...but fun while it lasts.

User Rating: 7 | Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards N64
Kirby games are typically simple 2D platformers compounded with unique powers and enemies to create a light-hearted, fun, and overall rewarding experience. This game is no exception, and in fact adds depth to the formula with the combination system to create many varied powers for Kirby to utilize. However, the game ends much too quickly, and its value is diminished by its short length.

This game is a simple platformer that requires Kirby to get from the beginning of the level to the end. Beyond this, the game revolves around the combination system, which allows Kirby to absorb powers from enemies, and combine two powers to create additional powers. This is by far the most unique and fun aspects of the game, just trying each power out is a blast. The powers different strengths also give them a strategic value. Powers can be great against some enemies and worthless against others, some powers are better at offense or defense, and some even allow Kirby to recharge energy. There are also certain powers that can break walls, which is necessary to collect jewel shards and other power-ups (Note: You must collect all jewel shards to see the final level). The system proves not only to be enjoyable, but also a strategic necessity that gives the game a lot of depth beyond moving from start to finish.

Unfortunately, the game has only 30 stages (fewer than 25 if you don't consider boss fights actual stages). What is there is solid, but the overall game is much shorter than what a 2D platformer should be. I am not sure what problem developers had in making this game a proper length, but it is disappointing that Kirby 64 is undone by its brevity.

Kirby 64 is an overall fun game, but will be too short for some to want to make a purchase. This game is a good recommendation to those that want a fun game that is easy to pick up and can be beaten in a short amount of time.