Genre: Action, Platformer
Year: 2008
Developed by: HAL Laboratory
Published by: Nintendo
Platforms: DS
Feeling Like: Kirby’s Greatest Hits

You can’t go home again, said Demi Moore at the beginning of Now and Then. Wise words. I was sort of hoping this would lead me to a witty transition about how I waited way too long to play Kirby Super Star (the 1996 SNES edition) and when I finally did in 2008 (not the 1996 SNES edition), my love for Kirby had waned, or the DS port wasn’t as good, or both.

Tangent time: What’s really strange is how Kirby is marketed on box art. He’s not a symbol of masculinity, far from it. He’s a tiny little pink puff that eats things, flies over things and makes adorable and incoherent noises. Yet in an effort to…I don’t know, make him more appealing to dudes in Canada and the United States, he’s always angrier on the box compared to his Japanese version. Smiles and open mouth in the land of the rising sun, frowning and closed mouth stateside.

I thought Kirby and I would be best friends as we got older, but we’re sort of in “I should text him because we used to hang out a lot” territory. I never rush out to play the newest Kirby game. I don’t feel the same sense of mastery when playing him as I did in Kirby’s Adventure, or playing him in one of the many Smash Bros titles. I don’t want to say I’ve outgrown him, or Kirby games, because I just jumped up and down with glee upon finding out the new Naruto episode is coming out soon. Clearly, I haven’t outgrown anything.

Kirby’s on the pursuit of happiness.

Thankfully, Kirby Super Star Ultra was a complete comfort. I may not be able to come home again, but I can certainly meet a friend at a coffee shop for a quick chat and be satisfied. It’s Kirby in the arena, Kirby going through a single player adventure, Kirby being a samurai, Kirby being anything you want. It’s such a diverse amount of modes, moves, characters, music and art styles that you’ll find something very quickly to entertain you.

I love how bright and colorful the graphics are. The sprites still look fantastic. The animation is a bit archaic, but it’s often hilarious. Character’s eyes bulge, Kirby poofs up like a balloon and King DeDeDe’s dismayed jaw drops about two feet down when he loses. Beautifully cartoonic.

The music has always been a highlight in the Kirby series, and how wonderfully light and energetic the audio is here. You’ve got the classic sound effects, like when Kirby jumps on a star to warp to a new area, or the flapping sounds Kirby exhausts when he takes flight. Icing on the cake for fans of the series are the additions to the DS version not previous found. I relished fighting Masked DeDeDe and controlling Meta Knight is always a treat.

I don’t rush out to play compilation games normally; they usually have a good amount of content, but always lack the pinnacle of a lengthy campaign. Thankfully, Kirby Super Star Ultra had enough to remind me how awesome Kirby games can be when they’re at their best.

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