Review by redmario217
Kirby is not alone and it delivers. Kirby 64 is one of my favorite games I've ever played.
I'm going back in time to the year 2000, the new millennium. It was the summer of June on that year and then suddenly I saw a new Kirby game called Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards for the Nintendo 64. This was my first Kirby game after Super Smash Bros. a year ago, but HAL Laboratory has done enough for making this game.
A story opens when Dark Matter has taking over the Ripple Star, the Queen sent a fairy named Ribbon riding off with a crystal someone else. After she tries to evade the three Dark Matters, they shattered the crystal into pieces, making the crystals land on various planet, and she falls towards Pop Star. A new hero named Kirby discovers a crystal and Ribbon after she falls on the ground. After she and Kirby exchange hellos, she asks Kirby about the crystal; she points out that it is the jewel that she had been carrying. Looking at the Crystal, she notices that it is only a fraction of its normal size, and realizes it has been split into pieces. Then, they throw their shards at each other, and the two shards join into one slightly larger Crystal, prompting them to search for more. Although it's incomplete, there are 72 pieces to recover throughout the adventure, and Kirby and Ribbon sets on a journey to find them. Along the way on the first planet, you will meet Waddle Dee, Adeleine, and King Dedede that can help Kirby on his adventure. After Dark Matters posse Kirby's friends and Kirby beats them, they agree to join Kirby and Ribbon, and they travel through different planets before they reach Ripple Star to save their planet. Surprisingly, the story is a genius and humorous. Even though, the cut-scenes on the story is simply at best; there is no voice acting in cut-scenes but it doesn't matter. The chemistry between Kirby and Ribbon is much expected that I see, but let's face it, they are cool to watch.
For the features of this game, there are six different planets to explore; each planet have 4 levels (first and sixth planet have 3 levels) and a boss battle at the end. In every level, there are many enemies to look out for. Kirby on the other hand has to ability to suck enemy (or two); he can copy the enemy ability from them. There are seven different copy abilities: Fire, Ice, Spark, Stone, Bomb, Needle, and Cutter. Any two can be merged to create a new copy ability (i.e. Fire + Needle, Cutter + Cutter, etc.). Though Kirby only needs one element in his body to gain an extra attack, two of the abilities can also be combined together. Copy abilities can also be merged with abilities of the same type for more powerful versions of the basic abilities. In total there are 35 abilities, combined and stand-alone, as the order does not matter; they usually stronger or have added effects one way or another. While the game features a single-player, it also features mini-games like the Kirby games before and similar to Mario Party series. Up to four players, there are four characters to choose from (Kirby, Waddle Dee, Adeleine, and King Dedede; each character has the same progress) and three mini-games play with: 100-Yard Hop (my favorite), Bumper Crop Bump, and Checkerboard Chase (my second favorite). It has options including Enemy Cards, Watching Cut-scenes, and Boss Battles (unlocked by beat the game with 100%). These features come in handy, but the abilities are unique, the mini-games are fun for a long time, and the options are superb but not endless possibilities.
This game is usually 2D with a 3D environment. The gameplay, however, is marvelous as beautiful. Although Kirby can fly for the small amount of time, he walks or run throughout the level with ease. Kirby can move up, down, left, and right in 2D prospectively. The controls are very smooth and fair nicely.
The graphics for this game are cute but flawless. They capture the right color, the right background, and the unique levels that just memorizes from the start.
Don't be disappointed! The sounds and music are catchy from the other Kirby games. The sounds effects are just awesome to listen. The music in this game is pure magnificent. Some of the few songs are there to remember from the previous Kirby games.
This game is pretty short; you will beat it in less than 3 hours. However, you can revisit the planets that already clear by collecting the crystal piece that you missed, and collect the enemy card at the end of the level. You can also do the fastest time by set up a new file and play the single-player without stopping. The mini-games are yours to play for countless hours if you have friends to join you.
Overall: Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is a fun action-adventure game. With marvelous gameplay, flawless graphics, great features, and excellent music, I'll recommend a must-buy for causal gamer or a die-hard fan of Kirby. You can find this game at either the store or on-line. Either way, it is one of my favorite N64 game of all time.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Product Release: Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (US, 06/26/00)
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