Why does everyone get worked up about Mario and Star Fox when they could play Kirby?

User Rating: 9.5 | Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards N64
The successor to Kirby Super Star on the SNES, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is a colorful 1st party platformer developed by Nintendo for the wonderful Nintendo 64. With competition from other successful Nintendo franchises such as Mario, Star Fox, Pokemon, and Golden Eye, Kirby was sadly overshadowed. The question I had from the beginning was, why? Nintendo certainly hyped the franchises mentioned earlier much more than Kirby was hyped during the SNES days. So, people may have not been familiar with Kirby when the game came out. But this is not Kirby's fault, and I don't think anyone will really know why Nintendo still to this day leaves Kirby in the dust, because he makes one hell of a game. Kirby 64's best feature is combining powerups. Along with this is great level design, beautiful graphics, and so many different kinds of enemies. Combining powerups was something new to the Kirby franchise, and it worked. It's worth buying this game just to see what all the possible combinations do. Level design is perfect. Nothing is too hard, but nothing is too easy. The levels are themed accordingly to the world you are in. Along with perfect gameplay design, the attention to detail is brilliant. The scenes happening in the background are sometimes so cool looking they distract you from the actual game. The boss battles are also all very memorable and a blast of fun. All the bosses have different ways in which they are defeated. Also, there are mini bosses within each level. The difficulty is only slightly harder than your average platformer, but I find that a good thing. You can't just breeze through the game, you need to use all the skills you acquire as you play through it. The one problem I found is that the game used no 3D gameplay whatsoever, yet it was on a system known for pretty much creating the 3D platformer. I actually prefer 2D platforming, but it would've been nice to see some innovation in this game. In the end, Kirby 64 is a must buy for fans of 2D platformers.