It's rare, but sometimes my girlfriend watches me play games and eventually pipes up, yammering about how she wants to play with me.  The fact that she wants to play a video game with me doesn't bother me, in fact, that's an awesome proposition.  Except there's one problem, she's extremely picky and doesn't enjoy challenging games.  She's a casual gamer at best and sometimes I grow bored playing with her because I'd rather be playing something else, something she's not interested in unfortunately.  I know that sounds awful but there's only so much Rock Band and Little Big Planet a person can stand.  A couple of days ago I instead made a proposition of trying Kirby, and she agreed.  She then mentioned that she had played it as a child and as we played through the game, she kept saying how 'this part seems familiar' or 'this tells me something.'  I mean, who can forget about Whispy Woods, the tree boss you face at the beginning of every single Kirby game?


My experience with Kirby began with his very first videogame, which my father just happened to purchase for me when he bought me the old Game Boy, the one with the yellow screen and contrast control on the side.  The original Kirby was short, had about five levels and could be beaten in fifteen minutes.  Kirby was white, could not gain special abilities and the entire game was then repackaged as the first minigame in Kirby Super Star.  Needless to say, despite the handicaps, I fell in love with the 'pink puff' even back then, and the feeling of empowerment I got from beating Dedede whilst listening to his amazing theme was awe-inspiring, even way back then when the tune was tinny and in an inferior format.

Kirby's Adventure expands and innovates on the first game by first making Kirby pink, granting him the ability to gain enemy abilities and allowing him a Mega-Man 3-esque power slide move.  The game was about six times longer in length, with levels having multiple exits and hidden switches that would enable bonus levels or 'Museums', which allow Kirby to enter and gain an ability for free.  It should be noted that annoyingly enough, Kirby ALWAYS lost an ability after just one hit - a feature that was removed from later games in the series due to being extremely annoying. 

An innovative (for the time) platformer, Kirby's Adventure was linear.  You would enter in a numbered 'door' on the hub level and go through it, unlocking the second door and so on until reaching the boss at the end of each hub world.  There's some garbled mess of a story about nobody being able to dream and that Meta Knight is a rival/friend throughout the entire game but that just amounts to continously beating his cronies and watching him randomly throw you an invincibility-inducing lollipop at certain points in the game.  Each level had an end-level bonus, where Kirby would fall and you'd have to punch A at just the right time to propel him upward to get points or if you're good enough, a life.  I always enjoyed platformers that would reward you for completing a level, and Kirby's Adventure did it well. 

The bonus levels were fun and were usually one-time only affairs, meaning that you had just one chance to gain lives and if you screwed it up, tough stuff until you unlock another mini-game door.  Don't tell anyone, but you can reset the doors by resetting the console.  Wink wink, nudge nudge.  There are four mini-games.  The first is the crane game, in which you try to get Kirby dolls with a crane.  Small ones are worth a life, with the bigger Kirby being worth two.  Needless to say, the larger one is harder to get and with only two credits, sometimes it's not worth it.  The second mini-game has Kirby standing in a wrestling ring with King Dedede throwing eggs and bombs at him.  You must have Kirby eat the eggs but obviously not the bombs.  A good reflex tester.  The third minigame has been brought into Kirby Super Star as well, the 'Draw' minigame, where nobody moves until prompted and must then push A as fast as possible.  The final is the Arena, a one-on-one match with a mini-boss that usually grants a certain rare ability

The last time I played this game, I was nine years old.  Playing through it with my girlfriend, I can certainly say that time has only made this classic vintage wine better in taste.  If you own a NES there's no reason not to Ebay this.  If you own a Wii, there's no reason not to shell out five bucks for a classic five-star NES game on your Virtual Console.