The G-Zone!!






Kirby's Dream Land 2 (Game Boy) Review


Kirby is a series I've always been a fan of. Always! I grew up as a huge fan of the series. I'd play the games obsessively, always pick Kirby in Super Smash Bros., and I'd even watch the cartoon whenever I had the opportunity. When I was a kid, it was a great time to be a Kirby fan. Maybe I'm biased, but I consider 2000-2010 to be the best era of the series, with awesome original titles and souped up ports of the best games from previous generations. After that, the series hit a nasty plateau where all the games started to look and feel roughly the same, and before that, well... the series only had five main games. Well, this is one of those five! The first direct sequel to the game that kicked the series off, Kirby's Dream Land.


GAMEPLAY:

Stiff and quite slow. Richer mechanically than its prequel, but half as fun. Going for the good ending brought out the worst in me with all the annoying segments I had to try over and over again. I finished with 100% completion, but at what cost? The only points I can award are for the Kirby formula being fun by default, plus some of the animal friends made their debut here. However, Coo the Owl is the only one I found actually fun to play with, as I only ever used Kine the Fish and the laughably useless Rick the Hamster when the game forced me to in order to access a secret.


SOUND:

Nothing outright offensive, but I can't remember a single original tune save for the title screen tune. Playing on the Super Game Boy did grant some enhancements, though; hearing the spacey sounds of the world map and the ocean in the water world was a nice bonus. Plus, there's added applause on the title screen, though I'm certainly not applauding this game.


VISUALS:

Despite everything else, the visuals in the game's cutscenes are beautiful. In-game graphics are quite average, though some very nice character designs and animations still shine through. Check out the first form of the true final boss (if you can stand to make it that far), I really dig the way it looks. I definitely recommend using the Super Game Boy if you're going to play this game. It adds some eye-popping color to the intro and ending, and the checkerboard pattern on the pause menu blends very nicely with the game's custom Super Game Boy Border. It's actually a very pleasing effect!


STORY:

As much of a Nintendo fan as I am, even I can see that Nintendo doesn't usually give you anything too memorable. It's inoffensive, it's unintrusive, it's barely there, it's a Nintendo story. Bad guy doing bad stuff, good guy must do good stuff, yadda yadda, happily ever after. They even reuse the trope from Kirby's Adventure where, "oh, King DeDeDe isn't really bad, he's misunderstood! In Kirby's Adventure, he had stolen the Star Rod to thwart a greater evil. Here, he's simply posessed. To be honest, I think that's all the story there is. Yawn!


FINAL SCORE:

Truthfully, I haven't played a worse Kirby game. I prefer the prequel for being simple and concise, and I prefer the sequel for fleshing out the animal companions more, and I prefer several Kirby titles over all three of those anyway. I feel like, just out of principal, 2 stars for a Kirby game is quite harsh, until I recall all of the "how did that hit me?!" moments, and the handful of areas where I had to actually cheat by using my Super Game Boy Commander controller to slow the game down in order to have more than a quarter of a nanosecond to react to an obstacle or attack. Maybe the game is more bearable if you don't care to see the true ending, but in games like this, I always factor in 100% completion, and a better platformer won't make you suffer for it. If this is Dream Land, I'd rather stay awake. It has a little something for everyone.


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