Console: NES Company: Nintendo/HAL Release Date: June 1993 Genre: Action/Adventure Number of Players: 1 Save Feature? Yes
Along with Battletoads: Double Dragon, Kirby's Adventure was one of the last truly great games to be released for the NES. It was simply a feast for fans of fast-paced action games with adventure elements such as bonus games and secret rooms intertwingled. Finding any weakness in this rare gem is like pulling teeth.
Overview: Not since the days of Super Mario Bros. 3 had there been a game as lengthy as Kirby's Adventure. This game consists of seven huge worlds to explore and, unlike Mario 3, it has a save option! As a result, marathon sessions aren't necessary when firing up Kirby's Adventure.
Simply put, the chief goal of this game is to complete every level and to defeat every boss. However, in order to reach the 100% plateau, you have to find all of the secret areas in the game. You're going to have to be an ace explorer as well because many of the secrets are well-hidden (a little too well-hidden if you ask me). In addition to plowing through the regular levels, there are three very playable bonus games, a museum where you can receive special abilities, and an arena where you have to fight for life tomatoes! One thing is for sure about this game; you won't get bored playing it!
One of the neat things about this game is Kirby's ability to eat enemies and to gain special abilities from many of them! While many abilities involve Kirby shooting projectiles of some sort (e.g. beams, lasers, etc.), some of them are quite innovative! One allows Kirby to literally turn into a wheel and run over his foes while others involve Kirby using his body to perform certain elemental attacks (Ice, Freeze, and Fireball abilities). Of course, my personal favorite has to be the UFO which has four different attacks! The Crash ability (destroys all enemies on the screen) isn't all that bad either.
Graphics: The graphics in Kirby's Adventure are bright and colorful which is what you would expect in a game full of cutesy characters. However, they are quite impressive! The attention to detail is also very good and does a great job of creating the neat atmosphere that infiltrates each level. Vegetable Valley is filled with forests while Ice Cream Island contains a tropical paradise and underwater areas.
The biggest strength of the game's graphics just might be the background graphics. For an NES game, the backgrounds in Kirby's Adventure are exceptional! For example, one level takes place in a forest yet you can see the ocean in the distance. It's the little things like these that separate Kirby's Adventure from the majority of NES games in the graphics aspect. There is also some nifty parallax scrolling in the tower stages of the game. If all that wasn't enough, the game has smooth animation as well.
Music: The music in Kirby's Adventure is very fitting for the game's atmosphere. The tunes are mostly upbeat and cheerful but some like the Grape Garden track are serene and relaxing. Some of the battle music can get annoying at times but the vast majority of music is quite good. I have to reiterate that what really impressed me was how well the music fits each level. It is not easy to do this.
The sound effects in Kirby's Adventure are pretty good for the NES. Nothing is groundbreaking but some of the weapon attacks (especially the Mic!) are cute. They get the job done.
Play Control: The play control isn't quite up to Mega Man standards but it's pretty close! The fact that Kirby has a nice amount of moves for an NES game helps. He can run, fly, slide, and utilize more than 20 special abilities. The controls are very responsive and easy to use which is very important in an action game.
Challenge: For some reason unbeknownst to me, many sources (notably Nintendo Power magazine) felt that Kirby's Adventure was designed for novices. I beg to differ. Anyone who has played the Extra Game (you have the option of playing this hard mode after beating the game) knows that Kirby's Adventure can be very challenging. It might not push you as much as Blaster Master or Legacy of the Wizard but Kirby's Adventure can still make you work. One of the greatest challenges in this game isn't necessarily fighting enemies but is finding the plethora of secrets hidden throughout the game. However, this gives the game a healthy level of replay value which is a great thing. Sure, Kirby's Adventure is probably on the easy side compared to other games in its genre but it's no cakewalk either.
Storyline: Although it doesn't exactly keep you on the edge of your seat, Kirby's Adventure actually has a pretty decent plot. Ever since Kirby thrashed King Dedede in Kirby's Dream Land (Game Boy), everyone in Dream Land has been at peace. However, one fateful day, citizens of dream land discuss the problem that no one had any dreams the previous night. Since dreaming is vital to survival in Dream Land, Kirby is asked to go and see if there are any problems with the magical Star Rod (bringer of all dreams). He ventures to the Dream Lake where the beloved Star Rod resides and, before you can say "sweet dreams," discovers the mischievous King Dedede swimming in the magical waters of the lake! Dedede calmly explains that he broke up the Star Rod into several pieces and handed them to his minions for safekeeping. As you can imagine, this sets Kirby into an outrage and, before Dedede can explain, Kirby sets off for the seven areas of Dream Land, hoping to find the missing pieces of the Star Rod.
The neat thing about this plot is that the ending is a total surprise. Believe it or not, it turns out that King Dedede is not the one responsible for the lack of dreams. "Who is the culprit?" you ask. You'll just have to play to game and find out.
Funfactor: The vibrant graphics, upbeat music, solid play control, and neat plot place Kirby's Adventure in an elite position. With seven huge worlds to explore, hilarious bonus games, and hard-to-find secrets, Kirby's Adventure has a lot of replay value! The sheer length of this game makes it enjoyable. Another plus is that the game has a battery so you won't have to worry about finishing the game in one long marathon session (unless you're playing the Extra Game). All in all, Kirby's Adventure is just good, clean fun.
Negatives: As you have seen, Kirby's Adventure is solid in virtually all aspects. While the music is quite good, I just can't give it a higher rating than 4.2. A few tracks are on the average side; now if all of the music was like that Grape Garden track... While the story is decent, it doesn't really get involved until the very end. If you really wanted to be picky, you could complain that you can't save in the Extra Game (you can play this harder version of the game after beating it once). This means that you do have to beat the harder version in one long session. Besides these minor issues, there is really nothing wrong with the game.
Ratings: Graphics: 4.7 Music: 4.2 Play Control: 4.5 Challenge: 4.0 Storyline: 4.2 Funfactor: 4.8 Overall Score: 26.4 out of 30.0 Overall Rating: Silver Stud!
Back to NES NostalgiaLast Updated: October 23, 2009