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Chris Carter avatar 12:39 PM on 09.18.2012
Impressions: Kirby's Dream Collection



Haven't you heard? Kirby's Dream Collection is out this week. Last Sunday, to be exact! Good old Nintendo Sunday releases. Jim will be covering it proper on the front page, but I figured I'd share my thoughts with you guys here.

Kirby's Dream Collection is very similar to the Wii's Super Mario All-Stars Limited Edition collection, but it has a little more "juice" to it, and it isn't hard to see why.

Not only does KDC contain Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby's Adventure, Kirby's Dream Land 2, Kirby Super Star, Kirby's Dream Land 3, and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, but it also has new challenge stages, a charming mini-booklet on Kirby's history, an in-game museum, and a soundtrack CD.

So how does it stack up?



If you're a hardcore Kirby fan, you probably need this collection. Although the included soundtrack and booklet don't go the extra mile to make this a "must have at all costs" type of deal, they are charming enough to add to the allure of the package.

The rather small booklet mostly contains factoids that us Kirby fanatics already knew, but seeing the original design proposal for the series, and a number of original designs all in one place makes for a great read anytime you want your Kirby fix.

The soundtrack is just one CD (which hilariously states that "you cannot play on your Wii"), and contains a mix of tracks from sixteen Kirby games, as well as three tracks that were recorded for the anniversary celebration. It would have been a bit nicer to get a more fleshed out multi-disc collection, but ultimately it is pretty enjoyable mix for when you just want to drop everything and get your Kirby-dance on.

The in-game Kirby museum is also cool, as it goes through every game throughout the years from 1992-2012 with random world factoids, but it's something you can do in fifteen minutes and never do again. That little adorable puffball has had quite a few games since his birth, but sadly, you can only play six of them on this collection: and the museum constantly reminds you of that.

So what if you're not a fan? Well, if you don't care about anything ancillary, and just wanted updated versions of the six classic games, you are going to be disappointed as hell. To be clear, these are direct ROM dumps and not remade ports on offer.

For instance, in the first Kirby's Dream Land, after clearing the game, you had to reset (turn off/on) your Game Boy unit to play again. Same deal here. If you're the type of person who can't stand lazy designs like this in updated packages, you'll most likely be fairly frustrated here. At the very least, there is GameCube, Classic Controller, and Wii-mote support.

Additionally, a number of these games can be found fairly cheap on the 3DS and WiiWare Virtual Consoles already, which means you wouldn't have to drop $40 on the package of six games to actually own all six. In fact, the only game not available right now is Kirby's Dream Land 2 (which is actually available everywhere but the US on the 3DS VC, and is coming to the US at some point).

The rest you can pick up for $3-10 each digitally, or perhaps even less online. If you're looking to get this for multiplayer, note that only three of the games support 2 or more players -- Kirby Super Star, Kirby's Dream Land 3, and Kirby 64 (and for the uninitiated, Kirby 64's multiplayer is for mini-games only).



Thankfully, unlike the Mario All-Stars Wii release, there is actual new content involved in the form of challenge rooms. These challenge rooms use the same engine as Kirby's Return to Dreamland, but involve all-new experiences. As you race through levels to get the best time and kill as many enemies as possible, you'll unlock more challenges, and even have the opportunity to race Magolor from RTD.

Races are a lot like the King Dedede gourmet races from Kirby Super Star, but a tad more enjoyable, as Magolor is a much more interesting opponent than Dedede ever was given his propensity to zap you while competing. The challenges don't offer a full game, but it's not a mini-game either: it's something more in-between.

All in all, I'm satisfied with the collection, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who wasn't a franchise fan. If you're a savvy enough consumer who just wants to casually play the series, you can easily just find these piecemeal for cheaper than the asking price. If you're a true fan however, you might want to pick this one up before it's gone forever.


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