Kirby: Triple Deluxe is the latest entry in the series and, like some past titles, it comes with a few different modes for you to play around in along with some additional unlockable modes. I believe this is Kirby’s first game on the 3DS and everything looks really nice. The visuals are very nice and charming and the 3D depth effect is among some of the best seen on the system. You don’t usually encounter many titles where the 3D is so well done and enhances the experience. I think I can name about three titles where that’s the case. But anyway, here’s a brief breakdown of each of the game modes in Kirby: Triple Deluxe.
This is the main adventure of the game and likely the place where most of your time will be spent. You play as Kirby and travel through six different worlds filled with half a dozen levels each. Kirby’s basic moveset is pretty limited and doesn’t let you do much more than jump, float, puff air, and perform his classic inhale. The gameplay mechanics branch out quite a bit more after you swallow certain bad guys and copy their powers. I don’t know the exact number of powers but there seems to be quite a bit of them and they include stuff like fire, ice, archer, fighter, Ninja, beetle, bell, and so on. Lots of different stuff to check out with different play styles.
Playing through the game levels will feel familiar but there are some cool new aspects to the game. In many of the levels you will travel between the fore and background through various means like mini warp stars. This looks all the more interesting with the 3D depth effect. Each level also contains between one to five Sun Stones to collect. A specific number of stones is required to encounter the boss of the world and if you collect all of the stones for a world you will unlock an additional EX level. Probably the most interesting new addition is the Hypernova ability. In some levels you will encounter a tree with a curious looking fruit. After ingesting it you will have Hypernova power for the rest of the level. A lot of people don’t seem very keen on this power but I actually really like it. Kirby’s ability to inhale stuff gets a HUGE boost and you can suck tons of enemies in at once and even rip whole trees out of the ground. Seeing the tiny pink blob swallow huge monsters and objects is equal parts fascinating and horrifying. There are also a lot of interesting gameplay elements associated with the Hypernova segments as well such as puzzles and boss fights.
In addition to the Sun Stones you will also collect special key chains that depict characters and scenes from across the Kirby series. There are a whole bunch of these all over the place and they offer that extra bit of collecting for those who enjoy it.
This mode isn’t really my favorite but it is still somewhat interesting. It’s pretty much a very, very light version of Smash Bros. where you pick a certain Kirby ability character to play as. You can play through a short amount of rounds by yourself, which culminate in a final shadow kirby mirror match or you can play with other people with either single or multi-cart local wireless. Most of the stages are pretty basic but some have some interesting stuff going on in the background along with some hazards. Each character has a life bar that you chip down and the last survivor wins. Overall the mode feels a little bare-bones and it doesn’t even include all of the copy abilities. Still, it’s just a bonus mode so every bit of additional content is appreciated.
Dedede’s Drum Dash
This is a rhythm game where you play as Dedede and bounce across a bunch of drums to the beat of Kirby music. You can bounce higher off the drums each time by pressing the designated button and collect stars or avoid hazards. At the height of your jump you also press the button to keep the back beat going. There are initially three songs but a fourth one unlocks after you obtain gold ranking on the first three. The difficulty of the four levels progresses pretty much like this: Fairly easy, still pretty easy, holy crap what the hell just happened to the difficulty, and oh god where is blood everywhere! My only complaint here is that there are only four songs to play through and I wish there was 10 times that amount of content. Maybe we can hope for a Drum Dash spinoff?
You only start out with the first three modes of Triple Deluxe but after you beat the story mode you star to unlock additional stuff. There’s the Arena, which is essentially a boss rush mode and DeDeDe Tour, which is actually pretty cool. In the latter mode you play through a shortened version of the story mode as DeDeDe. He doesn’t have Kirby’s copy ability so instead you get a sweet hammer moveset, though still somewhat distinct from hammer Kirby. The overall point of this mode centers around speed running through and there are several special portals that you can take that jump you ahead in the levels and shave time off. Once you get to the end you actually encounter a different final boss than Kirby does but I wont spoil who it is.
I really like Triple Deluxe and I would probably be satisfied with the story mode alone but the additional modes to sweeten the deal. Like most Kirby games the difficulty isn’t super high but there are still parts (and bosses) which gave me a good amount of trouble. Overall I think it’s a solid, fun experience that is worth the price of admission.