Kirby Super Star

Kirby Super Star
Kirby Super Star Cover
Platform SNES
Genre Kirby-crammed Side-scroller
MtAMinutes to Action 1
Score 7  Clock score of 7Gameplay: 8
Fun Factor: 7
Gfx/Sound: 6
Story: 2
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Kirby Super Star is kind of like the old-school equivalent of The Orange Box. You put down your $50 and you get a whole collection of great games. All of these games are basically running the same engine and feature the same graphics and generally the same gameplay, but yet are distinct and can individually be recognized and enjoyed. This is Kirby Super Star, easily the best Kirby game in its long and colorful career (well, until Canvas Curse came along).

Anyways, as you can see by the cover of the game, Kirby Super Star features eight games. Now two of these are just simple minigames but the other six are more or less Kirby games we all know and love but done in different styles. A few of these games could actually stand on their own too but as a collection it really feels like you're getting your money's worth (so much so I actually own two copies of this game, long story).

I'm not going to have time to play all eight games in one hour, but I'll try to get to as many as I can. So let's start the review.

Minute by Minute

(minutes are in bold)
00 - I start a new game and I'm immediately offered a colorful menu with many options of games! There's Spring Breeze, Gourmet Race, Dyna Blade, The Great Cave Offensive, Megaton Punch, and Samurai Kirby. Milkyway Wishes and Revenge of the Meta Knight are also there but they're grayed out and unavailable at this time. I decide to go with Spring Breeze, the easiest one.

Kirby Super Star Game Selection

01 - This is the Kirby I know and love! Kirby can suck up enemies and steal their powers. This game feels very familiar to the original Kirby's on the Game Boy and NES.

02 - A new cool thing though! I can actually spawn a partner by pressing A when I have a power. I lose my power, but I get a new friend. How cute, and hopefully helpful.

04 - I just whooped on the original tree boss from the first game, but instead of chucking apples at his nose, me and my bomb friend roasted him quickly with our deadly array of weapons. Easy stuff!

Kirby Super Star Tree Apple Poppy Bros

05 - Stage 2: Float Islands. Don't know how long I'll play this game, seems to easy and too much like... plain old Kirby!

08 - Okay, this game is too easy. I'm going to try one of the other ones. Stage 2 only took me three minutes.

09 - Think I'll try the Gourmet Race. Seems simple enough.

10 - Gourmet Race is very basic, but it's fun. I'm just racing King Dedede along a track trying to grab food before him and reach the finish line. You can double tap to run...

Kirby Super Star King Dedede Gourmet Race

11 - ...which makes racing pretty easy too. I'm beating the King handily, come on fat man! Now I have a sweet jet pack and I'm cruising around.

12 - Yeah, that was a beat down of epic proportions. 119 pieces of food to King Dedede's 54. Why is it always about food with these people? Especially candy, Kirby loves candy. My time was 2 minutes, 15 seconds for three races, so I guess I could improve on that greatly, but what's the point?

14 - Time for Dyna Blade! This is a three star difficulty so hopefully it poses a challenge. Dyna Blade seems to be a mini version of Super Mario World, where we have an overworld and can wander to different levels. Seems very linear though.

Kirby Super Star Sir Kibble Sword

16 - This is very typical Kirby, no surprises. I did have some weird slowdown with only seven sprites on the screen though...

18 - Looks like I just finished the first level, and I get to shoot myself out of a cannon! Wow, I went seven whole meters. I suck. I was never very good at kicking off in Tecmo Super Bowl.

20 - You can share food with your helper in a very cute animation where it looks like Kirby ate the food and is spitting it in your helper's mouth, much like how a bird feeds its babies!

Kirby Super Star Helper Makeout Share Food

21 - Coconuts are falling off the ceiling trying to kill me! I should mention they're exploding coconuts. Very dangerous. How did we get coconuts in this temperate zone anyway?

23 - Yay, beat the second level! Turns out the cannon didn't shoot me seven meters, it was a countdown starting at seven! This time I made it to one and of course, got a 1UP!

24 - Whoops, just died, gotta be more careful. It was more carelessness on my part than the difficulty of the game.

Kirby Super Star Cannon

26 - The music is all very typical Kirby, which I like. Man, it's so hard to explain the tunes if you've never played a Kirby game. Just imagine light and upbeat little ditties.

28 - Just maxed out my cannon shot for level three and got three 1UPs! Nice! Dyna Blade is pretty easy and I seem like I'm flying though it. I think I'll try and finish it off.

32 - Just sucked in a totally sweet power from a microphone bad guy! I was able to kill everyone on the screen with one push of a button, but I only had three uses. Each time I used it Kirby would take on another persona, the third time he was a punk rocker with green hair and yelled something like "gystahl!" I'm not sure how else to explain it but it was awesome!

Kirby Super Star Rockstar Gystahl

35 - Finished off level four of Dyna Blade with a sequence of easy boss fights. Wish this game would throw something really tough at me, but it is a Kirby game. And it's time for the final level of Dyna Blade.

36 - Ominous music is playing and I get to choose which form I'd like to take, I choose Cutter, the one who throws swords.

