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  • 8.8: IGN gave this game a 6/10. Fans were NOT amused, claiming IGN is "biased against Nintendo" and "unreliable". The fact that the reviewer went on to say that no one over the age of twelve should get this game only made fans even more angry. Weirdly, just a month before, the same writer posted a preview that made similar comments about how it's a kiddy game but said that that isn't and shouldn't be a problem for people.
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  • Anticlimax Boss: Queen Sectonia's final form fought with Hypernova, which only has two laughably easy-to-dodge attacks. Justified as it's played as a resolution, not a climax (as Kirby has beaten her the normal way before this).
  • Awesome Music: As usual.
    • All of Queen Sectonia's themes.
    • The final level in Royal Road, where Kirby is rescuing the People of the Sky. It sounds like something right out of The Legend of Zelda and Kingdom Hearts, and it works. It also just happens to be Queen Sectonia's Leitmotif.
    • The final secret level's theme, a remix of the Fountain of Dreams. The theme was first heard in Super Smash Bros..
    • There is a remix of the Ripple Star enemy rush theme from 64. Fittingly, it is used for this game's mini-boss rush.
    • The music of the volcano levels includes dubstep. It works surprisingly well in conveying the theme of a hostile and dangerous volcanic landscape.
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    • Almost the entire soundtrack, really. Not only are there well done remixes of music from the other Kirby games (such as the EX Stage Mini-boss music being the boss music from Kirby Super Star, Kirby Fighters using Coo and Rick's themes from Dream Land 2 in a stage, and Dark Meta Knight getting his theme from Amazing Mirror when he Turns Red), but much of the original music is just as great, getting more catchy as you progress further into the game. It helps that Triple Deluxe's soundtrack seems to have a bit more variety of music than Return to Dream Land did, which is saying something.
      • On that note, the game features a good portion of Return to Dream Land 's soundtrack reused for the EX stages, most notably its remixes of Kine's theme, Grape Garden, the Super Star boss theme, and King Dedede's theme. It even features an all new remix of Return 's first stage, Cookie Country.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
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    • The Big Bad of the game, Queen Sectonia. Some think she's an interesting villain and a departure from the usual Dark Is Evil Kirby villain, not to mention that she's a Dark Action Girl, but some don't like her because she doesn't show up until the very end of the game and comes off as less developed than most villains (nearly all of her backstory is only told through boss descriptions). Additionally, while nearly everyone considers her first fight to be the among the best in the game, the actual Final Boss portion (where she fuses with the Dreamstalk) is another story; for some, it's a unique, beautiful fight that works as a good contrast to Magolor's fight in the previous game, but for others, it feels unexciting because you only fight Sectonia's flower-eyes without ever landing a hit on her, with less dramatic attacks and a more annoying platform layout.
    • The True Final Boss of the True Arena, Soul of Sectonia after ripping herself from the Dreamstalk, is either a cool throwback to the soul forms of Drawcia, Marx, and Magolor, or a disappointing finale whose lack of original attacks make for a forgettable experience.
  • Best Boss Ever: The bosses are all very dynamic and elaborate even by Kirby standards. Unfortunately, this comes to the detriment of Pyribbit, whose dynamic traits amount to him staying in the background all the time.
  • Critical Dissonance: Among fans, this is one of the better platformers for 3DS (the previous three were highly controversial). Among critics, It's Easy, So It Sucks!.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Queen Sectonia may have shown herself as a despicable monster, but that doesn't change the fact that she has gotten this treatment. It helps that she's genuinely a Tragic Monster according to the backstory.
  • Ending Fatigue: Royal Road is considered by many to be a weak final world for this reason. While Dangerous Dinner from the previous game was a deliberately shorter world leading up to the finale, and Access Ark from the next game keeps introducing new foes, puzzles, and environments, Royal Road is just long. Three of its stages are some of the most expansive in the game (and two of them contain substantial Hypernova segments), while the other two consist of reused bosses, and there's two long bonus levels as well. There's not quite enough variance in environments to counteract the length, but the levels are still enjoyable and the final boss sequence is considerably shorter than Return to Dream Land's.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Paintra, who has quite a bit of fan art due to her cool and unique design.
    • Taranza is also popular, mostly from him having a cool design, being a Tragic Monster that lead to Queen Sectonia causing everything purely from just trying to give her a gift, as well as pulling a Heel–Face Turn to help out Kirby.
