Review by quadgunnar2007
A great game...if you're under 12
Kirby. A cute, cuddly little pink ball of fun. At least, that's what he wants you to think. Kirby happens to be badass who can suck up enemies or items and take on their attributes. In this game, he happens to be able to combine any 2 types of enemies instead of just one, making him even more of a badass. The problem is, in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Kirby's abilities are far from challenged. You'd expect king Dedede to bring it, right? Well, for the most part, Dedede isn't even your enemy. Nevertheless, the game is still good for one go around.
Graphics - 8/10 As far as the N64 goes, the graphics are average to above average. It's like a 3D side-scroller, which was kind of retroactively innovative at the time (before the cube and viewtiful joe, and sonic had gone 3rd person), and it works well. The game's childlike look and gameplay fits the visuals, with rounded enemies and pretty much no intimidation factor. The power animations are all unique as well, and its really cool to spend an hour or two after you beat the game figuring all of the possible combinations. It isn't all that much, but the layout gets the job done as it fits the overall gameplay.
Sound - 7/10 I got a little more than I expected out of this one. The music is light and airy with a little bit of japanese techno mixed in. There really isn't a ton of voice acting, as all the communication is done through subtitles with one-syllable moans from the characters to start it off. Enemy sounds range from long to short moans and groans, and Kirby's attacks have a good plethora of unique sounds for all of the combinations. I will admit, however, on the final boss, the shard firing sound got pretty annoying after hearing it over and over again.
Controls - 8/10 The N64 controller is pretty basic, and Kirby keeps it that way. A to jump, B to attack, and the analog stick to move. A game as simple as this one really doesn't need a crapload of confusing combinations, and it's apparent that the developers realized this. It's really as simple as it gets.
Gameplay - 5/10 Alright, so far the game looks pretty good right? Well, here's where we run into what drags it down. While there are several aspects of the game that really give it a unique feel (power combinations, unique types of boss battles, certain monster immunities), they really only even out the cons. To put it gently...Kirby 64 just seems like a game made for 12 and under kids. I mean, it starts out really fun, but the gameplay gets monotonous quick, the puzzles are really lacking in challenging older players, and you can beat this game within a span of maybe 3 and a half hours. Don't get me wrong, I had a really decent experience playing this game, and it was mildly entertaining, but this game belongs in the dentist's office, where it sucks up a 5 year olds 20 minute wait and he's able to forget about it almost immediately. I'm being dead serious, if you're a teenager, look for something more challenging. Plus, the trademark Kirby characters are around, but they play a small role. You actually become allied with King Dedede. The problem in this game is, some of the Crystal Shards are corrupted, and each and every one of your friends happens to stumble across one and become corrupted by its power. So, part of the game involves you fighting your own friends to take the shards back and purify them. Poor Waddle-dee.
Replay? No. There are no alternate endings, and no secret codes/powerups/items. You could hold time trials with your friends while drunk on a saturday night (trust me, its fun), but really that's about it.
All in all, Kirby 64 just seems like a game that was thrown together to cash in on a known franchise, which is pretty sad considering there are some pretty badass Kirby game boy games out there. If you're a diehard fan, I'd suggest you buy it. Otherwise, spend a lonely friday night beating it and laughing.
Rating: 3.0 - Fair
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