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(Note: this was written in 2011, before other Kirby games were made that copied some of this game's best features)
Kirby games have a simple formula: Kirby can suck up his enemies or spit them out as projectiles, or he can swallow them to gain special powers in many cases (i.e. eat an enemy with a sword, Kirby now has a sword). He can also fly, infinitely in most of the games. There have been changes to the formula from game to game, but it's pretty much consistent.
Kirby Super Star refines the formula to a perfection that, in my strongly held opinion, has never been reached since.
Some of the tweaks are subtle, such as giving Kirby a life meter that loses different amounts depending on the strength of what damaged him, rather than a simple 6-unit bar that decreases by one no matter what.
But the other tweaks are so ingenious that it really makes me wonder why there hasn't been another Kirby game like this one.
The biggest change is the abilities. In most Kirby games, each special ability has only one attack. For example, fire power might make Kirby shoot a fireball, and do nothing else. Sword power might make him swing his sword, and that's it.
Here, however, each ability has many uses, with a lot more depth. Take fire power for instance. Kirby can breathe fire, aim the fire up or down, suck it backwards into himself to set himself on fire, jump and turn into a fireball in midair, or charge forwards suddenly in a burst of flame, all based on different mixes of the attack button, jump button, and/or movement. Most of the abilities have at least 8 moves that can be performed with them. It's a shame that almost no other Kirby games work this way, as the sheer versatility of the abilities is a lot of fun.
The Drop-In-Drop-Out Multiplayer is a great addition, and has made its way into other games. A second player can become a "helper", swap abilities with other characters, and quit at any time. It can also be AI-controlled (a feature that does not exist in other Kirby games).
Finally, the way the game is divided. Instead of one long quest, you get multiple quests ranging from bite-sized to fairly long. All of them have the same play mechanics, but different "rules". You can just jump into one quest or another for a slightly different experience.
Kirby Super Star is the perfect refinement of the Kirby franchise, and it's a shame to see almost nothing out there like it.
It's funny, this (and by this I mean Super Star Ultra) is only the second Kirby game I've ever played (the first being 64), and I only got it a few weeks ago, and I'm pretty much completely hooked.
My one major gripe besides the difficulty in the Boss Rush Arena and Helper to Hero games is the Helper AI is extremely fickle, often doing the opposite of what the situation calls for - primarily but undeniably in the case of bosses.
If you want challenge, go beat Metaknight without a power.
You want a challenge? Beat the True Arena with a power other than Rock, Plasma, Hammer, or Wrestler.
This game is awesome.
Wrestler? I never saw how that was useful in boss fights. Is it useful for grabbing the stars that bosses sometimes shoot out, then using them to do more damage?
Can't wrestlers do a downwards kick against bosses? And yes, they grab stars and use them to hit the boss.
Try mastering throw attacks with ninja/fighter/Yoyo etc. Those moves tend to do a lot of damage against bosses.
Suplex Kirby and Buggzy's wrestling moves are pretty much the single most damaging attacks you can perform against bosses - they're just hard to pull off because you don't get a lot of opportunities to use them and if you do the wrong one you can just hurt yourself. It's Difficult But Awesome - you take care of several bosses very easily, but you struggle more against others (which is why I still haven't beaten Helper to Hero with Buggzy; I can't handle Wham Bam Rock/Jewel at all)
Failing that, spamming Pinpoint Kick isn't such a bad idea.
The throws in general are overpowered; but 'cuz they're so hard to pull off without hurting yourself, I like to think they're balanced. For example, I swear by Jet for the True Arena - try it! When Kracko's revenge drops a Waddle Doo, if you do the full-charge throw with it, that'll take off almost half of Kracko's health! Awesome.
Parasol too is great with throws, because you can do damage while you're twirling, then do the throw damage.
Super Star is great.
You are, of course, aware that every 3D (okay, 2.5D, whatever) Kirby game has abilities with more moves than any super star ability, right? (Especially fighter. Hoo boy. Fighter Kirby could pretty much just have it\'s own seperate game)
(Random gripe that\'s semi related: wishing helpers existing outside of super star is a terrible thing because now they do and they make the game too damn easy.)
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