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Kirby's Dream Land 3

The box art for Kirby's Dream Land 3.

Kirby's Dream Land 3 is a game for the Super Nintendo and Wii Virtual Console that once again follows the adventures of Kirby, the lovable puffball with the famous ability to adapt powers of people he inhales. This tale follows the usual story of King Dedede causing mischief again, with Kirby taking up the task of stopping him. However, this is definitely one of the more advanced side-scrolling titles in the series because in the levels, you can utilize Kirby's friends to make things much easier.

I recently downloaded this game on the VC, because I really wanted a classic Kirby title to play with, being a fan of the character. I actually found it to be pretty good; the title plays like the previous titles in the series, with the ability for Kirby to dash, and follows the usual gameplay pattern of being able to spit out characters, or absorb their abilities, as well as puff-jump.

The level designs were actually pretty excellent -- it had plentiful enemies to take on and gave a good amount of opportunities to swap powers, which I found really fun. For example, some enemies will give you the power to emanate lightning, killing enemies instantly, some will give you the ability to become a crushing stone, etc.

There are only a couple of issues I had with the game. The first is that it's actually somewhat easy. The challenge begins to pick up at an reasonable pace pretty quickly, like a few levels in, but if you try to utilize some of the friends in these earlier levels, it's stupidly easy; some of the powers they give you might be a bit unreasonably powerful, or maybe at least some of the enemies should die only after a couple of hits. Basically, its a bit boring near the beginning because of the simplicity of the gameplay.

My second big problem was actually the sidekick, Gooey. Since I had to play on the Classic Controller, and Gooey's eject button was in with all the other most important ones, I found myself bringing him out far more often than I wanted to, and then having to go through the process of sucking him back up and absorbing him. He's not even all that special, and he requires valuable hit points. Even when he was effective against the enemies, he made it too easy. In a game like Kirby, I expect to use the unique powers I have to bring down enemies tactically, and have it be a definite experience. This fun is taken away when I just have a creepy blob kill everyone for me.

The only third problem I can come up with is the music; some of it's pretty good, but it gets a bit annoying after a while.

However, the game does have some good points. Some of the levels are actually nicely challenging, with plenty of enemies to overcome that warrant good timing and attack strategy. Plus, despite making things rather simple, I thought that the friends are pretty hilarious, and the advanced effects you get while using them are fun to use. One of my favorite things about it, though, is that it stays true to the series. It honors the basic format of the Kirby side-scrollers while adding in varied gameplay and graphics that were actually pretty outstanding for their time.

All in all, I'd say that if you have 800 Wii points on the VC that you have nothing else very enjoyable to spend on, this game is worth a buy. This also goes for those of you who like Kirby, like his side-scrollers that you've seen before, or who just want to collect his classic games. You won't be disappointed.

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