Of all of the Kirby games ever released, my all-time favorite is Kirby Super Star. I became hooked on the game fourteen years ago, as it dazzled with nine fun games, beautiful graphics, a killer soundtrack, many awesome abilities, and a neat two-player feature. Recently, the original Super NES game became available on the Wii Virtual Console, which is a pleasant surprise, especially when you consider that the DS remake, Kirby Super Star Ultra, is not even two years old yet. Nevertheless, this surprise release is sure to make many long-time Kirby fans very happy. To mark the occasion, I shall take all nine games featured in Kirby Super Star and rank them from worst to best. Only the games from the SNES version will be considered, as I have not played the DS version. The list is as follows…
9. Spring Breeze: In this remake of Kirby’s Dream Land, Kirby is out to stop King Dedede, who has stolen all the food in Dream Land. For this game, Hal Laboratories and Nintendo took what was a short game to begin with and made it even shorter. Only four levels are present, the blimp boss is missing, and the boss rush at the end is nowhere to be seen. On top of that, the game itself is simply too easy. It does, however, do a good job in helping beginners learn the ropes and get a taste of what the other games have to offer. Still, its simplicity and brevity give this game a lousy first impression, considering how other games are more fun and challenging.
8. Samurai Kirby: One of two mini games featured in this collection, this is derivative of the Quick Draw mini game from Kirby’s Adventure in that you must press the button when prompted to before your opponent does the same. There are some funny animations that result from successful strikes, and the game is a good test of how fast your reflexes are. On the other hand, the harder difficulty levels are almost impossible to win on account that your timing must be very fast and spot-on. To this day, I can never beat the hardest opponents. A nice mini game designed to give you a break from the fast-paced action of the main games, but beware the insane difficulty.
7. Dynablade: A giant bird is destroying all the crops in Dream Land. Assuming she is committing a great amount of harm, Kirby heads out to stop her. A bit longer and harder than Spring Breeze, this game benefits from having four pretty cool levels, with some secret switches that unlock hidden rooms filled with abilities for our hero. Aside from the occasional mini boss, the only real fight is with Dynablade at the end. That, and the fact that this game is still a bit short (then again, all of the games in this collection are not long at all) are about the only problems that it has. Even so, it is a fun little quest while it lasts.
6. Megaton Punch: Another simplistic mini game, and more fun than Samurai Kirby. Here, you must hit the button with proper timing to send a crack hurtling through the planet Pop Star. This is another good test of seeing how one’s timing is, and even in the harder difficulty levels, the game is manageable to beat. In a nice touch, characters from other Nintendo games can be seen cheering in the stands. Add a rocking tune that is guaranteed to be stuck in your head, and you have a simple, but fun, mini game that you can play when you are not trying out the longer games.
5. Gourmet Race:Kirby finds himself in a race to try and beat King Dedede to the finish line. The catch is that, in order to win the three-race grand prix, Kirby must also eat as much food as possible to earn the most points at the end of the circuit. This game offers the neat variation of having to eat a lot of food, which makes it stand out in a crowded field of racing mini games. Additionally, it marks the debut of a memorable tune that has popped up in many subsequent Kirby games and the Super Smash Bros. series. It may be very short, but this game is still a lot of fun, and you can even race on the individual courses to practice.
4. The Great Cave Offensive: While trapped in an underground cave, Kirby decides to search for hidden treasures, surviving numerous enemies and obstacles as he goes. One of the longer games in this collection offers a great deal of exploration in the form of trying to collect all sixty treasures, some of which are tricky to get and some of which are references to other Nintendo games. There are also some fun mine cart rides, challenging bosses, and cottages where you can save your progress. The only bad thing about this game is having to continue from a cottage when you die, meaning that you may have to retrace a lot of steps to get back to where you were before you lost a life. Even so, this game is fittingly challenging, especially for those like me who are eager to find every last treasure.
3. Milky Way Wishes: For some reason, the sun and moon are fighting, and the only way to stop them is if Kirby gathers the stars needed to activate NOVA, the wish-granting machine. The stages can get really tough, and the only way to get abilities here is by touching the deluxe power-up abilities hidden in each stage. However, every ability obtained can be used indefinitely, and Kirby can switch between any ability that he has already gained. Add a cool space shooting stage towards the end and a very epic final battle, and you have a game worthy of being one of Kirby’s greatest challenges.
2. The Arena: Boss rush modes are hardly new in Kirby games, but this one offers a challenging twist: most of the nineteen opponents are encountered in a random order. You get a handful of healing tomatoes to use in between battles, as well as two randomly-selected abilities to choose from. Lose all of your health, and the game is over. A lot of practice against these bosses is required to master this game, but it is worth it for the challenge as well as for unlocking the sound test that contains the entire classic soundtrack of Kirby Super Star.
1. Revenge of Metaknight: With the aid of his flying battleship, the Halberd, the mysterious Metaknight wishes to rule Dream Land, unless Kirby can save the day. Not only do we get some more great challenges here, but we also have a time limit that puts added pressure (but is rarely a major issue), incredibly awesome tunes (later used in Super Smash Bros. Brawl), and a race to escape the falling ship at the very end. Add some humorous dialog from Metaknight’s henchmen and a huge sense of drama, and you have what is perhaps one of the most well-known, and beloved, game in the entire collection.
Nearly a decade-and-a-half after its release, Kirby Super Star remains a classic, as can be evidenced by the wonderful games listed above. Some games have minor issues, and I still think that Spring Breeze could have used some tweaking to make it more than just an abbreviated version of Kirby’s Dream Land, but truth be told, all of them are at least fairly good in their own little way. If you have never played the game before and you own a Wii, you owe it to yourself to download this classic Kirby game as soon as possible. You are sure to love the collection as a whole, even if not every game is perfect. Still, it remains Kirby’s best game, and a rather tough act to follow.