Here in the States, Kirby’s Adventure has been released on Virtual Console, and it may be one of the best ways to spend $5 this week. I played it briefly when I was a wee little lad but didn’t remember much about it other than that I thought the gameplay was neat.
It has withstood the passage of time very well. I read in Wikipedia that the game was released near the end of the NES cycle, so HAL Laboratories must have been able to squeeze everything they could get out of the NES. Kirby’s Adventure looks at times almost like an SNES game, so bright are its colors and so fluid is its movement. But it’s not just a technically pretty game. It’s infused with that unique Nintendo charm in all its details that make it very fun to watch. As a small example, consider what happens when Kirby walks into a wall. In almost any other game, the main character would simply bump into the wall and then stop, but HAL Laboratories takes an extra step and shows Kirby briefly flattening against the wall before bouncing back slightly. When falling from a height, Kirby bounces off the ground before landing back on his feet. Details like this give you the feeling that you really are controlling a cushy, rolly-polly ball creature rather than some kind of anthropomorphic block shape like in other games.
Kirby’s Adventure is very easy. It saves your progress after each level, there are lots of healing items and it’s almost impossible to fall to your death. But that’s ok. It makes for a very relaxing way to pass a few minutes every day. And really, how can you resist a cute pink blob for $5?