37 - And Dyna Blade the giant bird has swooped in! It looks tough, and my lame helper is completely worthless as a Rock in this situation (he's literally a rock, just jumping up and falling down). Stupid A.I. I guess that's why Rock form wasn't an option before this boss fight...

Kirby Super Star Dyna Blade Bird

38 - Ugh! I am killed! I'm choosing a better helper this time, we're both going in as the beamies (not to be confused with Beamy from Cheap Seats).

40 - Massive slowdown but also a massive beat down. Ouch. Dyna Blade dies and the world is saved. Well, actually it appears I killed the mom of three baby chicks, which Kirby then pushes towards the giant, angry tree. Kirby is a bastard. Well, now he's feeding them giant apples. I'm torn.

41 - Beating Dyna Blade has opened up Revenge of the Meta Knight. Which sounds awesome. But first I want to try Megaton Punch!

43 - Megaton Punch is a sweet minigame where you try to do little timing exercises so you can PUNCH THROUGH A STAR! This is the manliest thing Kirby has ever done!

Kirby Super Star Cracked Star

44 - This is a short and sweet minigame but I up the difficulty and try it again. Fun stuff.

45 - Next up is Samurai Kirby, which is another timing minigame. But the point of this one is to press any button before your opponent, but only after it says to. So you concentrate really hard on the screen, and when you see "!" you press a button as fast as you can!

47 - I just got frying panned by Cook Kawasaki! Man, this is fun stuff but I don't think my timing is as good as it used to be. Well, I should probably get back to the main games...

Kirby Super Star Cook Kawasaki Samurai Ninja

50 - After three more minutes of Samurai Kirby, it's time for the Great Cave Offensive!

51 - The Great Cave Offensive is undoubtedly one of the coolest games in Kirby Super Star, as you play as a treasure hunter. Now I think treasure hunters are awesome and so this game takes the cake. There are 60 treasures to find in this world, and some of them are pretty challenging! My first treasure is a Gold Medal, worth 10,000G!

54 - After collecting three treasures I end up dying, and I start back at the beginning. Wow, this could be time consuming if I keep dying. I get to keep my treasures though.

57 - There's puzzles involved with getting some treasures, but it is worth it! I just collected a crystal ball worth 200,000G! Not that money means anything...

Kirby Super Star Great Cave Offensive Gold Medal

58 - Since treasure hunters always travel alone, I don't bring out my partner. Then I'd have to share the wealth!

60 - Well, my first hour is up and I finish the Great Cave Offensive with the first nine treasures in my back pocket! A gold medal, a gold coin, a whip, crystal ball, lucky cat, Seiryu Sword, the Screw Ball (from Metroid), echigo candy, and a zebra mask. Not a bad haul, too bad there's no time left! Oh yeah, 726,300G in booty!

Now for some scores out of 10.

Kirby Super Star Great Cave Offensive Treasures

First Hour Scores

Minutes to Action: 1

Gameplay: 8
Kirby Super Star offers a lot of variety within its first hour, it's almost more like a party game than a Kirby game with so many options available. Each of the games play well but none of them try anything really that new over the next one (Milky Way Wishes does, but hey, that's not in the first hour, is it?). Stealing powers and creating a helper is a great idea and really lends itself to the single player experience, but sometimes the A.I. is downright stupid.

Fun Factor: 7
I had a lot of fun playing, but there were some dull moments. An experienced player having to play through Spring Green will be ten minutes of slow torture, and Dyna Blade is not that much harder. I'm willing to bet that the experience really picks up after the first hour, but it's out of my jurisdiction to judge that. I also think I'd have even more fun if I was playing with a friend, something you can do in most of the games.

Graphics and Sound: 6
The game looks and sounds pretty good, but there's a few odd things. One, there was some noticeable slowdown with just a few sprites on the screen, some very out of place for an action/adventure game. Secondly, the HUD takes up about a quarter of the screen and really cuts down on screen real-estate. I know they're trying to make everything look pretty and space things out properly, but it really detracts from the experience when you lose so much of the screen to something you know could have been shrunk down to half its size. The sound and music are good, very Kirby like, doesn't really explore much in the way of new and interesting things but it does the job.

Story: 2
Kirby games have never been known for much of a story (man, it feels like I make this excuse for a lot of games) and Super Star is no different. It seems the designers were going to for a pick up and play which works pretty good for a one hour review. I won't weigh this heavily in the end.

Overall: 7
Kirby Super Star is quick to a wide variety of action, something that's perfect for my first hour review. The game has its faults though but it's easy to overlook them because it's a simple concept and it executes all the necessities just right. I think this is a good score for this game because there really is so much variety and a lot of up and down moments. The Great Cave Offensive was the highlight of my Super Star journey and should definitely be expanded into its own game. There's a great sense of depth within the Cave and treasure hunting is awesome. Nintendo is planning to re-release Kirby Super Star on the Nintendo DS sometime (right now titled Kirby Ultra Super Deluxe) and is supposed to offer even more minigames (awesome) and cutscenes (why?). So if you can't find Kirby Super Star anywhere for the Super Nintendo, definitely watch out for this release on the DS, should be awesome portable fun.

Kirby Super Star Art Daniel Absolom Sword
Art by Daniel Absolom - used with permission.