone that features single player and download-play-compatible local multiplayer modes. While it doesn’t sport the insane balance of dedicated fighting games, it’s a great romp in multiplayer with friends. Dedede’s Drum Dash is a passable rhythm game – I didn’t have the patience for it. Fans of touch-based rhythm games may be able to find some fun in it, but that ship sailed for me long ago. The timed boss rush mode and the ability to play the game as King Dedede are welcomed options, though, extending the game’s replayability. Mass Attack players may be a bit disappointed that the number of extra modes only totals to four, but each of the four are fleshed out in a big way.

While the main goals can be completed rather quickly, the biggest draw to revisit this game again and again comes in the form of the collectible digital keychains. Each keychain sports the sprite of an iconic Kirby character or item. These keychains can be found buried inside each level of the game, and you can also receive them via StreetPass and/or in exchange for play coins.

Kirby: Triple Deluxe is the epitome of what we’ve come to expect from a Kirby game. It’s got the classic, refined gameplay that we all know and love, replay value in the form of collectibles and time attacks, and some stout extra modes. And for those of you looking for a reason to turn that 3D slider on, Kirby is without a doubt the best looking 3D game on the system. Fans, there’s no reason to skip this. Especially not because it’s ‘easy’.


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