Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Review: Kirby's Adventure - Wii U Virtual Console

Wii U Virtual Console logo and title screen of Kirby's Adventure

Until July 2013, Nintendo is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Famicom by releasing "classic" titles for the new Wii U Virtual Console. As an added bonus, you can get these games for 30 cents during the first 30 days of each title's release. This month's release is Kirby's Adventure. Is this latest port worth another trip from "Vegetable Valley" to "The Fountain of Dreams?" Find out after the jump. 

Image courtesy of The Video Game Museum.

Kirby has been one of the most popular and versatile video game heroes of the past 20 years. He is a jack of all trades serving as a platforming protagonist, pinball, mini-golf ball, puzzle game host, racer, unstoppable projectile, mini game host, mouse herder, and fighting game superstar. His long history with Nintendo has produced a renowned library and most of his titles have been well received by generations of gamers. Kirby's Adventure was his first foray on a home console and since it came so late into the lifespan of the NES, many gamers missed out on it back in the day. This is not to say they are unfamiliar with the title since it has been re-released three times since 2007 (on the Wii Virtual Console, 3DS eShop, and Kirby's Dream Collection). It was also remade and released on the Gameboy Advance as Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland in 2002.

Japanese promotional image for video game Kirby's Adventure
So what if this is the 3rd port of this game in the last 6 years, can you ever have too much of this?

Kirby's Adventure is a side-scrolling 2D platformer. This game is perhaps the NES' finest hour as far as graphics and sound go and it is also very fun to play. Kirby runs, jumps, and flies throughout the game's colorful and imaginative worlds. He can inhale many of his enemies and absorb their special powers. This makes each time you play the game a bit unique as you have the option to pick which powers you will use as you complete the levels. Thankfully, HAL Laboratory created plenty of enemies with personality and a variety of abilities for Kirby to swallow and absorb.

Playing Kirby's Adventure on the Wii U GamePad

The game looks great on the Wii U Virtual Console, whether you use the TV or the Gamepad screen. It should be noted that Nintendo excels in making ports of classic games. Matter of fact, the only misstep I can recall is the poorly executed version of Majora's Mask on the Zelda Collector's Edition disc for the Gamecube. Yes, the "Big N" loves to port their games but at least they do it well. Whenever I play an old PS1 compilation disc, a Sega port on Xbox Live, or an Activision Classic title, they are nostalgic but slightly "off." There is always a bit of delay on the controls, a minute stutter in the soundtrack, or some other "glitch" that reminds me I am not playing the original. However, Nintendo's ports seamlessly take me back in time, sweetening the feeling of wonder and nostalgia deserving of these classic games. In that regard, Kirby's Adventure succeeds. Even if it is a repeat of an accomplishment we experienced on a previous port. 

Check out the game in this video

It is somewhat fitting this game came out so close to tax day. I begrudgingly give it a 10, in the same manner that I begrudgingly put my tax check in the mail. I know that the IRS "deserves" my money and I know that Kirby's Adventure deserves a 10. I just don't like having to give either one of them on an annual basis. Now please Nintendo, I beg you to bring on a 3D version of Kirby's Dream Course for the 3DS. 

Watch this commercial from 1993 while you wait for this classic game to download to your Wii U

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