One Word Review - Bubbly
One Word Review: Kirby's Dream Land
(This is a new style of review that I am going to be doing called "one-word reviews." I am going to choose one word that exemplifies each games mechanics, story, music, or any other information that the game conveys to me, as a player. I don't want to assign any score to the game, so if I must I suppose I will give every game a 4 star. The "score" is really the word that I have chosen, being speakers of English we should all be able to pull some positive, negative, or neutral feeling from the word chosen and the text within the actual review.)
Kirby's Dream Land is a very light game. The story is pretty light. We are given an opening and closing scene that gives us all of the exposition for the game. But, even now, with handheld machines that are much beefier than the original Game Boy, we want games that are easy to pick up and put back down. I have read many reviews that praise and jeer this about current generation handheld games. Kirby’s Dream Land can be played in an hour or so, with some practice. I think that this light gameplay is a good thing for this game.
The main character’s puffiness is unique and memorable. I can’t think of another character outside of Pac-man that is so simple yet so recognizable. But, Kirby’s cuteness tops Pac-man’s in many ways. Both characters were created with the limitations of hardware in mind, and Kirby shows his prowess in animation. The lively flutter of his triangular arms when he is in flight will cause any face to crease. The way that he eats his enemies is much more animated than Pac-man's.
Enemies and environments are equally cute and curvy. Birds bounce through the air, bombs are inhaled in a single breath (this mechanic will be expanded upon in future games), and even the star at the end of each stage looks like a star shaped beach ball.
The music is effervescent. It tickles one’s ears like cola tickles one’s tongue. And, with the inclusion of a music demo mode the player can listen to their favorite songs ad infinitum.
While the game is over with a pop, there is some hope for further exploration because the game includes a hard mode. This hard mode ramps up the difficulty level to a pretty insane degree, I still have yet to beat the game on this grueling mode.
This being the first entry into the series was fun, just for fun’s sake. There is nothing that says that a game should be something that moves mountains. Kirby’s Dream Land doesn’t do anything incredibly amazing, but it did open the doors for this series to continue to innovate and do some pretty amazing things down the road (i.e. Kirby 64). Like blowing bubbles as a child, we grow out of games like these quickly. But, as we become adults and have children we remember the simple fun we used to have as a child. Because of this, Kirby's debut will be a fun game to keep around for many years.