Review

Kirby: Super Star Ultra

Respectable Platforming with the Pink Puff
by Matt Helgeson on Sep 22, 2009 at 02:00 PM
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release:
Rating: Everyone
Reviewed on: DS

Kirby has had his ups and downs in his video game career, but many of his peaks happen in games that eschew his traditional platforming gameplay – most notably Kirby Canvas Curse, Kirby's Dream Course, and Kirby Tilt n' Tumble. The reason for this should be pretty obvious to anyone who plays Kirby Super Star Ultra. Simply, his floaty, slow controls make him a fairly unexciting platforming character. While his habit of inhaling and copying abilities from enemies lends the gameplay variety, he just can't manage the precise, quick-paced jumping that is the heart of the genre.

Super Star Ultra is a port of a forgotten SNES title that offered (for its day) innovative co-op gameplay. With the DS wireless connection, this feature is still present; you can also spawn an AI-controlled compatriot for solo play. While it makes a great bullet point for a press release, the reality is that this pokey, fairly easy platformer often isn't difficult enough for one player, let alone two. While the Gourmet Race level is much better for duos (especially the versus mode), this feature doesn't impact the gameplay enough to truly elevate the overall experience.

What's left is a game that is clearly a few ­generations behind the times. Like most HAL Laboratory titles, it's well made, but the craftsmanship doesn't equal much excitement, especially when compared to DS titles like New Super Mario Bros. or Kirby's own innovative Canvas Curse. If you're looking for an old-school experience of exploring 2D levels while collecting various trinkets and avoiding enemies you could do worse. It's certainly a fun and solidly made title. However, there are plenty of similar DS games that I would recommend over Super Star Ultra.

7
i
Game Informer's Review System
Concept An enhanced port of a little-remembered SNES platformer, with two-player co-op support
Graphics For fans of the colorful 16-bit days, its revamped graphics are beautiful. Also features new animated cutscenes
Sound Minimal sound effects, forgettable music. Kirby is no Mario in the sound department
Playability Kirby's not the most nimble platformer hero on the block, but the basic gameplay is sound
Entertainment Kirby will be nostalgic fun for some, but its new features don't do enough to make it relevant for today's gaming scene
Replay High