by Jason Clement, reviewed on
It's Been A Long Time Coming
The Kirby series grabbed my attention from an early age. While I enjoyed his more unusual outings (like the recently released Kirby Mass Attack), it's the more traditional games that I keep coming back to over and over again. Nothing in the Kirby universe has ever captured my imagination the way Adventure did. Suffice to say, I waited years and years for another console Kirby game to come and succeed Adventure; one that would be a true successor to it.
In 2005, new hope sprung forth as news about a Kirby game in development for Gamecube came out. When the screenshots were shown, I thought this could have been the game to return Kirby to his glory days. But alas, the game went into hiatus, was cancelled, and then brought back numerous times over the course of nearly seven years. And after a lengthy wait, the game has finally re-emerged as Kirby's Return to Dreamland, and boy is it good to have Kirby back where he belongs.
A Homage to the Past
The story starts out simply enough; Kirby is gallivanting around with his friends when a spaceship called the Lor Starcutter crashes into a field nearby. Curious as to what happened, Kirby investigates the crashed ship and finds Magalor, the mysterious alien visitor, in the wrecked ship. Hoping to help Magalor repair the broken vessel, Kirby sets out to find the missing ship pieces around Popstar, and so begins the adventure.
Kirby's Return to Dreamland is a celebration of what the Kirby series is all about. It plays as a simple 2D side-scrolling platformer, with Kirby's classic ability to suck up enemies and copy their abilities as his own returning as well. In many ways, this game does exactly what New Super Mario Bros. did for the Mario series; it returned to what worked. Consequently, Kirby's Return to Dreamland emulates much of what made Kirby's Adventure such a great game all those years ago.
After what seems like forever, world maps that appear in the form of a 2D stage with doors have returned. Many of the abilities that came out of Adventure and Super Star are back. Classic enemies return with a twist as mini bosses. The end of the level bonus jump is back, and so are copy ability rooms; both haven't been seen since Adventure (and Super Star to a lesser degree).
Lots of collectibles and unlockables, multiplayer co-op is a nice addition, bright attractive graphics, lots of homage to past Kirby games
May be a bit too simple for some peoples\' tastes