Kirby Super Star Ultra Review
Thursday, October 08, 2009 1:43 PM
Kirby Super Star Ultra sees everyone's favourite ball of pink fluff return in a new adventure.
Or rather, a collection of very short adventures.
My first experience of Kirby was on the NES in the form of Kirby's Adventure, a rather wonderful platformer packed with puzzles and hidden bits and bobs that kept me occupied for hours on end.
Super Star Ultra is a bit of a departure from this model, with Kirby instead battling his way through a series of short mini-games that range from the ridiculously easy to the mildly challenging.
Our hero again is able to walk, run, jump and fly, as well as suck in enemies and swallow them to steal their abilities. He can also turn enemy abilities into rather handy Helpers to aid him in his quest for glory.
These games are mainly platform-based, although you'll also find yourself racing Kirby against King Dedede while collecting as much food as possible, exploring a massive cave in search of treasure and taking on an airship belonging to Kirby regular Meta Knight, among other adventures.
The very first game - which is the only one available from the start - is Spring Breeze. This seems to have been designed especially for those who have never played a game before. It basically consists of several extremely short levels that you'll be able to sail through in a few minutes without picking up so much as a knock.
You'll likely never return to Spring Breeze again, but some of the other games provide better entertainment. The racing level in particular is a favourite of mine, short as it is. The Great Cave Offensive, where you must hunt down 60 treasures worth varying amounts of gold, offers a lengthy-ish diversion compared to the other mini-games - finding every single item is impossible without taking on specific enemy abilities to get to particular parts of the cave.
Thankfully, once you've breezed through the seven mini-games, you'll be able to tackle them again in harder modes, although even this isn't quite as time-consuming as you might expect.
Sadly, this is where Super Star Ultra falls down, even amid the lovely graphics, chirpy soundtrack and gorgeous animated cut scenes. It'll probably only take you a few hours to finish the game from end to end, and it's unlikely you'll want to play through it again afterwards.
The gameplay itself is remarkably unchallenging and there aren't nearly as many hidden secrets and puzzles to find and solve as you might like. Not as much use is made of the DS's touchscreen as it could be, unfortunately, leaving you with a rather average game overall.
Nevertheless, Super Star Ultra provides a nice distraction while on the go or when bored for a few minutes thanks to the fact that it's divided up into neat little chunks, and would probably make a decent Christmas present for younger family members.