Personal Favorite: KIRBY SUPER STAR
I never owned Kirby Super Star as a kid. I discovered it in the early 2000’s. My great aunt who we rarely got to visit had a SNES and had Kirby Super Star. Levi and I fell in love with the game, so much so that our parents would have to pry us away from it and force us to eat or interact with anyone else. Years later when I started working on my SNES collection I knew it was one of the first I had to finally own for myself.
Kirby Super Star released in 1996, developed by HAL Laboratory who also make the Super Smash Bros. and Earthbound series. It has 8 different games that range anywhere from small mini-games to full scale platforming campaigns similar to the NES Kirby games. Some of the games are remakes but have the updated gameplay features that Kirby Super Star brought. The main feature being the ability to create a CPU partner who has whatever ability you currently had and allows you access to some areas that can only be reached co-operatively. So for example, in Spring Breeze you are playing through Kirby’s Dream Land but with the ability to create partners and with access to more power-ups. Kirby Super Star debuted for SNES only but has been redone for Virtual Console and Nintendo DS.
I’m a little disappointed in the cover art, there is absolutely nothing exciting about it. The in-game graphics however do not disappoint. The game is bright and colorful and there are a plethora of enemies who each have unique attack animations. Bright and colorful also describes the soundtrack. There’s not much to discuss in the character development department for a basic platforming game like this. Don’t get me wrong, the game does a fine job of adding some personality into Kirby, Dedede and Meta Knight, but there’s only so much you can do with characters that don’t talk and don’t have an actual story. Gameplay is where Kirby Super Star excels. Its one of the most fun co-op games ever. The ability to be playing by yourself and then create your co-op CPU partner at your whim was an original idea at the time. But the game of course is much more fun when you have a human co-op buddy with you. The variety of power-ups and attacks keeps the gameplay fresh. The multitude of game modes means there’s always something new waiting for you to play after you’ve conquered one of the eight game modes. If you don’t like one of the modes that much then simply move on to the next. When replaying this for review I personally didn’t think I would enjoy Cave Offensive that much because I typically don’t care for games who’s sole purpose is finding and collecting items. But it turned out to be the most enjoyable mode of them all because it so heavily involved puzzles and cooperation.
My main issues with Kirby Super Star are that its too easy and that the CPU co-op partner is not very intelligent, making some areas of the games impossible to get to by yourself. Reviewers at the game’s launch period also felt that Kirby Super Star was too easy, that was really the only complaint they had. That weakness can become a strength however, when I realized what Kirby Super Star really is best at: being the perfect girlfriend game. If you have a girlfriend who isn’t an experienced gamer but you want something to play co-op then Kirby Super Star is what you want.
You get to work together by sharing power-ups and solving easy puzzles as you progress through the colorful levels. The cute animations and sounds Kirby and other characters make certainly doesn’t hurt either. All the while your girlfriend is having a great time because she isn’t constantly dying over and over on this game like she may with other old school games. In this sense it reminds me a lot of a game that I feel Kirby Super Star played a minor influencing role on: Little Big Planet.
But regardless of whether a girlfriend will be joining you or not, Kirby Super Star is a must have for any SNES collector. Its one of the best games on the system and is easily one of the best of the Kirby franchise.