A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition is a compilation of six older Kirby games that include mild cartoon violence. Kirby is a pink blob who swallows fantastical enemies to absorb their abilities, so much of the combat is pretty tame. However, he occasionally wields semi-realistic weapons -- including a sword -- and one battle against a giant eye includes reddish damage that could be interpreted as blood. It's worth noting, too, that kids may grow frustrated by the restrictive, antiquated controls, which don't feel as comfortable or forgiving as those found in modern platformer games.
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What's it about?
KIRBY'S DREAM COLLECTION: SPECIAL EDITION is a compilation of six early Kirby games spanning from Game Boy to Nintendo 64, including Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby's Adventure, Kirby's Dream Land 2, Kirby Super Star, Kirby's Dream Land 3, and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. It also had a handful of new challenge stages designed in the same style as those in Kirby's most recent adventure, Kirby's Return to Dream Land. The package contains an audio CD containing dozens of Kirby game music tracks from the past and present as well as a booklet detailing the history of the franchise.
For those unfamiliar with Nintendo's pink puffball, he's the protagonist of over a dozen platformer games. His key ability is swallowing enemies to usurp their powers. He then uses these powers to either defeat other enemies or overcome environmental obstacles. His games are generally targeted at kids rather than adults, though he does occasionally wield lifelike weapons, including a sword.
Is it any good?
There's a good chance some parents will get more out of Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition than their kids. Not only will adults of a certain age fondly remember working through titles like Kirby's Dream Land when they were younger, they're also more likely than modern kids to have a natural feel for the series' early controls, which feel stiff and constrained compared to those of more modern entries in the series. Plus, the collection's leisurely trip down 20 years of franchise history -- which includes an interesting side app that strolls through each year in the last two decades, noting what was going on in the world at large when each new Kirby game arrived -- will almost certainly have more meaning for older players than younger ones. In the end, Kirby's Dream Collection is probably best considered a kind of interactive collectible best suited for long-time Nintendo fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about classic video games. What do you think of the monochromatic Game Boy games contained in this collection? Do you think you would still be interested in games if they all looked like this? Ask your parents if they remember playing some of these games.
Families can also discuss perseverance. Does beating a boss in a game feel more satisfying if it's harder? In the real world, do you feel a greater sense of accomplishment if you need to strive to achieve a goal?
- Platforms: Nintendo Wii
- Skills: Emotional Development: persevering
Thinking & Reasoning: logic, strategy
- Price: $49.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release date: September 16, 2012
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Animated Blood, Cartoon Violence
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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