(Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

Kirby's Dream Land 3 (Wii Virtual Console / Super Nintendo)

Game Review

Kirby's Dream Land 3 Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Kirby for beginners

Kirby's Dream Land 3 obviously had a lot to live up to - It was released not long after the amazing Kirby Super Star (Kirby's Fun Pak in Europe), which is still regarded as the greatest Kirby game ever.

The game returns to the gameplay from the second Dream Land game for Game Boy - It's got rather standard Kirby platforming, but you can get aid from sidekicks if you need. Simply make your way through every stage, defeating a boss at the end of every world. Each of the five worlds has six regular stages and a boss stage.

When you first play Dream Land 3 the first thing you'll probably notice will be the graphics - The game has a unique visual style, featuring characters, objects and backgrounds that appear to have been drawn by crayons. Although some people might use the age-old arguement that this looks "kiddy", it actually looks really good - Which really should be expected of a game released in 1997, after the Nintendo 64 was already out!

If you've played either of the previous two Kirby's Dream Land games or Kirby's Adventure you will know exactly what to do - Suck in enemies with your amazingly powerful mouth, copy their power (If they have one) and use it for yourself. Powers can be "combined" in this game, but it doesn't work like in Kirby 64, where you could combine them with other powers - Here, if you have a power and are currently riding on (Or in!) a companion, they will gain a unique attack. For example, while normally Kirby would shoot boomerangs straight forward with the Cutter ability, if you've got Nago the Cat at your side, they will be shot diagonally upwards. Every power works differently with every companion, so it can be fun to experiment and see what works best for you.

Unfortunately, while the graphics and gameplay (For the most part) are great, the game is lacking severely in other things - Almost all of the music just sounds off, with almost no classic Kirby songs even being in the game. The gameplay is also noticably slower than it is in other Kirby games - Even while running, Kirby moves at a snail's pace. Maybe this was the reason the game wasn't released in Europe - With a 50Hz conversion it would've been almost unplayable!

One of the biggest problems, however, is the lack of difficulty - You might think I'm just overreacting, but this is one of the most insultingly easy Nintendo games ever made. Kirby can take 8 (!) hits before dying, and his life bar can actually be extended even further. On top of that, 1ups and health items can be found literally everywhere, and you can collect star shards strewn about stages to obtain extra bonus 1ups! The enemies and bosses also seem to have softened up from the other games, because not only are there fewer, they also don't seem as aggressive.

The only actual "challenge" comes in the form of hearts - You can obtain a heart in every level by beating it under certain conditions. This can range from not treading on any flowers to finishing the level with a certain sidekick. Getting a heart in every single stage will allow you to fight the true final boss (Again much like in Kirby 64), but sadly, even he won't really offer a challenge.

Conclusion

Kirby's Dream Land 3 could've easily been a great game - It mostly relies on exactly the same things that made the previous Kirby games so good, but for some reason HAL decided to drastically change the gameplay by making it too slow and too easy. Diehard Kirby fans will no doubt get some enjoyment out of this title, but it isn't very hard to see why it's usually considered the worst Kirby game together with Kirby 64. If you look at Kirby 64 and this game's credits you'll see why - Kirby's creator, Masahiro Sakurai, didn't work on either.

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User Comments (19)

Lotice-Paladin

#1

Lotice-Paladin said:

I'm interested in how this plays actually since I loved the original Kirby's Adventure on the VC (first time I pplayed it too). I hope the difficulty factor doesn't effect the gameplay though for me :D

Ho11oWxxMaN

#2

Ho11oWxxMaN said:

I have been wanting some good Kirby action on my VC. I loved Dream Coures (haven't dled it yet), and was just torn between the two...what do you guys suggest I buy?

Virus

#3

Virus said:

While I think our reviewer was a tad harsh on the game, I do not disagree with him on many of the game's flaws. The game's only challenge comes from actually trying to obtain all the hearts; the rest of the game can be breezed through. The control is also pretty awkward, but I would not say it is to the extent that Drake said it was. And while I actually enjoyed the music, I really disliked the "buddy system." While the total number of power combinations is quite impressive, you only have access to a small fraction of them at any one time since each partner only allows for one variation of each power. Thus, despite the diversity, the variety seem somewhat limited.

