Kirby Super Star Ultra Hyper Mega EX Special Championship Edition Turbo DX Plus

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. The full name of the new Kirby DS game is just Kirby Super Star Ultra only. It’s a port of the Super Nintendo classic Kirby Super Star, and one of the best Kirby games ever made. Does it still hold up well on the DS more than ten years later? Read on and find out:


Kirby Super Star is typical, 2-D Kirby platform jumping action. Our pink puff still sucks in bad guys and absorbs their powers and abilities. In Super Star, once you’ve swallowed an enemy and gained its power, you can create a Helper character. Now the enemy is your friend and will follow and fight alongside you. Another player can even control the helper, making Super Star one of the best co-op games for young gamers. Kirby Super Star Ultra isn’t one big adventure, but instead, you play a bunch of small, bite sized quests. Plus there are a few touch screen simple mini-games and other unlockable goodies as well. The DS version adds a few extra games and graphical enhancements, too.

There are a few minor quibbles here and there, though. The jump and attack buttons are reversed, and there’s no way to change the controls in the option screen. But it only takes about two seconds to get used to, so this isn’t much of a problem. As with all Kirby games, Super Star is a bit on the short and easy side. But even hardcore gamers will find challenge in finding all the hidden secrets.

Really the biggest problem is a DS hardware limitation. On the Super Nintendo, it was easy for a second player to join in on the adventure as a helper. But on the DS, in order to play co-op, both players need a DS and a copy of the game. You can play the first mini-quest two players with only one cart, but the second player has to look at the other DS screen, since theirs will be blank. And you know how hard that can be.

But even though I’d rather see the original SNES Kirby Super Star on the Wii Virtual Console, the DS remake is still a must-have game for families with young gamers or the young at heart.

Kid Factor:
Kirby Super Star Ultra is rated E for everyone with a ESRB Descriptor of Mild Cartoon Violence. Really, the violence is very minimal. Defeated enemies are either swallowed by Kirby or disappear into sparkly stars. But most of the time they end up becoming Kirby’s helper friends. Reading skill is helpful, but not required, as most of the instructions in-game come with picture cues. The light and breezy difficulty makes it easy for younger gamers to play through with little to no frustration, but older players can find challenge in finding all the hidden secrets. If you’re a two DS family and can afford more than one copy of the game, your kids will find it one of the most fun games they can play together. I highly recommend it.

Funny story: When my little brother Jeff was very young, we LOVED to play the SNES Kirby Super Star game together. Since he’s a full 16 years younger than I am, it was great that we had a game that we could play together and both have fun with, even at his early age. To this day, we’ll still break out the ol’ SNES and play it again for kicks. Now that Jeff is a teenager, he prefers to play more mature games. But when I brought Kirby Super Star Ultra home, he got all excited and played the DS version non-stop. There’s no sight funnier than a 6-foot tall, teenage Call of Duty junkie getting all giddy over one of his favorite childhood games!

To promote discussion on my game reviews, I’m going to prompt a little friendly debate. When parents ask what video games are best for young kids to start out on, many recommend Mario titles. But I disagree with that. While Mario games are great fun and some of the best platforming ever, the later levels’ tricky jumps and tougher baddies can be difficult and frustrating. But Kirby games have always been designed to be fun for young and old, so whenever parents ask me what games to get their young ones, I always say Kirby first! Plus I like most Kirby games better than many Mario titles anyway. So what do YOU think is better for kids? Mario or Kirby? Talk amongst yourselves in the comments section.

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