Kirby's Dreamland 2 (Game Boy) Review
The story of Kirby's Dreamland 2 is that a colony of islands called the Rainbow Islands has been attacked by an evil alien monster called Dark Matter, taking control of everybody on the islands, including Kirby's old foe King Dedede. Kirby, along with his new animal friends must save the islands from the threat of Dark Matter. There, that is the entire story right there, plain and simple. If you are a fan of story based games, prepare to be let down.
Graphics wise, there is no question that Kirby's Dreamland 2 boasts some of the most impressive visuals on the monochromatic Game Boy screen. Everything is full of detail and Kirby, his animal friends, the enemies, the objects just look crisp, great and actually represent what they are supposed to look like!
When it comes to sound quality, the Game Boy wasn't known for it's sound capabilities, but this game makes excellent use of the systems sound chip, creating some catchy tunes with a couple tunes recycled from the original Kirby's Dreamland and Kirby's Adventure thrown in for good measure. The sound effects are also great and pleasant to listen to.
Now on to the gameplay. If you have played a Kirby game before, you know what to expect here. Kirby is a breeze to play with, thanks to his simple moveset (move, jump, crouch, fly and inhale) and responsive and simple controls.
The main showcase of Kirby's powers is his ability to literally suck him his enemies and (depending on what enemy he eats) copy a special ability from them! It's a clever touch that despite having only seven moves provides plenty of possibilities, especially when you combine with one of Kirby's three animal friends to get a cool combo move! I also like how the animal friends even have their own health bar to defend Kirby. Most of them are useful and fun to use, but are never really neccesary to beat the game (unless you're trying to get 100%) but they help regardless. These abilities or animals can be ditched at any time with the push of select. But if Kirby should touch an enemy, his ability will be forced out of him in the form of a star which will bounce around for a little bit, giving Kirby a quick chance to get it back before it's gone for good, kinda like Sonic the Hedgehog with his rings. The power up system alone is great and it's variety adds some strategy to the game and keeps it from getting stale or boring.
The levels are generally linear and simplistic, with the main goal being to get from beginning to end and proceeding to the next level, but are fun to explore and are littered with enemies and occasional alternate routes. The fact that theres no time limit also aids the exploration aspect. The number of levels in each world vary, but they always end in a boss fight. These fights range from easy to actually somewhat hard (without abilities however) but never overwhelmingly hard. In the levels themselves, theres also an occasional miniboss fight, with rewards you with the bosses ability and an animal friend to help you in your quest.
To add replay value and more motivation to play the game, in each world in a certain level there is one of seven Rainbow Pieces hidden away. To get 100% and unlock the secret final boss, you must find these pieces and use your abilities and friends, as well as your own skill and intelligence to aquire these artifacts. This little sub quest is actually a little tough, sometimes even having me go for a walkthrough to figure out what to do! But in the end it's rewarding and ultimately satisfying to collect them, especially considering that you get more than just a different ending for collecting all of them, unlike...that other game.
Now to wrap up the gameplay, it's very fun and clever with some innovation and it ultimately triumphs despite being both overly simple and overly frustrating at times. If it wasn't for the unrefined difficulty and how short this game is, i would have given it a 10/10. Another thing i like about this game is that it contains a three file save battery which lets you save your game (It saves automatically in game) and records your percentage, as well as letting you access options such as a sound test, bonus and a boss endurance upon getting 100%.
On your first playthrough, Kirby's Dreamland 2 will you quite a while but from there on out it will probably only take a day or two to beat the whole game. But the game is fun enough to go back and replay constantly, and some extra stuff like the sound test, bonus rounds and the boss endurance keep the game going long after it's over. So yeah, this game has great replay value.
Despite the flaws i mentioned, the pros easily surpass the cons of this excellent game and this is indeed worthy of being in anybodys game collect. If you find a copy in a used game store for a cheap price, do yourself a favor and pick up this portable gem. You won't regret it, and you'll surely have a good time.
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