One of my favorite Nintendo 64 games, this classic Kirby game is very under-rated, very fun, and very much worth it.
The story goes like this:
Ripple Star is a peaceful, happy planet, where small fairies live. One day, a veil of darkness takes over the skies, threatening the fairies. One fairy, Ribbon, flies to the castle, takes the precious Crystal and flies away to safety. However, a few shadow beings follow Ribbon and take her down.
Ribbon crash-lands on Pop Star, where our pink hero lives peacefully. Ribbon crashes onto Kirby's head, with her once huge and powerful Crystal being a much smaller Crystal Shard. Kirby offers to help Ribbon find the lost shards scattered throughout the galaxy. Along the way, a courageous Waddle Dee, young artist Adeleine, and powerful King Dedede follow along to ensure Ribbon stays safe.
The controls are pretty simple- you use the control pad to move around and duck. B is swallow enemies or use abilities once you've swallowed one, A is jump and float in the air by puffing up. The C buttons are how you get rid of abilities or hold them above your head so you can combine abilities.
Speaking of which, combining abilities is a very fun and unique feature in this game. Combine all kids of abilities- Spark and Cutter, Fire and Spike, Ice and Rock, whatever you want! Every ability has its own use, such as fighting enemies or opening secret passages that lead to Shards.
There are 7 planets in the game for you to explore. Planet 1 and 6 contain four levels, while 2 through 5 contain five levels, and the 7th planet is where you fight the final boss. The last level in every planet contains a boss fight, while the others are just normal levels with three Crystal Shards each. Once you collect every Shard in the game, you can go to the 7th planet for the final battle. Some Shards are out in plain sight, while others are out of the way and some are behind obstacles that you need to destroy with a certain ability or ability combination. While this game lacks in difficulty, it makes up for it by giving you a large number of collectibles, with some of them being pretty tricky.
At the end of every level, there's a Picnick "mini-game" where you jump to an item that you can collect, such as Stars, food to replenish your health, 1ups, and Enemy Cards which can be viewed in the gallery.
The game's soundtrack is a very good one, with a few remixes from old games and many new, catchy tunes. One of my favorites is the one that plays in most Rock Star levels, and the boss themes are really good, too. There's also a Sound Test mode in Options, but I think you have to unlock that.
Besides the main adventure, there's some other things you can do, such as the Mini-Game mode. This is a pretty fun mode with three mini-games: 100-Yard Hop is basically a race to the finish while jumping over obstacles, Bumper Crop Bump is where you collect fruit falling from trees while shoving your friends out of the way, and Checkerboard Chase in which you destroy panels on a checkerboard to make your friends fall to their doom. Each mini-game starts out with the Easy difficulty, and once you beat that you move onto Medium, then Hard, then finally the hardest difficulty.
Once you beat the game 100%, you unlock the Boss Battle mode, in which you fight every boss, one after another. You have no abilities to help you and you carry over your health. I've never tried this mode but I'm sure it's not that easy.
One thing I don't like about this game is that it's too easy and too short- if you know what you're doing, you can complete this game easily in a few hours. Some of the bosses are pretty tough but overall this isn't that hard of a game.
Time to wrap up this review: Kirby 64 is definitely a game worth playing. Despite its short length and overall easy difficulty, you'll still have fun playing mini-games, fighting bosses, combining copy abilities, and searching for Crystal Shards as the galaxy's toughest, pinkest, hungriest hero.