Who would’ve thought I could plan it so well? I posted this on my website (templeofretro.com) and it just so happens to be ‘portable gaming week’ here on the pond! Well then!
For those that missed it last week, here’s my contribution to Review a Great Game Day!
As the Nintendo Game Boy was released in North America, I didn’t have much desire to own a handheld console. ‘Gaming on the go’ was a neat idea, but at the point I was at in my life, personally and financially, it just wasn’t something I got into.
Now, as an older and much more…responsible…adult, I’m able to go back and enjoy some older titles that I never experienced over that generation of games.
One title I added a couple of years ago on my 3DS is now one of my favorite titles of all time.
Kirby’s Dream Land.
When the ‘tough cream puff’ debuted in 1992, few could’ve predicted he would become of Nintendo’s most recognized characters over the next 25 years, but Kirby has done just that and it started on the Game Boy thanks to the fine folks at HAL Laboratory.
As for the game itself…there’s nothing here that re-invents the wheel. It’s just a fun, side scrolling platformer that anyone can pick up and play, which was the intent of the game’s creator, Masahiro Sakurai.
Kirby’s Dream Land isn’t a very long game at all, which is part of it’s appeal. I think I finished it in about half an hour (if I remember correctly) and while I may be off a little bit there, the game certainly isn’t a strenuous play through, but has enough there that makes it worth picking it up and playing it time and again.
After numerous sequels and re-releases, Kirby has become such a staple of Nintendo programming and has had a release on every Nintendo console from the 8-bit Game Boy and NES all the way to the recent release of Kirby and the Rainbow Curse on the Wii U.
But this initial offering is where it all began, and it’s a ‘must play’ for anyone who not only appreciates the series, but platforming games in general.
Again, it doesn’t do anything spectacular, nor does it offer up anything gamers hadn’t seen before or since. It’s just a fun game to pop in, play, and enjoy.
Kirby’s Dream Land can probably be found relatively easy on eBay or other sites, but it’s a simple download on the Nintendo eShop and will only run you about $4. I got it for about $1.99 during a sale and was a great decision. I’ve since run through it a half dozen times and enjoyed it during each occasion.
There’s not a lot I can tell you about the game itself and what makes it so great. HAL and Nintendo haven’t steered too far away from the game play mechanics over the years so if you’ve played on Kirby game, you’ve experienced how the character handles, moves, interacts, etc. And that’s what makes the series so great. Familiarity, but enough additions and tweaks to keep it fresh and worth coming back to.
But it started 24 years ago with the original on the Game Boy. It’s a quick, but enjoyable romp and is highly recommended, making it a perfect selection for this year’s edition of ‘Review A Great Game Day’.
With the 25th anniversary of Kirby next year, and the rumored release of the NX, I really hope that Nintendo will bless us with another great titles in the series.