Whenever I play a game and I’m stuck on a particular section, I lament how difficult that section is. Along with cursing the gaming gods and considering throwing the controller (I never actually do, I swear), I can’t help but wish the game I was playing was easier. “I don’t have the time to waste repeating the same sections over and over again,” I say to myself, “I wish this wasn’t so hard.” Kirby: Triple Deluxe has taught me to be careful what I wish for, because I may just get it.

Those looking for a big challenge from Kirby: Triple Deluxe are going to be majorly disappointed. Nothing about this game is particularly difficult; it’s telling that there are 100 Sun Stones hidden throughout the game, yet I only missed a total of three of them during my first runs through a stage. 97 percent of the stones were located in hidden areas that aren’t so hidden, or behind breakable objects that are easily discernible from the rest of the stage. Even the bosses aren’t much of a problem; the only one that killed me was the final boss, and that only happened once.

This lack of challenge was a bit disheartening. I suppose after playing games like Super Mario 3D Land and Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, I thought I might see some of the out-of-the-box platforming decisions here in Kirby that I saw in those other games. While it makes sense that Kirby would be toned down compared to the other games, it doesn’t make it any less disappointing.


Just because the game isn’t hard, however, doesn’t mean it’s not fun. I still enjoyed guiding Kirby through this adventure. I still enjoyed stealing powers like Sword and Cutter and new ones like Circus, where Kirby turns into a circus performer and tumbles his way through enemies. The highly-touted Hypernova ability, which gives Kirby super-inhaling powers, impressed me when I was able to use it, but unfortunately it’s limited to certain sections of a handful of stages. If Hypernova was as readily available as the rest of his skills, it would have been my favorite Kirby power of all time.

The best parts of Kirby: Triple Deluxe, however, lie outside of the story mode. Finishing the Story Mode unlocks DededeTour, letting us play through the main story as the giant penguin King Dedede, and The Arena, a boss rush mode with limited amounts of health power-ups. Arena is self-explanatory and finishing it leads to the True Arena with even more powerful bosses, but The DededeTour is actually a fun twist on the main game. It’s a shortened version of the main story, but playing as Dedede and wielding his giant hammer makes me wish he was the star of the whole game. Why don’t we have a game starring Dedede yet, anyway? What more does he have to do?

Dedede does star in another minigame, but it’s a rhythm game called Dedede’s Drum Dash. I found this mode to be rather frustrating, as the tutorial doesn’t do a good enough job explaining when the game wants you to hit the button. Obviously you’re supposed to hit it on the way down, but I didn’t know I could hit it at the top of Dedede’s jump until I did it by accident. If I hadn’t stumbled upon that little tidbit, I’d have never come close to the gold medal in each stage.


The best of the extra modes, by far, is Kirby Fighters. Think of a bite-sized version of Super Smash Brothers, but all of the characters are Kirby with different powers. You can choose a power from the character select (I prefer Sword, Fighter or Archer), then fight through a gauntlet of Kirbys or take on friends via local play. The stages would fit right into the actual Smash Brothers games, especially the Lololo and Lalala stage ripped right from the original Kirby’s Dream Land. If that stage were to magically find its way onto the upcoming Super Smash Bros 3DS, I wouldn’t be against it.

I can’t describe how much fun Kirby Fighters is, even though it’s a mini-game that borrows borrows from another of Nintendo’s big name games. If Nintendo ever wanted to make a quick killing on the downloadable front, take this Kirby Fighters mode, add a few more powers and stages, and sell it by itself on the eShop. After playing it as much as I have, I’d even contemplate purchasing it as a standalone retail package. It’s that much fun.

Kirby: Triple Deluxe is an enjoyable little platformer definitely worth a Kirby’s fan time. However, those players looking for a challenge should look elsewhere, as this game very rarely pushes players to their skill limits during the main story. The side offerings are meaty and help to make the game a more complete package, especially the excellent Fighters mode. Kirby: Triple Deluxe has something for everyone, but the lack of a true challenge is a downer.

This review is based on a purchased copy of Kirby: Triple Deluxe for the Nintendo 3DS.

7.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating