Game Review

Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Corbie Dillard

Sweet dreams

The Kirby series has been a staple of Nintendo game systems since the pink fluff first appeared on the original Game Boy back in 1992. While the games have always been known more for their charm and unique gameplay than their difficulty, they've become some of the best selling video games in history. Now Nintendo has released Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition, a compilation of six of the most popular Kirby games along with a set of collectibles, to celebrate 20 years of a fun franchise that's still going strong today.

For the most part all each game plays very similarly and will be instantly familiar to fans of the series. The two original Game Boy releases — Kirby's Dream Land and Kirby's Dream Land 2 — and Kirby's Adventure for NES offer the familiar inhaling enemies and items. Then as the games progress across the various Nintendo systems, through SNES's Kirby's Dream Land 3 and Kirby Super Star, the depth and presentations become more intricate and varied, especially for Kirby's first 3D outing, Nintendo 64's Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. The emulation is top notch and even the scaled up Game Boy and NES releases still look quite good and play just as they always did. The collection gives you the option of using the Wii Remote on its side, the Classic Controller or even the Gamecube controller, so there's plenty of choice depending on your preference.

Selecting the games is a breeze with the simple menus, but quitting them can be a bit of a pain as you have to press the Home button and click Reset to go back to the main game menu. It's equally quick and easy to peruse the Kirby museum gallery, which details the history of the games as well as tossing out interesting tidbits of actual real life historical data to go along with it.

Since this is a collector's edition, you get a few little goodies outside of the game itself too: namely a beautiful little full colour history book on the games and a 45 track soundtrack CD spanning the entire series. Although the book is a little flimsy, it contains a heaping amount of unique fun facts about the games and how they were created, while the music CD is chock full of amazing Kirby tunes complete with a few interesting remixes.

For all of the bonus materials and extras inside the package, the best would have to be the new Challenge Stages. Not only do you get some gorgeous modern visuals, but the gameplay and challenge is exceptional. You start with one ability and have to use said ability to work your way through the level, defeating enemies and collecting coins for points. Most of the platforming and enemies in these levels revolve heavily around the specific ability given. But what makes these challenges so much fun is the time limit imposed on you and how you're graded on your performance upon completing the level. Not only is it a blast to complete the levels initially, there's plenty of incentive to go back and try to pick up items and defeat enemies you may have missed the first time around.

The visual quality varies quite a bit between games given that the they span a whopping 20 years worth of game systems, but there's plenty of artwork and flashy visual touches to keep things interesting, not to mention some beautiful visuals on the Challenge Levels. The same can pretty much be said of the musical presentation, but even the original Game Boy titles still feature some of the best musical tracks of the entire series and sound as great as ever on this compilation.

Conclusion

There will inevitably be Kirby fans who will complain that more Kirby games weren't included or that none of the titles got any type of visual makeover, but it's difficult to complain too much given how many amazing Kirby titles have been collected onto one Wii disc, not to mention the fun bonus items and mini games that are also included. No doubt most Nintendo fans will have already played these games many times over, but it's still nice to see Nintendo giving their fluffy protagonist a little fanfare for 20 years of charming gaming magic.

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User Comments (49)

Kirk

#3

Kirk said:

Despite missing a few of the non-platformer Kirby games I still think this is one of the best compilations out there. It's certainly better than what Nintendo offered with their Mario 25th Anniversary compilation. That didn't even include SMW in the pack, which is just stupid imo, considering there was a All-Stars compilation with that game included on the SNES.

PixelatedPixie

#6

PixelatedPixie said:

I'm very glad to hear that this collection is a more successful effort than Mario's 25th Anniversary, but not being a fan of Kirby games I'm going to give this a pass. Had this treatment been given to Metroid during it's recent anniversary I would have been delighted. Damn you Nintendo! Damn you!

shinpichu

#7

shinpichu said:

If they had included some of the old spin-offs (like Pinball Land, Block Ball, Avalanche, Tilt 'n Tumble, etc.), then I would definitely buy this art some point. I already own most of the games on this collection, and I never cared much about art books or soundtrack CDs, so there's not much here for me.

Slapshot

#9

Slapshot said:

I love the little pink guy! This is an absolute must have for me.

Great review Corbs! :)

DreamyViridi

#10

DreamyViridi said:

I sure hope Europe get this before the end of the year. It would make a great christmas present. :)

StarDust4Ever

#11

StarDust4Ever said:

Like with SM All-Stars, I got this day one. I'm very pleased with my purchase this time around. Yeah, they could have easily released Tilt 'n' Tumble with Wiimote motion tech (or 3DS VC as well), but overall I'm much more impressed with this offering than the Super Mario AllStars demake (Without SM World like I've got for SNES), and Mario 64 with some bonus materials would have been a nice gesture, but Kirby makes up for everything Mario lacks! ;)

zipmonStaff

#13

zipmon said:

Great review Corbie!! :)

I'm loving this package! It just feels really well done, the book is fantastic, and I really appreciate Nintendo making sure all the games can be played with just the sideways Wiimote - no need to plug in the CC or GCN controller for Kirby 64!

Hoping you guys get this in Europe & down under ASAP!

