Game Review: Kirby's Adventure
Kirby's Adventure

Kirby's Adventure Title Screen

  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Developer: HAL Laboratory
  • Released: May 1993
  • Game Type: Adventure
  • Players: 1
  • Product Number: NES-KR-USA
  • Rarity: B- (Borderline Rare)
    Game Ratings:
    OVERALL: 10

    Box Scan
    Kirby's Adventure Screen 1 Kirby's Adventure Screen 2

    This game here is a sequel to the Game Boy title Kirby's Dream Land, which introduced the world to a lovable puffball named Kirby. Although the original game was pretty easy and could be completed in an hour, it was still a big hit and spawned several sequels, including this second entry released late in the NES' life. Even though the NES was in its twilight in 1993, by then most of the gamemakers had mastered the system to produce some excellent games for the NES, and Kirby's Adventure is no exception.

    In this chapter of the series, we find our hero Kirby on a quest to solve a problem that's plaguing Dream Land. The mischevious King Dedede has stolen the fabled Star Rod from the Fountain of Dreams and split it into seven pieces, giving each piece to one of his buddies. Without the Star Rod, the people of Dream Land can't dream at night, and that causes them to be restless and iritable. Kirby decides to travel through the seven areas of Dream Land and find the missing pieces of the Star Rod, not knowing the real reason behind Dedede's actions.

    Kirby's quest takes him through seven levels each with a number of stages. Each level has a side-view "world map" that features doors to the various stages and other areas. At first very little of the level is shown, but as Kirby completes levels more of the map is uncovered, revelaing more levels.

    In each stage the object is to simply fight your way through the various baddies you encounter to reach the goal at the end. Kirby's main defense is his ability to suck up any small enemy like a vaccum cleaner and shoot them back out as a projectile. However this chapter in the series intrdouces Kirby's copy ability; certain enemies have special powers, and if Kirby inhales them and swallows them (by pressing Down), Kirby can gain that special ability for his own use. These abilities include fire breath, freezing breath, laser beams, and even more, including some melee weapons like swords. There are over 20 abilities and Kirby can switch powers by pushing Select to drop his current weapon to inhale another. Kirby also loses his power if he gets hit, but can reclaim it but sucking up the star that appears. Once you reach the goal, which is a door outlined by stars, Kirby ha s a shot at winning bonus points or even an extra life. After that, Kirby plants a flag a the door (signalling a cleared stage) and then it's off to the next door to the next stage. Eventually at the end of each level you must do battle with one of Dedede's bosses, and if Kirby is successful he gets a piece of the Star Rod.
    In addition to the stages, Kirby can also enter special doors to try his hand as several minigames which give him a chance to win extra lives. These include an egg-catching contest where you try to eat eggs and not bombs that King Dedede throws at you, a quick-draw challenge where you try to be the first to push the A button when the game prompts you to, and a crane game like those you see in the supermarket where you can try to win one or three extra lives by grabbing Kirby dolls. Kirby can also reenter stages he's already cleared to find secret areas and weapons, and this is necessary to reach a 100% completion score.

    Graphics & Sounds:
    The graphics are nothing short of amazing. All of the stages are bright, coloful and have some great details in the background. The rotating tower in the third level is especially awesome to watch as Kirby walks by, giving the illusion that he's circling the tower. The sprites are also well done with some good details and animation. Kirby himself has a lot of expressions on his face which are fun to see. The sprites are a little on the small side, but it's no big deal. The bosses, on the other hand, are larger and sport some great details.

    The game's audio is also well done. There's a large array of upbeat background music that's great to listen to and fits each level well. The sound effects are also first rate, such as the sound of the laser firing or the wheel enemies revving up.

    The controls work great as well. There's vritually no lag time when moving Kirby around, allowing you to make some quick movements. Kirby has a good array of moves he can use, and pulling them off is no problem, meaning you have very little trouble doing what you need to do to get through the stages.

    Challenge & Playability:
    The gameplay in Kirby's Adventure can be summed up in two words: pure fun. The action is fun and addiciting and never gets old. With over 50 stages, you won't get done with this title too quickly, plus the multitude of weapons you can utilize gives you different ways to get through each level. There's also a little bit of puzzle solving, so you'll have to use your brain a little bit as well. Even the minigames are enjoyable enough that you'll want to play them over and over. This game also sports some great replayability. If you don't have a 100% completion score when you beat the last level it means you missed some secret areas, giving you the oppertunity to go back and track down what you missed (white doors mean you found everything, brown doors have something for you to find). If you do manage to find 100%, you open up some bonus features and the more challenging Extra Game, where you only have half your lifeline and you cant save the game, and if you get 100% in the Extra mode, you unlock even more rewards. Kirby's Adventure also has that irresisitible charm; each level opens with a cut scene showing Kirby in humorous situations. The only drawback is the difficulty level; the game isn't very hard, and you'll probably pass through most of the stages in a short amount of time. However the sheer length and incredible replayability of the game is enough to offset this minor negative.

    It's easy to see the programmers put a lot of effort and care into this game, as Kirby's Adventure ranks as one of the best NES games ever. Everything about this game is first class, from the graphics to the gameplay and everything in between. While many of the stages won't make you break a sweat, the addictivness, charm, replayabiliy, and overall greatness of this game will ensure you make many visits to Dream Land. Overall, a great entry in the series and another great last-gen NES title that you should definetly not pass up. This game is an NES gamer's dream.

    - Review posted on May 28, 2007