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Kirby: The Crystal Shards Review

The pink blob returns to Virtual Console in his N64 debut

We feel a bit sorry for Kirby. While the likes of Mario and Link are household names, and other Nintendo series such as StarFox and Metroid have legions of dedicated followers, we think it's fair to say that Kirby, as a Nintendo star in his own right, doesn't get the recognition he deserves. So, if you've never played a Kirby game before, you could do a lot worse than this.

While Mario's journey to three dimensions saw his games turn into fully free-roaming efforts, Kirby 64 stays true to the series' roots and is a proper side-scrolling platform game with a 3D facelift. Think New Super Mario Bros. on the DS with Kirby in the starring role.

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In The Crystal Shards, Kirby has to help the fairy Ribbon recover the shards of a Power Crystal which is the source of the fairies magic. There are 100 pieces of crystal to collect as you battle enemies and bosses in six worlds. There are three multi-player games too.

For those unaware of the pink lad's abilities, Kirby can swallow his enemies using his vacuum-like mouth and steal their abilities. This adds a great tactical element to the game, as you decide which is the best ability for the occasion. It also means it's not just another run of the mill 2D platformer.

Yet while the likes of Mario and Donkey Kong moved with the times on N64, Kirby's old school 2D platforming meant that he was left behind a bit.

It's a shame because this is an enjoyable little platformer and proof that Kirby should be much more popular than he is.

Comments

36 comments so far...
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  1. ploiper Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 11:48

    i loved this game on the n64. it was my very first kirby game. i may download it.

  2. DarkAce Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 11:49

    Great, I'm gonna try and get this soon! I need more Kirby!

  3. slangman Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 12:34

    Funny every time a N64 games comes to the VC its a title i never got the chance to play during the N64 days. Might download this since its got "possible fun" written all over it. :wink:

  4. ploiper Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 12:43

    ive now downloaded it. ah the memories. they flood back.

  5. Gordon Ramsey Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 12:59

    I don't even remember this on the N64, well I do remember hearing about it but I thought those memories were of the game being bad, maybe I'm talking about the Gamecube Kirby game. :roll:

  6. Plex Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 14:22

    Kirby is one of the greatest characters ever. He's the most talented fighter in Super Smash Bros. Melee, and Kirby Squeak Squad was great. He, Metaknight and King Dedede are the reasons I might purchase Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Hell, even the cartoon is of an impressive standard. I'd buy this just for Kirby, but it looks to be a pretty awesome platformer. It might not boast the freedom of Super Mario Galaxy, the lush visuals of New Super Mario Bros. nor the innovation of Kirby Canvas Curse, but if I can manage to get my Wii online, this will be my console's first downloaded game, along with Kirby's Adventure and Kirby's Dream Course, obviously.

  7. Ahoang Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 15:31

    I don't think people know kirby very much... the other day at school I was sitting & drawing in history, and my teacher comes up to me and says " oh, Pokemon :) " And I was like, POKEMON?!?!?! Then some random nerds were all like, Yay Jiglypuff! Pokemon!... IT'S KIRBY YOU IDIOTS!!!!:evil:

  8. Asteroid Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 15:40

    I don't think people know kirby very much... the other day at school I was sitting & drawing in history, and my teacher comes up to me and says " oh, Pokemon :) " And I was like, POKEMON?!?!?! Then some random nerds were all like, Yay Jiglypuff! Pokemon!... IT'S KIRBY YOU IDIOTS!!!!:evil:

    I get that, my books are littered with drawings of kirby and everyone thinks that wearing a linkish hat and weilding a sword is pokémon!!!

  9. Dancingcyberman Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 15:44

    I don't think people know kirby very much... the other day at school I was sitting & drawing in history, and my teacher comes up to me and says " oh, Pokemon :) " And I was like, POKEMON?!?!?! Then some random nerds were all like, Yay Jiglypuff! Pokemon!... IT'S KIRBY YOU IDIOTS!!!!:evil:


    I get it too, and its a pain, seeing as my books are covered in Luigi and Kirby. XD
    I love that little puffball. :cry: (happy tear)

  10. wiivil Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 15:47

    i downloaded this straight away last night and its a gem. the graphics are excellent and the level design is original. its very easy though, but Kirby games arent played for their difficulty anyway

  11. r3d st33l4000 Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 15:48

    Need more kirby games going to buy wii points at the weekend.

  12. Cacnea Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 16:18

    It's finally turned up on UK Virtual Console? Aaaargggghhhhh! How could i have missed this wonderful event?

    I'm off to download it now - see ya!

  13. LingXiao Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 16:40

    This is why the virtual console is great!
    I always wanted to play this when it came out and I'd heard good things about it, but never got to buy it because N64 cartridges were SO expensive back in the day.
    A new game could cost up to £60 or something mad like that. So being able to experience it now, a few years on for a so-so price of seven quid isn't that bad - I'll be downloading this sometime soon. :)

  14. shad177 Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 16:59

    i downloaded it and it is pretty fun and the graphics are excelent for an n64 game.

  15. catscan93 Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 18:14

    oooh this'll be good seeing as there's a wii version of this coming in the near future.

  16. Akerjlg Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 18:31

    An absolutely superb game.

    Downloaded it this morning and I've been itching to get ome from work to play it again.

    The directorial approach is top notch.

  17. Poke-J Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 19:01

    Im going to get it becouse kirbs is my fave game character.

