What better way to close out a week dedicated to Kirby’s twentieth anniversary than to go over a compilation dedicated to just that subject? No, seriously. I couldn’t think of much else. Unless you can read Japanese and have access to the Nintendo archives that are locked up nearly as tight as Fort Knox, there’s only so much info you can get. We covered quite a bit of the oddities of his history in the podcast we posted, so you can always give that a listen. Enough with the self-promotion, you’re already here, I shouldn’t have to convince you to check out some of the other content.
Kirby’s Dream Collection is more than a just a half-assed acknowledgement of Kirby turning twenty. A few other Nintendo franchises have had significant anniversaries in the last couple of years, and only Mario got any sort of treatment. Sure, his was underwhelming, equating down to a SNES ROM on a disc with a soundtrack (half of which were sound effects!) and a booklet only a touch more informative than a wiki page, at least it existed. Zelda got a few concerts and yet another rerelease of Ocarina of Time (along with a Zelda-flavored 3DS), and Metroid took a year off to let us forget about Other M (the baby!). The pink cream puff seems to have received the royal treatment compared to the other long running franchises in Nintendo’s stable.
While the games on the disc range from good (Kirby Super Star) to suspect (Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards), this is more than a just a pretty paper surrounding a few ROMs. Aside from the games on the disc, there’s also a listing of all the Kirby games released that also have a video for each game showing them off. As you scroll through the years and see what games came out what year, Nintendo also decided to give us an actual history lesson with little bits of happenings from that year that range from the obvious to the odd. A little strange, but little details like that show some actual thought to the material presented.
If the history lesson and videos aren’t enough, Nintendo’s also included some time trial modes, each focusing on an ability of Kirby. The levels are designed around having mastery of the ability that is given to Kirby for that stage and, in turn, are bit more difficult than the rest of the content on the disc. They also look fairly nice, seeming to use Kirby’s Return to Dreamland as the building blocks. On other consoles, these would have been nice DLC for Return to Dreamland, but we are talking about the Wii here. Getting these on this collection seems the perfect icing on the cake though, adding some new stuff to mess around with since all but Kirby’s Dream Land 2 are available on the Wii and 3DS Virtual Console, making the odds of Kirby fans already owning more than a few of these high.
Are you into the upbeat music that series is famous for? I hope you are, because you get a soundtrack loaded with just that, as well. Your mileage is probably going to be fairly short, but some tracks are nice on their own and would fit nicely in a playlist of video game soundtracks. Hell, it’s where I got the music for the podcast, so, if nothing else, it was handy for that.
Once again, Kirby keeps up the tradition of sending off a console into the sunset as the new console hotness comes to play. While I wish they had tacked on a few more games, Kirby’s received the treatment some of the other pillars of the house of Nintendo should have received. With the amount of content in the package, I’d have a hard time not recommending this collection to both the long-time fan and the Kirby curious.