星のカービィ64 © 2000 Nintendo.
(Hoshi no Kirby 64)
Help the pink puffball save the day! Inhale enemies, discover insane Power Combos, and explore eye-popping environments crawling with secrets.
Some call him a puffball, some call him a marshmallow, but most people prefer to simply call him Kirby. Kirby first entered the third dimension in Super Smash Bros., and he's starring in his very own adventure on Nintendo 64!
If you check out the super-stylized screen shots for this game, you'll notice that Hoshi no Kirby 64 is awash in the cheerful colors beloved of school lunch-box designers from Sapporo to Kyoto. The backstory scores high on the cute-o-meter, too, with Kirby and friends valiantly fighting to save the peaceful fairy folk of Ripple Star from the marauding Dark Matter. Fans of Super Mario RPG will recognize similar plot elements from that Super NES classic, as Kirby and friends must round up six pieces of a shattered magical crystal in order to set things right.
The story is secondary to one of the most memorable video-game characters to grace any platform. As in earlier Game Boy and Super Famicom (Kirby's Dream Land 3) incarnations, Kirby has the amazing power to inhale enemies, acquire their attacks, then unleash them in brilliant new ways.
For example, after inhaling a fiery enemy, Kirby can make a red-hot run through the opposition. After inhaling a rock enemy, Kirby can don a stony shield and bowl over the competition. Swallowing two similar enemies ratchets up Kirby's power even more. A big part of the fun in Kirby 64 is experimenting with different Power Combo mixtures to find all of Kirby's special powers. In all, Kirby can use nearly 30 different combinations to take out foes and avoid the many obstacles in its path.
Kirby 64 is primarily a 2-½D platformer, with Kirby following a track left, right, up and down through picture-perfect landscapes strongly reminiscent of Yoshi's Story. Besides permitting gorgeous graphics, the 2-½D approach allows developer HAL Laboratories (Pokémon Stadium) to concentrate on the play control, which brilliantly conveys the feeling of Kirby flying, floating, rolling and swimming.
Kirby 64 is primarily a one-player adventure, but three minigames allow as many as four players to mix it up. Kirby 64 is the perfect game for beginning players, and even expert adventurers can find a challenge by trying to find 100% of the hidden Shards.
Even though we may never figure out exactly what Kirby is made out of, there's no doubt that Hoshi no Kirby 64 delivers some serious fun.