The Average Gamer

Kirby’s Adventure Wii Review

I don’t usually start a review with a major gripe but as it is to do with the title of the game, I feel it is needed. Kirby’s Adventure Wii is an atrocious name. It’s lame, boring, and there is nothing catchy about it at all. It isn’t even the original title of the game, so money has actually been spent on changing it just for Europe and Australia.

The US title, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land, and even Japan’s Kirby of the Stars, sounds far better. Return to Dream Land in particular would resonate with gamers around the world, as the original Kirby’s Dream Land is a classic.

So, terrible title aside, is Kirby’s Adventure Wii *shudder* any good?

The gameplay returns us to the familiar formula of the original Kirby’s Dream Land on Game Boy, but with some additions. The platforming is standard left-to-right stuff, and uses the Wii remote, with the shaking motion the only Wii motion control on offer. The controls are really simple and take seconds to pick up, leaving you to plough on with the fun stuff: copying abilities.

This wasn’t present in the original Kirby’s Dream Land, but has been a key component in Kirby games since and is certainly the best feature of this game. Not only can the rotund, pink puffball suck or swallow almost everything and everyone, some enemies of the game will pass their abilities on to Kirby. There are also ability stars throughout the game, which provide the same abilities, and are usually an indication they are required for an upcoming boss.

Some of the abilities are excellent fun; ‘sword’ in particular pays homage to Link from the Zelda series, with Kirby donning a Link hat and sword, or the ‘fighter’ ability, where Kirby instead wears a red bandana and can perform mid-air dragon punch uppercuts to enemies. Copying abilities is a fundamental part of the gameplay of Return to Dream Land Wii Adventure. Tou will spend more time with an ability than without and some areas are inaccessible without them.

The story is driven with small cut-scenes and on-screen text and wasn’t bad at all, with a strong finish. At its most basic, the story mode clocks in at around 9-10 hours. However, I struggled to stay interested beyond an hour at a time, due to the repetitive nature of the levels and gameplay. This isn’t a bad thing as such. It makes for an enjoyable hour.

Easily the best areas of the game are the ones which are different; hidden warps found in some levels take Kirby to areas which are black and white, except for Kirby, any enemies, or the purple, jelly-like barrier chasing you. The aim here is to make your way through obstacles without being caught by the barrier, which will flatten Kirby between surfaces. Each of the areas is harder than the last and these sections are vital for anyone willing to obtain the full quota of 120 energy spheres.

There are minor issues, however. Cosmetic differences aside, the levels can get very repetitive, as can the gameplay. The platforming itself is sound but never really difficult. This was a game with the younger/less experienced gamer in mind. Bosses, as frequent as they are, are nearly all identical, and most can be beaten with the sword or spear abilities in seconds, just by button bashing.

Another issue with Kirby is the TV display. I cannot believe, in this day and age, there is a video game with widescreen borders. They take up a THIRD of the screen! Street Fighter II on the SNES springs to mind. For all its charm, it looks like a disproportioned DVD ratio.

This leads me to the multiplayer. Much like New Super Mario Bros. Wii, up to 4-player multiplayer is available at any time during the story mode. Unlike NSMBW, the horrendous borders mean it’s just too narrow for more than one player and, as both lives and power ups are shared, there is more falling out than teamwork. You can however jump in/drop out at any time. There are also unlockable game modes such as Scope Shot, or Ninja Dojo that offer additional single and competitive play outside the main quest. Between that and collecting the energy spheres that unlock them, there is good replay value to Kirby.

Title aside, Kirby’s Adventure Wii is a very fun game. It may not appeal to more hardcore platform gamers, but will more than please younger, maybe less experienced gamers, or those just looking for something a simple. The main quest is a good length, collecting all the Energy Spheres will keep many coming back and some are quite challenging to find/obtain. Whoever picks this up will certainly get their money’s worth, and you will want to consume it all.

Kirby’s Adventure Wii is available now.

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