Monday, March 14, 2016

Kirby Super Star Saga Ultra on Nintendo DS - Retrospective Review

Kirby might suck, but this game does not.

Kirby Super Star Saga Ultra for the Nintendo DS is Nintendo’s attempt to bring the SNES platforming classic to the dual screen handheld.  Super Star Saga Ultra comes packed with more game options including Revenge of King Dedede, Meta Knightmare Ultra, Helper to Hero, True Arena,  and three new mini games that use the touch screen functionality.  

Super Star Saga Ultra retains the classic Kirby gameplay style for the Spring Breeze and Dynablade levels.  Platform your way through levels as the famous pink puffball, suck up enemies for power ups, eat sweet treats to replenish health, and defeat several bosses.  Explore and find 60 treasures in The Great Cave Offensive, a very enjoyable and challenging treasure tracking puzzler.  Improve your speed run platforming skills by racing King Dedede in Gourmet Race by being the first to cross the finish line and collect the most items along the way.  Want a more challenging level?  Take on Meta Knight in a much more difficult level filled with timed stages called Revenge of the Meta Knight.  Milky Way Wishes is another challenging maze of levels where you must find all of the special power ups.  The Arena, set at maximum difficulty, is a gauntlet in which Kirby must fight through 19 consecutive boss battles with a limited amount of power ups and health restores.  

Super Star Saga Ultra also comes with Revenge of the King which is a harder version of Spring Breeze, Meta Knightmare Ultra which allows you to play through many of the levels as Meta Knight, Helper to Hero which puts the player in the role of helper character, and The True Arena which is a much more difficult version of The Arena with 10 more difficult bosses and few power ups.  

As if all of that weren’t enough, Kirby Super Star Saga Ultra also comes packed with sub games.  Megaton Punch, Samurai Kirby, Kirby Card Swipe, Kirby on the Draw, and Snack Tracks are all a variety of single button reaction games that put your button pressing and screen tapping skills to the test.  If Nintendo ever needed to fill in their mobile lineup with classic games, this is one title they should start with.

The Good
A large variety of levels, difficulty, and play styles offer the player many options to pick from

All of the classic Kirby goodness is here.

If you enjoy Super Star Saga on the SNES then you will love Ultra as well.

Enjoyable platforming, plenty of fun power ups, and a variety of bosses keep things interesting.

Many of the sub games have single cartridge multiplayer.

Enemies respawn quickly which keeps backtracking a challenge.

The Bad
Spring Breeze and Dyna Blade are very easy and give a poor first impression.

Sub games are very simplistic which may cause many to say they are unnecessary fluff.

The levels that are difficult, are VERY difficult.

Final Thoughts
For being a repackaging of a Super Nintendo game, Kirby Super Star Saga Ultra is a very entertaining and challenging title for any fan of the franchise, or platforming itself.  Although its levels begin insultingly simple, prepare for the difficulty level to climb steeply as you progress through the game.  The variety that Super Star Saga Ultra offers provides a lot of replayability, and the simple fun of Kirby absorbing different super powers will always keep players coming back for more.  If you want a fun, action packed platformer with a ton of variety, then Kirby Super Star Saga Ultra is the game for you.
Mark Ball is the editor for Nintendo Love Affair.  He also spends his days teaching and adventuring while refusing to lose his childlike sense of wonder.

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