Let’s Talk About Kirby Games For a Minute

Before I get into total E3 hype mode (I’m actually spending this week on vacation which’ll keep my mind off it till the day before) I wanna cover a very minor question about what Nintendo may or may not reveal. It concerns the Kirby franchise which turns 20 this year.

A little while back Nintendo announced a Kirby collection for the franchise’s anniversary. We just don’t know what games are going to be on that collection, and I’d like to know because it might be my best chance to get into the franchise cheaply.

Kirby is one of those franchises that I’ve always been interested in but never got the chance to really dig into. From my brief experience, the most I can say is that they manage to be chill, yet elegantly-designed experiences. I’ve only played Kirby 64, Canvas Curse, and Epic Yarn, two of which are technically spinoffs.

I can tell from them though that somehow, HAL Laboratories managed to make games that show off excellent platforming design despite being extremely easy. Back when Epic Yarn came out around the same time as Enslaved: Odyssey to the West I noted how the former does a much better job of being an accessible adventure game without holding the player’s hand.

The “order” and “structure” of the franchise though is what confuses me. I was surprised to learn that the series debuted on the Game Boy, then had a console entry, and has since had a hodgepodge of sequels and spinoffs across Nintendo’s handhelds and consoles. Dream Land and Dream Land 2 are Game Boy games but Dream Land 3 was for the Super NES. Kirby’s Adventure and Super Star are platformers in a similar fashion but not named Dream Land. Nightmare in Dream and is a remake of Adventure right?

Kirby is also one of those franchises that seems to release under the radar compared to Nintendo’s other franchises. What re-sparked my interest in the games in the first place was discovering the true nature of last year’s Return to Dream Land. For some reason seeing the box art to this Wii game with Kirby hoisting a child-like sword towards the viewer convinced me that it was some kind of kid’s motion control game. It is in fact the first new conventional platformer in the franchise since Kirby 64 came out more than a decade ago – basically Dream Land 4 (or 5).

I honestly have little clue what would Nintendo’s upcoming collection would contain. The only recent example we have is the Super Mario one for its 25th anniversary, which was a reprint of the SNES Super Mario All Stars. It still puzzles me that Nintendo totally ignored Metroid’s 25th anniversary last year for starters.  There’s no already-made Kirby collection for Nintendo to reprint which means they’re gonna have to put some actual effort into compiling this package.

Normally you’d think they’d just collect every technically possible main console entry in the franchise but that would make for an incomplete picture of the series as a whole. That would probably mean Adventure, Super Star, Dream Land 3, and 64. I still find it slightly difficult to imagine Nintendo throwing the handheld games in there as well, but they might have to.

Anyway, that’s just one small thing I’m waiting for Nintendo to reveal at E3. It’ll cement where I choose to enter the franchise.


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