Kirby: Triple Deluxe
Out of the entire stable of Nintendo greats, Kirby is always the one to go to if you need to put a smile on your face. The little pink ball of fluff has accomplished this and more with Kirby: Triple Deluxe, an adorable collection of classic Kirby platforming, mini games, and trinkets that is guaranteed to please any Kirby fan, longtime or new.
At any given time, Kirby's enemies can dance from the background to the foreground, and so can Kirby using warp stars that allow him to travel back and forth. He can gobble up his enemies with the best of them still, including a whole new bag of tricks that make some segments that could have been a slog a breezy trial that shows off Kirby's massive suction power or any of the other useful abilities the game bestows upon you at several intervals. The Hypernova power is simultaneously horrifying and endlessly useful when it comes to solving puzzles where large crates are involved, enormous tree trunks need to be lifted from their roots, or if you need to suck up entire segments of a stage. You truly get a sense that Kirby is much more than a glorified cake pop and the little guy is capable of wrecking your world. It was entertaining to work with these kinds of abilities, so even when it felt like I was playing a game that I would simply breeze through in a weekend, there was a lingering sense of accomplishment waiting at the end.
Unfortunately, you are required to find a finite number of Sun Stars hidden throughout each of the worlds, and you may not progress to the end boss or final stage of each area unless you've met this prerequisite. It's not a new mechanic, but a frustrating one given the fact that repeating these levels, as quirky as they can be, isn't always fun after having played through them a couple of times already to best your score at the end of it, where you launch Kirby as far as you can to obtain power-ups and collectible keychains. This is an archaic game element and felt a little lazy, but given the ease of the game can be overlooked, especially if younger players are involved.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe is a triple threat of sorts: accessible platforming, the cute and familiar mascot we all know and love, and excellent usage of 3D visuals. If you're looking for a light-as-air platformer to turn to in this era of grizzled shooters and dark adventure, Kirby's the right kind of good, clean fun to cleanse your palate.