Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Kirby's Return to Dreamland Review

Gameplay (7/10): The gameplay in Return to Dreamland (RtD) is a return to the gameplay style of Kirby Super Star on the SNES, where there are many abilities available to Kirby, and each has many different moves to execute, though some have more than others. The level design is more akin to a 2D action game, but with platforming elements. Like Kirby 64, RtD has collectibles in each stage, which unlock extra challenge rooms for the player to go through. These challenge rooms aren't necessary to get the classic "true ending", however. The multiplayer compoenent works well thanks to the slow pace of the stages; so it's rare for the other players to be a hindrace; actually they more helpful than harmful. The super abilities only happen in key areas of certain stages, so they aren't really an addition to the gameplay as they are something flashy for fanservice. Level design in RtD is good, but its been better in past Kirby games like Super Star and Dreamland 3. And in typical Kirby fashion, the game can be completed in 6-8 hours. Overall, there's no real surprises here, but that isn't truly a bad thing for a Kirby game.

Graphics (6.5/10): RtD's graphics get the job done, but we've seen better looking games on the Wii, specifically Nintendo's own Super Mario Galaxy games. However, thanks to Kirby's cheery and colorful art style, the lack of polygons doesn't really stand out.

Music/Sound (7.5/10): Kirby games tend to have very good soundtracks, but it's been a while since a flagship Kirby game had a wholly original soundtrack, as most Kirby games as of late have opted to simply remixing tracks from Super Star and the Dreamland games. RtD is a mix of both, as there are some original tracks and some remixes of tracks from Kirby's Adventure. The remixed tracks are really good despite being simple remixes, but, unfortunately, most of the original tracks don't measure up to the high standards of some of Kirby's past OSTs. The new tracks are great for what they are, but in comparison to the superb OSTs of Super Star, Dreamland 3, and Crystal Shards, RtD's soundtrack disappoints a little. However, RtD's two final boss tracks are superb and are the highlight of the OST.

Story (7/10): Unlike most other platformers, Kirby games tend to have stories, albeit rather simple ones that never really get interesting until the game's end. RtD is no exception to this rule and has a great climax and final boss battle. The climax also pulls off a decent emotional factor as well.

Replay Value (6/10): RtD is a fun game to play over and over thanks to the mutlitude of powers and stages. An extra mode opens up after the initial run-through that gives the players less health and makes boss battles harder. Plus, there is an Arena and two mini-games in the Super Star fashion. It isn't as much replay content as Super Star Ultra, but it's still more fun to be had, especially with multiplayer.

Satisfaction (7.5/10): RtD was a really fun experience, and the best Kirby game since Super Star; though I wouldn't place it as high in quality as Super Star. The game doesn't reach a nice difficulty until around the 5th world, which is also where the game's art style and level design really start to shine. If the quality shown in the latter half of RtD was apparent throughout the game, I would've been more satisfied with it. Regardless, RtD has many great moments, especially it's final boss fight which ranks among the series best.


The score I should and want to give it - (7.5/10): It's refreshing to have Kirby return to form in a flagship console title a la Super Star, Dreamland 3, and Crystal Shards. And while the quality of RtD may not be as high as some of the past titles, RtD still manages to shine as a great gaming experience to have, even if it doesn't evolve the series in any particular way.

No comments:

Post a Comment