Retro Profile: Kirby Super Star (SNES)

Kirby sucks—enemies, that is. That’s something that made the series so unique to me ever since playing Kirby’s Dreamland on the Game Boy. Well, Kirby Super Star is by far, one of my most favorite SNES games. I remember being surprised at the opening scene when you first turn the game on. It shows a 3D-rendered Kirby moving quickly across a grass field. After seeing that, I knew that I’d be hooked on this game. Now, as far as the story goes in Kirby Super Star…

Well, that would depend on which game you choose to play. There are 8 games to choose from, but I’ll only mention the 5 major ones. You can adventure through Dreamland to defeat King DeDeDe, and gain back the tasty goodies he stole in the game Spring Breeze. Or maybe you can help Kirby clip a certain bird’s wings in Dynablade. After that, make your way over to Meta Knight’s battleship and kill off his hordes of henchmen and robots and eventually…Meta Knight himself, in Meta Knight’s Revenge. Then, help Kirby find his way out of a deep cave and collect many interesting and valuable artifacts along the way in The Great Cave Offensive. After that, adventure through 7 different planets to settle an argument between the sun and moon, in Milky Way Wishes. The last game mentioned has to be unlocked before being able to play it, but it’s worth the effort.

It’s so much fun to inhale your enemies and absorb their special powers for your own use. The characters and special abilities in the game are quite nifty to use. Most abilities that Kirby mimics have surprisingly varied moves and tight controls. Fighter Kirby in particular is one of my favorite copied abilities to use every time I can. If you need some help getting through the levels, you can also create a CPU helper after you have absorbed an enemy. A friend can also join in on the fun with you. All you do is create a CPU helper, and then, have player 2 take over the “helper” character. One of the more memorable aspects about playing with the CPU/P2 is that is Kirby and P2 can get food and share it with one another if one or both of you are getting low on energy. If you don’t like the helper that you’ve chosen, or if your friend wants to be a different character, you can terminate it and just absorb another enemy and go from there. And with the vast number of enemies that can be absorbed, there’s no shortage of help available.

The game’s music is very enjoyable to listen to. You might recognize some of the tunes and sound effects from Kirby’s Dreamland and other games in the series. The only difference is that it has been enhanced for the Super Nintendo. This is something that HAL Labs are very good at, besides making great games. The tunes range from fast paced and up beat, to mellow and soothing. I found myself actually holding back from going further in some parts of the game just so I could enjoy the particular level’s music for a minute…but that’s just me.

Play or Stay? Honestly, this isn’t a game that I’d recommend for everyone. Some might find the cute characters and light-hearted action to be a little too soft for their tastes. But if you can get past that exterior, Kirby Super Star is a game most folks probably wouldn’t mind having in their collection. This was one of the last solid platformers that I played on the Super NES before it started to meet its demise back in the mid-to-late 90’s. Even so, it’s good to know that the Kirby series is still alive and well today and Kirby Super Star reminds us of why.

Jamie Alston is somewhat of an unusual gamer. While most people crave the visual delights that can be found in many of the current generation consoles of today, he actually prefers the 8-bit & “super 8-bit” (SNES) glory days of yesteryear. This is probably due in part to the fact that his brother chose the Nintendo Entertainment System over the Sega Genesis back in 1989…or maybe it had more to do with that time when he fell and hit his head on the blacktop in elementary school. Whatever the reason might be, Jamie has an undying love for those unnecessarily big cartridges he spent so many summer afternoons playing.When he’s not raiding trucks that “have started to move” for rations and key cards, he stays busy supporting his gaming hobby by working as a Policies & Procedures Analyst for a financial company in Baltimore, Maryland. And when he’s not working for “the man”, he’s working on the next retro review for the week. And when he’s not fighting off writer’s block and much needed sleep, he’s raiding trucks that “have started to”—well, you get the idea.Currently living in Randallstown, MD, Jamie sums up his life long dream this way:“If I one day find myself driving on the highway in a 2004 Honda Accord with an NES directional pad for a steering wheel, you can bet that I’ll be holding the up direction for that turbo boost on the straight-aways. That’s when I’ll know that I’ve finally made it in life”.