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What's it about?
He's been called the super-tuff pink puff. Kirby, one of Nintendo's star characters who also has an animated cartoon TV show in reruns, is back with KIRBY SUPER STAR ULTRA. It's a charming handheld redoing of an oldie but goodie Super NES game which featured \"eight games in one.\" The DS version of this platformer is even more robust, and the versatile Kirby, who sucks in his enemies and then steals their abilities, stars in a passel of games in which he's the hero who saves the world. For instance in Spring Breeze, he tries to regain food stolen by gluttonous King Dedede. In Dyna Blade, he fights against a giant bird who's eating all the food on a farm. In Revenge of Meta Knight, Kirby has to destroy the Halberd, a powerful ship heading straight for Dream Land, ready to take it over.
Ultra, which is split into short platform games and minigames, begins with a fast, handy tutorial for the platformers which tells you to use the A button to jump and hover and the B button to suck up your enemy. Then, you can press X to use your foe's abilities during the game. Unfortunately the minigames, which include a shooting gallery and a card matching game, are the only ones to use the DS touchscreen.
Is it any good?
You may well be disappointed with the very easy first game, Spring Breeze, because its four stages can be completed in just a half hour or less. But the other platform games, three of which are unlocked after you complete Spring Breeze, are more challenging. The Great Cave Offensive asks you to find 60 treasure chests in maze-like series of caves that can be fairly unforgiving.
Ultra is enhanced by its wireless DS cooperative and multiplayer ability. With one card, you can challenge up to three other pals to play the minigames. And you can play Spring Breeze with two players via wireless, too. Players don't require an extra game card to play these. Sadly, each player requires a game card for local wireless play. Still, with nicely updated game graphics, even more detailed cut scenes and a great variety of Kirby games, Ultra is well worth the price of admission -- if you haven't played the 1996 original and if you can deal with the fact that most of these games are pretty darn short.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about where Kirby stands in popularity in the Nintendo universe. Is he as cool as Mario? Also, if you could incorporate other people's abilities, what would you choose? Would you choose a sports star, a politician, a celebrity, or someone right in your own family? Why?
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