Still, this game isn't bad by any standard. The graphics are appealing; the co-op is enjoyable at least for a time; and as a whole, it is still a fine Kirby game. While I don't say this is a must-buy, if you enjoyed Kirby 64 and Kirby's Adventure, by all means grab this game. In my opinion, if you are questioning which conventional Kirby games you should get on the VC, my suggestions are as follows: Kirby 64 > Kirby's Adventure > Kirby's Dream Land 3. As for the game itself and its score, I'd only give it about a point higher than Drake's score.

manson77

#4

manson77 said:

_the best kirby game ever was, in my opinion, the first »kirby's dreamland«for the original gameboy; and somehow also the title for the nes.

Pastry

#5

Pastry said:

What? Dream Land 3 and Kirby 64 were the BEST Kirby games ever, not the worst!

longtimegamer

#6

longtimegamer said:

I just looked at a video of this and kirby could run pretty dang quick. You made this seem like it was slow.

Bass_X0

#7

Bass_X0 said:

4 - The original GB Dreamland where Kirby could absorb no powers at all, only had four stages and was incredibly incredibly easy? That Kirby's Dreamland? Well.... if you say so.

DiggerandIndy

#8

DiggerandIndy said:

@pie4prez:

I agree. Don't forget Kirby Super Star! It's Kirby NiDL, The Amazing Mirror, and Squeak Squad that are the worst. Mediocre sound quality and gameplay are what killed THOSE games.

warioswoods

#9

warioswoods said:

@Bass X0

Yes, he's absolutely right about that. The first Kirby game for the Game Boy may have been relatively short and didn't include the ability to absorb enemy powers, but it had excellent level design and charm, something nearly every successor has failed miserably to follow, with most Kirby platformers (like the one reviewed here) being just about the worst examples of platforming level design in existence--dull, repetitive, and completely lacking the imagination of that first game (and of the first NES game, which was also quite good).

LEGEND_MARIOID

#10

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

Kirby 64 was actually quite good, and other reputeable reviewers agree with that.. BUT I respect your opinion...

Bass_X0

#11

Bass_X0 said:

You know, having said that, I would think it cute if they gave the original Kirby's Dreamland game the Super Mario All Stars treatment and released it on WiiWare for 500 points. Just improve the graphics and sound; keep the gameplay exactly how it was on the Game Boy.

warioswoods

#12

warioswoods said:

@11

Or, put it on the DSi as-is. I'd much prefer that. I'd also take a remake, though, if necessary, but Nightmare in Dreamland seemed somehow stale and uninspired compared to the original Kirby's Adventure, so I doubt their ability to remake these games well.

Metang

#13

Metang said:

It is the "worst" Kirby along with 64, but it's still enjoyable. The score should be a 7/10 IMO.

MFGreth

#14

MFGreth said:

@ longtimegamer

It was painfully slow, especially after such an amazing game like Kirby's Super Star on the same system. The controls in KSS are much more responsive as well.

Although this certainly isn't a bad game by any means. It just had a lot to live up to, being the next Kirby platformer game after KSS...

Hokori

#17

Hokori said:

:O I loved this one, id give it an 8/10 Im how ever stuck on world 3-3 and 5-3

Stevie42

#18

Stevie42 said:

This is a great Kirby game! How, HOW can you give it an average score like that? It's bad points are only that there isn't a retry option for challanges (specifically those memory ones that'd make Chuck Norris shed a tear of rage) so you need to get them perfect and there isn't too much reason for going back to the levels once done a save file. Were it remade (COME ON NINTENDO!! MAKE KIRBY'S DREAMLAND TRILOGY!!!) , it should have a treasure system like Epic Yarn.
The rest is great! The charming music (you can get it from Kirby Rainbow Resort), The animals which are adorable and great to mix powers with and the bloodiest boss of a game made by nintendo for years.
8.5/10

SparkOfSpirit

#19

SparkOfSpirit said:

Another review I agree with on the Kirby series. I LOVE the original Kirby's Dreamland due to how great the levels are and how awesome hard mode is, but I was never that keen on 2's uber short levels and boring levels. This is more of an extension of 2 than the original which I vastly prefer (despite no powers- but I hate the one-hit powers anyway)...

I'm glad Hal eventually got it together without Sakurai, but their first few attempts without him stumbled.

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