Letís begin with the stuff I wouldnít recommend playing. In truth, there arenít any, because the worst Kirby game Ė Kirby Air Ride
on the GameCube Ė is still worth a shot, if only out of morbid curiosity to see how it went on to influence the latter Smash Bros. games. That said, I donít think Air Ride's core idea or mechanics work all that well, or that it is worth the high price that it goes for second hand. Next on my rankings from worst-to-best is Kirbyís Dream Course
on the SNES; itís a good idea for a game that, again, I donít feel works very well. Like Air Ride, itís too clever for itís own good, and is overly complicated as a result. The same could be said about Kirbyís Pinball Land
on the Game Boy; it just doesnít ever come together. I think that these three are missable enough.Kirby Star Stacker
and Kirby Block Ball
are unusual Game Boy puzzlers, and unlike anything thatís come out since, but theyíre quite shallow. Theyíre decent, unquestionably, but you canít talk about them in the same breath as other Game Boy games in the genre, like Tetris and all that. Kirbyís Avalanche
on the SNES is just the same as any old Puyo Puyo game, but with the usual Kirby sounds and ditties. Nothing fantastic or massively exciting, but, again, itís unquestionably decent.
Iím not mad for the Metroidvania approach that Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
goes for, or the way in which it recycles so many of the assets from Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land
. I donít think Kirby had the best time of it on the Game Boy Advance; to me, these are two fairly ordinary, middle-of-the-road platformers on a handheld that had loads of them in the first place. A big issue with Nightmare in Dream Land is that it is a loose remake of the original NES Kirby game, 1993ís Kirbyís Adventure
. Thatís still a good gameÖby NES standards. Ancient, but good-ish. If you keep your expectations in check, you can still have a reasonably good time with it. Very basic, but itís perfect Sunday afternoon fodder, in my opinion.
Moving into 'aye, it's all right' territoy here, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
passed me by when it originally came out on the N64 in 2001; it was either this or Zone of the Enders on PS2 †with that AMAZING
Metal Gear Solid 2 demo. I picked it up in around 2007-2008 for the bargain price for fifteen smackers in GameStation andÖdidnít really miss much! The hybrid abilities are a great idea that should be revisited, but otherwise it lacks vitality. All in all, Iíd say that itís quite good for what it sets out to do. Ultimately, nostalgia is find, but I definitely prefer the more ambitious, varied and forward-thinking Kirby games that appeared after this.
I'd say that Kirby: Mouse Attack
on the DS fails to make the most of the unique features of the system, and plays like a platformer straight out of 1993 (BC) as a result. Still, NGamer said something to the effect of ďKirby on autopilot still makes for a reasonably fun platformerĒ, and I suppose theyíre right. Itís inoffensive enough, if you fancy giving it a swatch on the Wii U Virtual Console. I find it difficult to remember, though. Nothing stands out.The three Dream Land games
(the original and 2 on the Game Boy, and 3 on the SNES) are all of the same vein, and all of a similar quality. The graphical and audio flair of 3 canít disguise itís wholesale lack of new ideas, but Ėas traditionally-styled Kirby platformers go, I think that 1 and 2 still impress. Iíll always love the original Kirbyís Dream Land the most though, as it was my first computer game.
The rest of my list is almost entirely made up of Kirby games from the last decade. Thereís not a duffer here; ever since Mouse Attack in 2016, I think the Kirby series has been largely excellent, and far surpass anything that people might have thought they previously had to live up to.
I think that Kirby Mass Attack
stands out as being one of the seriesí better experiments. It reminds me of a downsized Pikmin rather than a more traditional Kirby game. It understands the DS well, which adds to itís likeability. A very respectable effort, is this. Kirby Adventure Wii
is rock-solid, and Ė up to itís release in 2011 Ė arguably the very best Ďclassicí Kirby platformer. Visually and aurally superb, and plays effortlessly. I felt that it was hugely underrated by the likes of Nintendo Game and ONM at the time Ė they gave it scores of around 70% or so, whereas itís an easy 8.5-9 from me. Top drawer 2D platforming!
Which is better: Kirby: Power Paintbrush
or Kirby and the Rainbow Paintbrush
? In truth, I think that theyíre both class, but the latter just edges it for me. While the DS original was rightly heralded as one of the best handheld games ever when it first came out in late 2005, I had a brilliant time with Rainbow Paintbrush on Wii U last year. Itís a really nice game, and it really highlights that games donít always have to be complex; itís sometimes good to just play something thatís joyfully uncomplicated.Kirby Fun Pak
might be my favourite game on the SNES. I love how imaginative and vibrant it all is. Itís an absolute delight to see, hear, and play. The 2008 DS update Ė Kirby Super Star Ultra
- adds all sorts of new content. Theyíre both fantastic games, and amongst the very finest in the series.
Both Kirby Triple Deluxe
and Kirby Planet Robobot
donít put a single foot wrong. Never mind that theyíre excellent Kirby games, theyíre just excellent games, full-stop. Both are comfortably in my 3DS top five, and Iíd have to imagine that Iím not the only one whoíd say that. Superb showcases not only for the 3DS, but the Kirby series altogether.
And, lastly, my favourite Kirby game of all time is †2011ís Kirbyís Epic Yarn
, on Wii. This is one of the most captivating and charming games Iíve played in my life. I admire so much of what Good Feel did with this Ė itís boundless enthusiasm, superlative animation and gorgeous soundtrack are all as good as itís dazzling and peerless visuals. Itís unbelievable. Iíll wrap this up by saying that Kirbyís Epic Yarn is, to my mind, one of the best games of all time.