Kirby is one of the stalwarts that has been a part of the Nintendo family for almost 25 years. In 2010, we saw the release of Kirby’s Adventure Wii, and it was fairly well received. I get a chance to review the Virtual Console version of the game for the Wii U and test the Wii Virtual Console in the process.
Kirby is a strange, pink blob creature that eats other creatures to absorb their powers. He (it?) is incredibly cute for a nondescript, round, pink blob, but his powers make him sound insanely evil. He and his friends witness a ship fly from some sort of portal and crash to earth, and they go investigate. It turns out that the ship was damaged in the crash, and if Kirby and his friends can recover the parts of the ship, then the ship’s owner, Magalor, will take them on a journey to his homeworld. And off they romp on a 2.5D adventure.
On the Wii U, obviously you can’t use the GamePad as a controller, but you CAN use it as your screen, like you would with any Wii game on the Wii U. The game itself is incredibly fun, and I think looks better as played through the Wii U than through the Wii–the HDMI interface provides far less interference on the screen than the RCA cables on the original Wii. The Wii U’s Virtual Console Wii mode plays much the same as if you’d popped a Wii disc into the drive, except that the Wii U (thankfully) boots straight into the game without booting to the Wii menu. There actually doesn’t seem to be a way to get to the Wii menu from the game, either, which is probably a good thing. I didn’t see a way to access the game’s manual virtually, interestingly enough, and it’s kind of a difficult thing to search Google for. If anyone knows of how to do this, let me know.
Kirby’s Adventure Wii is a far more traditional Kirby game than the other Wii Kirby game, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and has more of the charm of the older games than some newer gimmick. I liked the return to the traditional roots of the game, because that’s the precise reason I spent so many hours in front of my NES and Gameboy playing endless hours of Kirby.
For those of you who never played the game on the Wii, now’s a perfect time if you own a Wii U. The lower eShop price means that you’re getting a decent amount of game for the price, too. Furthermore, the game is local co-op up to four players, so you and some pals (or as seems to be happening a lot more these days, you and your kids) can play to clear the adventure together. The other players have a choice of Meta-Knight, Waddle Dee, or King Dedede, but obviously—unlike Kirby—they’re locked to their abilities. It’s certainly a lot more fun than the lonely experience of playing by yourself.
There are two things to be said in conclusion here: firstly, if you either never owned a Wii, or never owned Kirby’s Adventure Wii, it’s a grand time to play it. It’s better than Kirby’s Epic Yarn, and the co-op makes the game brilliant fun for evenings when you have the gang over. Secondly, the Wii U’s virtual console Wii mode works splendidly, and since we’re seeing dwindling numbers of Wii games on the shelves these days, this is a wonderful way to experience them, and even more reason to own a Wii U.
Note that we have not scored this game because it’s a re-release of an older game for the Wii U’s virtual console.
Developer: HAL Laboratories
Platform: Wii U Virtual Console
RRP: R260 (Nintendo eShop)
Age Rating: 7+