Published on November 18th, 2011 | by Jasmine1
Leave Luck to Heaven #21: Powerful Pink Puffball
Everyone’s favourite round pink hero is back in Dream Land. I feel like I can say everyone because to my knowledge Kirby is the only one that fits that description. Kirby’s Return to Dream Land marks the return of Kirby to his main Dream Land based story. The last time this happened was a remake in 2002 of the NES game for the Gameboy Advance and then the actual last Dream Land sequel was in 2000 for the Nintendo 64.
The story picks up with Kirby hanging out with his friends, when a spaceship crashes near them. From there Kirby decides he is going to help this stranger repair their ship and live happily ever after. Not a super deep storyline. In fact, compared to last year’s Epic Yarn, this story is weak. The good news is that with the excellent gameplay the story is completely unnecessary.
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land is a perfect 2D platformer. Kirby utilizes his copy abilities to defeat bad guys as he traverses through seven worlds. The copy abilities seem to have new layers as all of them have secondary abilities based on direction buttons and some even require fighter style combos. None of these are overly complex and even if you can’t remember them all, the basic move for each power is perfectly usable. Seasoned gamers might be a little turned off by how easy the initial play through is, though some of the energy spheres can be hard to find. The energy spheres are hidden extras that can unlock bonuses. Collecting all the energy spheres also allows you to battle the final boss.
On top of a few new copy abilities Return to Dream Land introduces super abilities. These five abilities have a set time limited use and for the most part attack a large portion of the screen. They are also usually used in levels to destroy parts of the level that unlock secret areas. I really wish there were more chances to use these abilities but you would be basically unstoppable and the game would be done in about 10 minutes.
Multiplayer options are available in this game similar to Epic Yarn, however this time around you can have a full four players. Player one must play as Kirby. However, each additional player can play as a different coloured Kirby or one of three other characters. The other characters are Meta Knight, Waddle Dee, and King Dedede. Each has their own attack: King Dedede swings his trademark hammer, Meta Knight wields a sword, and Waddle Dee totes spear. The multiplayer mode is actually a lot of fun and can be started at anytime. All an additional player needs to do is push a button on their controller. The drawbacks to this are that only one player can have a super ability at a time. So even if you have four Kirbys only one of them can have a super ability. The next issue is that player one acts as an anchor on the screen, where if the other players fall to far behind they get dragged to player ones position without taking any damage. This can be beneficial at times but at other times such as bosses this can be deadly. The final problem is how lives are handled. Lives are shared so the additional players could use all of them quickly, since even their initial opting in takes a life. The other life issue is that only if player one dies does the level end. This is why the other players could accidentally run through the lives without realising it. This is somewhat balanced out by health items being something you can share. This is done by running into another character face-to-face, at which point it looks like the two are making out. This keeps the players on more friendly terms since you don’t need to compete for health.
Graphics are simple and beautiful. The updated style is exactly how I would envision the original Kirby games being updated for the Wii. The system isn’t being pushed by this game and yet the game is stunning and reminds me why I love traditional platform games. There are too many games to mention that are supposedly graphic masterpieces that I would trade for more games like this one.
The game is a wonderful call back to what games use to be. The co-op is one of the friendliest I’ve seen for this style of game, though getting everyone to have their preferred power can be hard at times. Yes, the game will visually appeal to younger gamers but if you judge this game on that, you are missing out. If you don’t own a Wii, I can’t in good conscience say this is the game to buy a Wii for even with how delightful it is; but if you own a Wii, make sure to add this to your Christmas list or go buy it now. Seriously. Go. Buy. Now.