  • Even Better Sequel: To Kirby's Return to Dream Land, for many. Although it ditches four-player co-op, it makes up for it by adding in a better Limit Break in the form of Hypernova, which, unlike the Super Abilities of that game, actually requires more skill to solve puzzles with it, instead of the "Press 1 for One-Hit Kill" that those were. It brings back fan-favorite Wheel and adds some pretty creative Copy Abilities, too, like Bell. The bosses were also vastly improved, being much more detailed. Also, Kirby Fighters.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Hammer, as usual, for its high damage output (especially with Hammer Flip) and generous invincibility frames.
    • The Beetle ability. It makes all other weapon-based abilities like Sword and Spear redundant as all of its attacks (even its rapid-fire combo attack) do a massive amount of damage coupled with generous invincibility frames. It can even smash in pegs like Stone and Hammer, cut ropes like Sword and Cutter, its flight damages enemies, and it can use powerful grappling moves like Suplex from earlier games, making it overshadow other abilities even more.
    • The Stone ability, just like the previous games. Considering it has both massive offensive and defensive capabilities, to the point where you can transform right in front of an enemy, hit them multiple times for huge damage as you're changing, and be fully invincible after you finish your transformation. The best part is the fact that you stay invincible until you choose to return to your normal form. This means you can attack bosses and wait for them to move away from you with absolutely no fear of taking recoil damage and eventually take away all of their health. Even the Final Boss, The Arena, and especially The True Arena can be beaten easily using this power.
    • Anything with a guard that makes you No-Sell all damage, such as Leaf and Bell.
    • Special mention goes to Archer, which makes a lot of boss battles a walk in the park. Its arrows, when charged to the maximum, rival the Hammer in terms of power, have excellent range, and if that weren't enough, the ability includes an evasive maneuver that makes Kirby immune to damage akin to Leaf's guard (by crouching). Its only disadvantage is that it makes for a poor close-range ability, but its potential to let you snipe enemies from a safe distance clearly outweighs its cons. Kirby Fighters noticeably tones it down, however, with the arrows taking far longer to charge and there being a slight delay on going into the invincibility camouflage.
    • Although the Hi-Jump ability itself is gone, it got incorporated into the Circus Ability as a trampoline bounce. You have a temporary window of invincibility while you use it and if you use the button combinations correctly, you can slice through bosses, especially those from the True Arena.
    • Beetle ability has been added to Kirby Fighters Deluxe (though you have to have played Kirby Triple Deluxe to unlock it). Like Archer, it's been toned down in Kirby Fighters so many of the moves have a slight delay. It's still extremely powerful though.
  • Goddamned Boss: Pyribbit isn't a terribly hard boss, but compared to the bosses that came before and bosses to come, he spends the most time sitting in the background, invincible, only coming onto land for one or two attacks before jumping back, and he'll do this even more often once he Turns Red. The DX version is even worse, with new attacks that all take place in the background, spending even less time in the foreground, and the existing attacks coming up much faster and leaving the ground on fire to keep you from setting up attacks.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • A few years back, the Newgrounds flash animation Smash Kingdom Melee had Dedede threaten to cut Ness and Lucas with his hammer, despite it seemingly being impossible. Skip a few years later and Dedede can now actually cut things with his hammer in Dedede Tour, albeit by firing a beam from it.
    King Dedede: "So remember kids, you better give this movie a 5, or else I will come over to your house and cut you. I will cut you with my hammer. And hammers don't usually cut, so try to imagine how much a long, painful process this will be. And it is wood too, so be expecting some splinters in that crevice wound. That would not be too fun now, would it?"
    • Another one involving Dededetour!. In the second episode of Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, after Blocky sinks into the ocean, King Dedede cries. He was just being a Manchild in the original Japanese version, but the dub portrays this in a slightly more sympathetic light, with Dedede mournfully saying he'll miss Blocky and Escargoon saying that Dedede shouldn't take his monsters for granted. This all becomes amazingly ironic since Dedede can now fight Blocky DX himself, and shows no visible signs of similar sorrow.
    • An episode of Kirby: Right Back at Ya! shows Waddle Dees able to stack themselves on top of each other, which they can also do in this game.
    • The first stage in Old Odyssey has you using the Hypernova ability to suck up giant turnips and spit them back at giant birds called Gigant Chicks. Then came Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, where battles with a giant bird named Wingo involved throwing giant turnips at it.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient:
    • The things Hypernova Kirby inhales only get bigger and crazier, all accumulating to Kirby sucking up Sectonia's giant laser, the platforms in front of him, the gigantic flower petals on Sectonia, and her health bar, all at the same time.
