Friday, April 27, 2012

Old School Lane celebrates the 20th anniversary of Kirby

With the recent announcement and info about the new Super Smash Bros. game coming out for the Wii U and the 3DS, it seems that Hal Laboratory are busy hard at work coming up with new characters, a more balanced gameplay, and new features for the one of the most popular fighting game series of all time. When I mention Hal Labs, younger gamers immediately think of them as the developers of the Super Smash Bros. series. However, for us old school gamers, Hal Labs were the developers of a game series starring a cute, pink, puffy marshmellow-like creature named Kirby.

Aw, isn't he cute? I just want to hug him.

20 years ago today, a brand new game for the Game Boy was released by Hal Laboratories, the same developing team behind The Adventures of Lolo series, the Mother series, and Kabuki Quantum Fighter  That game was called Kirby's Dream Land.


The plot is extremely simple: the king of Dream Land called King Dedede stole all the food from his inhabitants and keeps it for himself to feast upon. Kirby, seeing what King Dedede has done, travels throughout the many sections of Dream Land to stop King Dedede and retrieve the food back. The game is a platforming game similar to the many others released at that time, with a couple of new additions. Kirby could jump, fly, and has the ability to suck enemies and objects and swallow them. Or he would shoot his enemies out as projectiles to damage them. He would use this abilities to fight bosses, including King Dedede himself.

Each of the 5 levels were memorable with cute and catchy names like Green Greens, Float Islands, Bubbly Clouds, Castle Lololo, and Mt. Dedede. Also the soundtrack was just as equally memorable and cute. Some of the most well known songs from the Kirby series came from Kirby's Dream Land, especially this song!

While he may not have the copying ability in Kirby's Dream Land, that didn't mean that he wasn't powerless. He would pick up powerups along the way such as the microphone, the hammer, and the fireball.

The game had mixed to positive reviews calling it "great for beginners, but too easy and basic for advanced players." The same reviews would be said for the majority of the series, but Kirby has been called one of the major mascots of Nintendo. His games, while simple and easy, are still considered to this day timeless classics gaining the love of both girls and boys of many ages. For those who are new to video games and need a fun, colorful game, then the Kirby series is for you. For those who were fans of the series from the beginning, there are so many variations and changes of the series that keep it from getting stale. Whether it's riding giant hamsters, exploring a world made out of yarn, combining two abilities to make a super ability, or tilting the Game Boy color to play in a pinball world, there's always something for everyone for the Kirby series.

Kirby's Dream Land is available on the Virtual Console for the 3DS for a few dollars. While it may not be the best in the series, it's still highly recommended to play to know where Kirby got his start.

Here are some of my favorite videos of Kirby.

Kirbopher's $00pah NiN10Doh! Kirby's skit

Little Miss Gamer's discussion of Kirby's Adventure

Brentalfloss in What if Kirby had lyrics?

What are your favorite games of the Kirby series? Post it in the comments below and let us know. Mine are Kirby's Adventure, Kirby Super Star, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Kirby's Return to Dreamland, and, to some extent, the Super Smash Bros. series.

Happy 20th anniversary, Kirby. May you continue to dazzle us with cute, adorable, easy, yet fun games.

Well, that's it for now. Hope to see you around Old School Lane real soon. Thanks for reading.


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