Kirby: Triple Deluxe

To me, 'Green Greens' is Nintendo. It's the sound of my early gaming years, sat before a large CRT television playing Kirby's Adventure, or in the back of the family car trying to play Kirby's Dream Land on the Game Boy's awful green and black screen.

When I play Kirby: Triple Deluxe I'm transported back to that simpler, cleaner, and just downright better time.

Kirby games - if you're not aware - traditionally tend to be 2D platformers, and this one is no different, albeit with 3D characters running about two flat planes of the foreground and background, to give a 2.5D effect.

As well as letting you run, jump, and fly, the Kirby series adds a fair few abilities into the standard platforming formula that dramatically alter the way you approach each level.

The titular hero inhales when you hold B, trapping enemies in his surprisingly capacious gob. If you then press Down, Kirby will copy their ability, if they have one. This ranges from blowing powerful flames from his mouth to freezing enemies solid to turning into a wheel that allows you to career into baddies unscathed.

With each power comes a different set of skills, unlocking different routes through the stages and allowing you to forge new paths and complete environmental puzzles that would otherwise stand in your way.

Though they have practical effects on the gameplay, some of these powers are pretty adorable too. When you get the archery power, holding Down has Kirby hide behind a hastily drawn block or bush, and if you grab the umbrella you'll gently float on air currents.

It's a visual treat throughout, and though it's not as experimental as the sewn look of Kirby's Epic Yarn on Wii, it's just as handsome - the bright heat of sunshine outside is in stark contrast to the cool gloom inside the haunted circus tent, or the chilly plains of the ice stages.

All aboard at platform fun

What's most memorable is how creative the game is with visual depth. There are simple effects, such as Kirby appearing to get splatted against the screen of the 3DS, and enemies flying from the foreground to the background to attack you.

But it gets much better. In one stage you can see Kirby and some ghosts in the mirror in the background, but only Kirby appears in the foreground, presenting a neat little visual effect to confuse and distract you.

In another stage, walls topple forward from the background, and you must move your character to the correct area -Buster Keaton-like - to avoid being squished.

Another addition to the series is a berry that, when consumed, turns Kirby into Hypernova Kirby. This greatly increases the power of his suction, ripping trees from the ground and enabling gigantic enemies to be consumed. It's spectacular, and fun, and used sparingly to avoid it becoming mundane.

Though the single-player is lengthy enough, and full of collectables, and will have you repeating stages multiple times to find all the goodies, there are more modes included. Kirby Fighters is a little like a basic Smash Bros., and the beat-keeping platforming of Dedede's Drum Dash is best compared to Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.

Cute, smart, and ever-so fun to play, Kirby: Triple Deluxe upholds the storied legacy of the series. It's respectful to its past, all the while having the courage to add new ideas, and it implements them all with such style that the end result is quite simply one of the most charming platformers available on any system.

Kirby: Triple Deluxe

Completely wonderful in every way, Kirby: Triple Deluxe is a must for fans of the franchise, and anyone who enjoys the platforming genre
Peter Willington
Peter Willington
Die hard Suda 51 fan and professed Cherry Coke addict, freelancer Peter Willington was initially set for a career in showbiz, training for half a decade to walk the boards. Realising that there's no money in acting, he decided instead to make his fortune in writing about video games. Peter never learns from his mistakes.