    • The Wham Shot upon defeating Sectonia DX: The Dimension Mirror, quickly followed by it spitting out Shadow Dedede. Soon after that, the return of Dark Meta Knight after ten years.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!: Granted, Kirby games are supposed to be easier than some other Nintendo franchises, but the game still has been met with this criticism by some.
  • It Was His Sled: Someone named Queen Sectonia exists and Taranza has a very good reason to be The Woobie.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Queen Sectonia sees right through the People of the Sky sending a seed belonging to the Dreamstalk to bring the hero of Dreamland to their rescue and sends Taranza to kidnap said hero, whom he believes to be Dedede, in order to prevent him from interfering with her gambit to become the ruling goddess of Popstar. Of course, she didn't count on the fact that Taranza ended up kidnapping the wrong character, and even then, had it not been for Dedede, especially when teaming up with Taranza in the end as well, she would've been the one who won anyway.
  • Moe:
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Blasting Taranza out of the tower as punishment for his failure to do away with Kirby and responding to his Et Tu, Brute? line saying that she has no use for a "fool who cannot follow orders" really saw Queen Sectonia as crossing the line. It's even lampshaded by the pause-screen description for Soul of Sectonia, which states that "a voice once called out to her but it has since fallen silent".
    • While a generic villain in his first appearance, Dark Meta Knight sets himself apart in the backstory by being the one who corrupted Sectonia, leading to her own Horizon crossing.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Despite otherwise being an awesome track, the Hypernova music can be this from time to time, due to it replacing the background music for the rest of the level, even during mini-bosses. Since Hypernova levels tend to give the ability around the halfway point, it starts getting repetitive pretty fast, and can potentially ruin the mood of certain levels(namely 4-3).
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • Carried over from Super Smash Bros., Kirby's "Hiiiiiii!"
    • The 1-up sound.
    • Also the sound that plays when you get a Sun Stone — it's a remix of the first 10 notes of the Green Greens theme.
  • Narm: The Death Glare Kirby gives Queen Sectonia at the end of the game is probably supposed to be dramatic... but it's a bit ruined by Kirby's pudgy, full-mouthed appearance at the time.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Per Kirby tradition, the final boss. See Eldritch Abomination on the main page.
    • Paintra's inhuman giggling can be rather unsettling as well.
    • A mild one, but: The look of sheer horror on an enormous eel's face upon getting caught in a Hypernova gust, the frantic struggle that plainly says, "Oh God I'm gonna die no no help stop no STOP I DON'T WANNA GO INTO THE BOTTOMLESS PIT MOMMY HELP," then watching Kirby rapidly slurp up yard after yard of it, imagining the poor thing screaming hysterically in its mind as it goes down, all ending in a simple poof as he swallows like it were only a noodle before happily tromping along again... While it's obviously supposed to be played for laughs, there's something quite disturbing in that... Hypernova Kirby is quite possibly the scariest thing in the entire series.
    • The monster piano from Super Mario 64 returns with a vengeance in stage 4-3. The rather detailed gums and tongue don't help matters.
    • Soul of Sectonia's scream when Kirby defeats her in the True Arena. It sounds like she's in utter agony, and her frantic twitching doesn't help either.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • This isn't the first Kirby game to have background enemies, that first happened in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. This is, however, the first time that Kirby has moved in a 3 dimensional environment outside of a racing game (even if only because of the Warp Stars).
    • This also isn't the first game where there's an archery-based Copy Ability.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: "Kirby Fighters". Who can resist using an ability to fight other Kirbys with their own abilities? HAL even developed it as a standalone eShop version: Kirby Fighters Deluxe.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Dedede's Drum Dash is sometimes seen as one to HarmoKnight. Likewise, Kirby Fighters to Super Smash Bros.. However, HAL does have a part in making those games as well.
  • Surprise Difficulty:
    • Dededetour!, this game's Extra, is this. Enemies seem to be more plentiful, quite a few of them are bigger and stronger than normal, and the bosses have been buffed with new, stronger attacks. Taking this mode easy will destroy you, especially the last few bosses.
