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Happy 25th Anniversary, Kirby!

Nintendo and HAL Laboratory’s round, pink and cute creation, Kirby, will be hitting his 25th birthday this year. In celebration, I’ve decided to talk about some of my favorite Kirby games from the past (and maybe some Kirby games I didn’t like that much).

Kirby Air Ride:

This was probably one of the first Kirby games I’ve ever played. My cousins and I used to compete in the multiple racing game types Kirby Air Ride had to offer. In Air Ride, players compete with each other to race around a track to, well, win first. But, the kicker is that players can copy abilities from the different enemies around the map, similar to other Kirby games. This gives players the ability to take each other down and stop them dead in their tracks as the race goes on.

Two of my favorite courses from Air Ride were Beanstalk Park and Checker Knights (Magma Flow actually terrified me as a kid due to the flying lava dragon you would see on the course), while my favorite Stars (for riding) were the Wagon Star and the Winged Star.

Other modes include Top Ride, City Trial and several different Stadium mini-games (Destruction Derby, Air Glider, Kirby Melee, etc.). Overall, players were given a lot of different game modes, Stars, places and even different characters to choose from. This is a great throwback GameCube game, as it was released back in 2003.

Kirby & The Amazing Mirror

This game was actually one of the first 2D sidescrolling platformers I played and fully completed. What’s interesting about this game is the challenge of attempting to earn the collectibles laid out in some of the levels in the game. Kirby and the Amazing Mirror is heavily puzzle based, and sometimes you would need to have a certain copy ability to trigger an action that will lead you closer to these collectibles. From my experience, a copy ability needed to gain access to a collectible may not even be found in the level!

My favorite collectible were the spray paints, which would give Kirby a new color other than his natural pink form. Also, if you need help in battle, you can use a cellphone to call computer controlled Kirby’s, colored red, yellow and green. And, once you complete most of the game (I think), you will be able to unlock a room full of copy abilities, allowing you to test out each one. This game was released for the Game Boy Advanced back in 2004.

Kirby: Squeak Squad

Kirby: Squeak Squad is similar to Kirby & The Amazing Mirror in terms of being a 2D sidescrolling platformer with puzzles, but due to the Nintendo DS dual screen (this game came out in 2006, two years after the Nintendo DS launched), players could be able to see what’s inside Kirby’s stomach.

That sounds a bit, odd, but when you were to inhale items or copy abilities found in bubbles, they end up in your stomach where you can mix them together to get other copy abilities! This sounds kind of gross, but also introduces copy abilities not found in previous Kirby games like Animal or Magic.

Kirby: Planet Robobot

Now, onto the last Kirby game I will be mentioning. I’m not interested in the multiplayer games in the Kirby franchise, so I was excited when another Kirby sidescrolling platformer was released.

Two main differences from all the Kirby games is that you can control a giant mecha to complete certain puzzles or just tear through an area and that in certain areas, you can teleport to the back of the level. Otherwise, it is still similar to older Kirby games, and features new copy abilities along with more collectibles to find across every level.

The only problem I have with Kirby: Planet Robobot is that it has taken me much longer to feel “immersed” in the game, but that may be because I’m so used to the 2D aspect of older Kirby games.

Those are some of my favorite Kirby games throughout the years. In the future, we can expect two new Kirby games (one coming to the Nintendo 3DS and the other coming to the Nintendo Switch), so look out for those later this year and next year!

Featured image via Flickr/BagoGames.

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