by Olimar 91
reviewed on NDS
Pinacle or sell-out?
Every video game series has its pinnacle iteration that sticks in the hearts of those who’ve played it. One game that forever remains a fan-favorite. For the Kirby series, that game is Kirby Superstar for the Super Nintendo. For one reason or another, it has been regarded by many as the high point in the franchise. Now, after more than twelve years, Superstar is back in all its glory. But is this star as super as it was back in the 16-bit era? Or is it an ultra sell-out?
Annoying puns aside, allow me to assure you that Superstar Ultra is a very true Kirby platformer. All of the basics remain the same: trod through levels, eat enemies, and steal abilities. What Superstar adds to the mix is that you can now create ‘helpers’. Once you have acquired a particular ability, a press of the X button will return your new power to its enemy form, but now it’s on your side. In single-player, your helper will be computer controlled, but the option to play cooperatively over wireless link is also available.
Eight games in one
It’s not as cut and dry as all of that though. The SNES game promised on the box that you’d be getting eight games in one package. Ultra pulls the same gimmick, but be aware that you aren’t really getting more than a single game. Your experience with everything Superstar has to offer will amount to little more than a traditional Kirby game. What makes this one unique though, is that each ‘game’ is different in its own right. Dynablade and Revenge of Meta Knight serve as average platforming fare, while The Great Cave Offensive plays out as a free roaming collect-a-thon. Some of the games offered in Superstar are admittedly too shallow to really sink your teeth into. Gourmet Race feels more like a mini-game, and Spring Breeze is nothing more than a glorified tutorial. There are several more though, and regardless of who you are, there should be something to love in this package.
In addition to the main games, Ultra adds three new mini-games. They are a decent diversion, but add little to the single-player experience. Thankfully if you have a friend with a DS, you can challenge them with a single copy of the game. The meat of the multi-player however, namely the cooperative play, will unfortunately require a second copy. There is also a lack of any Wi-Fi functionality. It isn’t necessary by any means, but I’d be lying to say it wouldn’t be a blast to tackle the game with a friend over Nintendo WFC.
Continuing with the gripes, there is a noticeable drop in terms of audio quality. This is of course to be expected when moving from home console to handheld, but it’s disappointing nonetheless. Subsiding this error is the excellent soundtrack carried over from the original game. It’s cheery, fun, and upbeat. Everything you would expect from the music in this game is present, so be sure and turn that volume up.
No Pros and Cons at this time