  18. Nintendion Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 19:04

    I will eventually get it once I have downloaded 2 other games. Oh I have so much retro gaming to do and so little retro time. especially with the sheer amount of VC games I already have and the Wii games I have but it does look fun so i will get it

  19. nintendo_munki Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 19:04

    we have mario64
    we have kirby 64
    we have a zelda64
    there isnt metroid 64
    what about DK64?
    i reeeeeeally want that game on here. i remember playing it @ a m8s house on 2player. IT WAS AWESOME.

    o yeh, i will definitely download this when i next get wii points...
    KIRBY FTW!!!!!!!!!

  20. Dancingcyberman Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 20:08

    we have mario64
    we have kirby 64
    we have a zelda64
    there isnt metroid 64
    what about DK64?
    i reeeeeeally want that game on here. i remember playing it @ a m8s house on 2player. IT WAS AWESOME.

    o yeh, i will definitely download this when i next get wii points...
    KIRBY FTW!!!!!!!!!


    We've had a couple of Mario games,
    a Zelda,
    a Pokemon,
    a Kirby,
    the next obvious step is DK, nice observation. :D

  21. User31 Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 20:37

    Finally! The game that I could never seem to find in a shop is released on VC! Been waiting for this to appear ever since I got my Wii. Now, all I need is the Stars to Wii points exchange to be in stock...

  22. Warimaniac Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 22:19

    I love Kirby! This may sound like utter nonsense, but I like Kirby games more so than other favorites such as Resident Evil, or Megaman!

  23. Kirbizard Friday 7th Mar 2008 at 23:12

    I downloaded it this morning. <(^_^)^

    It's one of the few Kirby games I've not played, do you think I'd pass up an opportunity like this?! <(O_o)>
    He certainly has a different feeling in this game compared to others.

    The copy abilities are so different to what I was expecting. <(o_O)>
    My favourites so far have to be Electric+Fire and Electric+Ice.
    Mainly due to the novelty value of Kirby setting himself on fire and turning into a fridge. ^(^.^)^

    Ninja and Light Saber abilities come a closely behind. ^(^_-)>

  24. penfolderboulder Saturday 8th Mar 2008 at 12:56

    I need to get this, even though i already have it for N64 (which works). :)
    I also want these games for VC
    banjo kazooie
    banjo tooie
    super smash bros.
    Conkers bad fur day
    and all the zelda games for N64 :)

    My life will be sorted, but untill then. Kirby FTW!!!! :lol:

  25. teabag10 Saturday 8th Mar 2008 at 15:33

    Wow... I own the NOM issue where they preveiwed this game.

  26. Sgtsarge Saturday 8th Mar 2008 at 18:42

    Looks like another great addition to the virual console. This is what the virtual console was meant for, releasing games that never got the attention they deserved when they were released. As soon as i get some wii points, this will be the first game that i download, as it looks like an absolute gem.

  27. Mama Luigi Saturday 8th Mar 2008 at 21:46

    I downloaded this today. I never actually owned this game back in the N64 days but I've played a rom of it before that was of terrible quality (broken health bar and bad layering). I love Kirby games and this is my second favorite after Kirby's Fun Pak. I just wish they had a little more challenge.

  28. hardcoregamerrob Monday 24th Mar 2008 at 15:04

    This is a classic game this is my 23 game i bought of the virtual console. i got like 7 more pieces left of the crystal to get and than i can face the final boss woooooooo

  29. Kirby8 Wednesday 23rd Apr 2008 at 22:36

    As you can seeI love KIRBY!!! He is soo cool and my charcter in SSBM. Will download this soon, but running out of space on the Wii and getting grief from parents!! But I will download it after GCSE's in June.

    It's true. People don't know Kirby. My friends do, but if I ask someone else who isn't that into gaming, they don't really know who he is. And when they do, they say "Ohh the pink blob one that looks like Jigglypuff" NOOOOOO, DAMMIT! JIGGLYPUFF IS GAYYYY!!! Okay, I may be a bit crazy here but....

    Anyway, I never got to play this. Actually I think I missed quite a few good games from N64/GBC to GC/GBA!! I was a bit late on the scene and picked up childish things (since I was a child) like Looney Tunes!!

  30. Game Over Friday 9th May 2008 at 10:44

    I recently downloaded this and it's great fun, if a bit easy, so here's the challenge I've set myself beat every level and miracle matter without using any powers(unfortunately powers are required to get to the real final boss), so far so good, I'm onto shiver star now.

  31. Paper Luigi Sunday 20th Jul 2008 at 12:28

    One of the best Virtual Console games I played, Outstanding graphics for it's time, lovely gameplay. I downloaded it today.

  32. Turtlekirby101 Sunday 7th Dec 2008 at 08:59

    Need more kirby games going to buy wii points at the weekend.

    or maybe wee points at the wiikend, lol

  33. Turtlekirby101 Sunday 7th Dec 2008 at 09:01

    One of the best Virtual Console games I played, Outstanding graphics for it's time, lovely gameplay. I downloaded it today.

    Unless u already owned it originally how can u say that it's 1 of the best if u only got it today :?: :?: :?:

  34. nospaceman Wednesday 18th Mar 2009 at 19:28

    Conkers bad fur day

    :shock: Are you sure about that

  35. Kirby Is God Sunday 12th Jul 2009 at 12:05

    :D Woohoo ! This game rocks socks!!!! :) :( :o

  36. Kirby Is God Saturday 1st Aug 2009 at 14:52

    Kirby Is the coolest game character EVA!!!!!! His Games are just so awesome!!!!!! :D This is just so UNFAIR! In a vote Mario would get 99% and Kirby would Get %0.9999.
    Look, PEOPLE! Mario's games are appauling! Kirby? Well, duh! Yeah ONM, like mario is cooler. How could mario be Italian AND American!? $%&*%$%£$!!!!!! PUFFBALLS RULE MANKIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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