If youre rich and middle-aged, Kirby will be a giant vacuum cleaner you have in the cupboard, capable of collapsing stars with its power of suction. Appropriate really, as Nintendos Kirby is a tenacious pink blob that astonishingly shares this rare sucking skill.
Nightmare in Dreamland is Kirbys 17th outing in the ten years hes been (quite literally) floating about. Released in the US last year, Nightmare in Dreamland makes for an essential piece of well-crafted, well-meaning videogamery.
Arguably Kirby is aimed at two very distinct groups: under 12s and the Nintendo hardcore wholl play any first-party Nintendo game without question.
However, Nightmare in Dreamland transcends this somewhat. It is a cracking videogame of the highest order and worth a look for any GBA owner. Slipping into the crevice between the platform and puzzle genres, Kirby must pass through impressively large worlds in an attempt to nobble the antics of predictable foe King Dedede.
It's all stock and quite frankly uninspiring until the play engine at the core of the game is explained. Kirby can suck up his enemies and eat them. Once eaten, their powers are absorbed, enabling Kirby to perform a staggering array of previously unattainable moves.
In fact, the pink cloud of justice has 25 different power-ups at his disposal, an impressive figure that points to the underlying quality of Nightmare in Dreamland. And its fair to say that the game looks as good as any piece of proprietary software to be found on Nintendos portable. It bristles with colour and detail. Classic 16-Bit parallaxing blends seamlessly with modern videogame detail, resulting in a resplendent, camp and luscious game world that belies the target age group we mentioned a paragraph or two ago.
Indeed, the development team behind Kirbys Nightmare in Dreamland did something quite unique by todays standards. Briefed to make an accessible platformer for kids, they ignored this instruction, and delivered a quality title with a true gaming pedigree. If youre done with Super Mario World and Yoshis Island, be sure you dont overlook one of Nintendos brightest, pinkest stars.