    • Dedede's Drum Dash can also be pretty difficult, especially since 100% completion requires Gold Medals on the regular three levels and the completion of a Brutal Bonus Level.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Some Copy Abilities in Kirby Fighters are just bad. Notoriously, Ninja and Archer, both of which are Game Breakers in the game proper, were nerfed to the ground in Fighters. They take roughly as much effort to master as Fighter, which having only a measly fraction of the possible DPS.
  • That One Boss:
    • Dark Meta Knight. After he Turns Red, he clones himself into Mirror shards and does a three-headed Monty shuffle. If you attack the wrong Meta Knight, it splits into even more Mirror shards that home in to you. He can randomly block any of your attacks, dealing no damage to him. And, if you look closely when he does his spin animation, you can see traces of blood! This guy takes everything you didn't like about the Meta/Galacta Knight fight and turns it up to eleven. Oh, and you still have the True Final Boss if you're playing True Arena!
    • DDD 64 in Kirby Fighters Deluxe. Prepare for long and hard invincibility frame abuse, because you need to knock down 61 Mini DDDs before you get to the real fight, and they can all deal a tenth of Kirby's maximum health in damage in one hit. This problem is amplified in the fact that every time you kill one, another one spawns, and if you wind up in the wrong spot at the wrong time, you may end up sharing a spot with a Mini DDD's hitbox. Unlike earlier difficulties, there are no healing items, so if you're bad at handling your Copy Ability, you'll be in for a long haul at the homestretch. The fight itself can be rather punishing, since there's no downtime between, and being pestered by three Dededes at once can be difficult if you can't rid yourself of the Combo Dededes. Therein lies another problem, since killing the Combo Dededes first makes King Dedede turn red, grows big (think the ratio between you and him in Nightmare in Dreamland and Squeak Squad) and gain his amplified "Masked Dedede" moveset from the main game, and his Star Rod-powered Hammer will make your life difficult via boosted damage. In addition, this is Kirby Fighters, which means every Copy Ability is nerfed, and Kirby loses indefinite flight. The only leeway the game gives is that if you lose, every successive continue will decrease the number of Mini DDDs you need to fight.
  • That One Attack:
    • Coily Rattler has an attack where he waits at the top of the screen for a few seconds and then lunges for you if you stay in the same place too long. If he grabs you, he drags you through the background for loads of damage and then spits you at the wall for even more damage. He will repeat this attack several times until he hits you, stopping at about five or so.
    • Pyribbit, once he Turns Red, immediately jumps to the background and summons three waves of giant lava pillars, much like the battle against Magman in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. However, with these, they are very difficult to dodge — one variant has a tiny gap about Kirby's width, the second has a gap to the left and right sides, and the last one has no gaps but can be avoided by flying over. If one hits you, then it'll drag you off the screen and drop you off, which will cause you to drop your ability. Pyribbit DX amps up the annoyance on these attacks. The first two waves sink down and disappear, while the last one has a gap in the wave but constantly moves back and forth.
    • The vines attack that Sectonia (both normal and Soul) deploys. It aims at you for a few seconds, and then comes at you at a blink of an eye. Expect to get hurt a lot from this.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Collecting all of the Sun Stones, especially in later levels.
    • Defeating Dedede's Drum Dash, especially the hidden fourth level activated by getting gold medals on the first three levels.
    • Finding all of the keychains.
    • Beating The True Arena.
  • Uncanny Valley: Kirby Fighters Deluxe features Dyna Blade's Nest as a stage, with Dyna Blade herself as an obstacle. But it's just her Super Star Ultra sprite and not a 3D model. It looks... awkward.
  • Unexpected Character: Dark Meta Knight, the Dragon from Amazing Mirror, is the final boss of the extra mode and, if Word of God is anything to go by, possibly the true villain of the game.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Like some previous Nintendo villains, Taranza is often mistaken for female at first glance.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The game looks very, very nice, with crisp models and a wonderful art style. And it's enhanced even further with the 3D feature.
  • The Woobie: Taranza, for having Undying Loyalty for Queen Sectonia and being "rewarded" with a blast to the face. Word of God further reveals that the entire game happened simply because he gave Sectonia a gift that he couldn't know was possessed by Dark Meta Knight.
    Taranza: Wh-Why...?
  • Woobie Species: The People Of The Sky, who were enslaved by Queen Sectonia for a long time and likely woud've never been saved had Kirby not been lead to them.
  • Woolseyism: Sectonia Soul was translated as Soul of Sectonia, unlike the literal translations of Drawcia Soul, Marx Soul, and Magolor Soul.
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