NintyMan

#14

NintyMan said:

I would've liked to have gotten this on its release last Sunday, but maybe I'll get a chance in the near future. The CD is what I would want most; but the challenge stages look fun. This review should've mentioned that you can watch three episodes of the Kirby Right Back At Ya! anime.

Chunky_Droid

#15

Chunky_Droid said:

On the fence with this one, I like the sound of the extras, but I already own all these games, so I just don't know, lol.

Gridatttack

#16

Gridatttack said:

Ill get this. Playing crystal shards by other means is a pain, since they are glitches everywhere, so I can finally play that awesome game. Also, I havens played some of the tilte here, so this will be a great compilation for me :)

TrueWiiMaster

#17

TrueWiiMaster said:

At first I was impressed with the scope of this collection, but when you add it up, this collection is about the same price as all the games would cost on the VC (though Kirby's Dreamland 2 has yet to be released on the VC). It has some nice extras (especially the CD), but for someone who already owns all the games except for Dreamland 2 and Kirby 64, it's a little hard to justify a $40 purchase, especially alongside a $35 Pokemon pre-order... I'll probably end up getting it later anyway...

evildevil97

#18

evildevil97 said:

If it werent for VC, I'd have gotten this. Due to having almost all the games on VC, I can't justify it. Though I would've liked the soundtrack CD....

Yosher

#19

Yosher said:

I'll certainly get this game if it comes over to Europe. But yeah, it wouldn't be the first time if Europe would get the sack in a release.

ueI

#21

ueI said:

They should have released this earlier. The wii's been out for so long that all the Kirby fans would have bought the virtual console games and wouldn't need this collection. I still got it (today!) anyway.

Did you know that according to the included booklet, Dream Land 2 and Star Stacker are available on 3DS virtual console? Wow!

Emaan

#22

Emaan said:

Hopefully this stays in stores through Christmas, as I might just ask for it then. It looks really great, and I would mainly be getting it for the art booklet and soundtrack to be honest.

Knux

#24

Knux said:

Great review, Corbs! I already got my copy days ago and will play it once I get over this d*mn cold!

retro_player_22

#25

retro_player_22 said:

Why was the Kirby puzzle game, Super Star Stacker, not included in this collection? That was the only Kirby game I never got to play.

DrDaisy

#30

DrDaisy said:

@Henmii Seriously? It's difficult to understand what companies seem to think a nation's demographic wants. Yet another reason region-locking is bad.

FonistofCruxis

#31

FonistofCruxis said:

I don't get why they called it Kirby's dream collection: Special edition. Why not just Kirby's dream collection? If this is the special edition, what's the regular edition? :P

sinalefa

#33

sinalefa said:

I only have Super Star and Dreamland, but I did not hesitate to buy this one. As with Mario's, interested in the booklet, CD and collector's nature of this item. It is great to have the three anime episodes as well.

Henmii

#34

Henmii said:

@DrDaisy,

As far as I know Kirby games do sell pretty good in Europe, so I don't see a reason why this collection shouldn't come to Europe! But sadly there is still no date! If it doesn't arrive during Spring 2013, then Nintendo makes a huge misstake!

And you are right: Region locking IS bad!!

Token_Girl

#35

Token_Girl said:

Meh, I already have Kirby's Adventure, Kirby's Dreamland, and Kirby Super Star on the VC. I'd rather have the digital versions, since they'll probably carry over to whatever console comes after the WiiU whereas Wii games won't work anymore. I think that's the better investment, if you're just interested in playing the games.

theblackdragonAdmin

#36

theblackdragon said:

@kesley4884: late in the lifespan of the SNES, like a year or something after SMAS came out, they did have a version both bundled with SNESes and available at retail with both SMAS and SMW on the same cart. here's an image of the bundle version, note that it says 'Mario's 5 great adventures in one game pak' in the upper right-hand corner (SMB, SMBLL, SMB2US, SMB3, SMW). :3

TruenoGT

#37

TruenoGT said:

I kind of missed out on Kirby back in the day, so Epic Yarn was actually my first owned Kirby game (though it wasn't even a true Kirby game). In the meantime, I also snagged 3D Classics Adventure, the original Dream Land on VC and Canvas Curse (which ROCKS!) , so I didn't have much overlap and snagged this. Really impressed by the booklet and packaging, very cute and fun!

ueI

#41

ueI said:

After having played most of the collection, I have to complain that Super Star and Dream Land 3 use different controls than the other 4 games. It's somewhat justified because the controls are the same as in the VC versions, but it's still annoying and worth a mention.

Moguri

#43

Moguri said:

I'm really thinking about importing this from the USA. I've waited for an EU resease date, but I think it'll never be released in Europe (like Pokémon Conquest outside the UK - I had to import it, too. :S)

hopesfall

#45

hopesfall said:

I owned this game, but I learned that I just don't like Kirby games....I traded it in, and in the end I'm not mad I traded it in. I mean the games are not even in full screen.....that was a big flaw for me in this collector's package.

Genesaur

#49

Genesaur said:

Got this one for Christmas, last year, and I love it to pieces. It was either twenty or thirty bucks at K-Mart, I'm told.

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