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Kirby's Dream Land 2

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Reviewed by Diane Cote Kirby's games have gotten better and better over the years. This latest Game Boy diversion is among the most solid platform adventures ever released for the portable. It features crisp graphics, melodic tunes and a "can't stop" playability that's just perfect for traveling. The cart also comes packed with a built-in storage battery, so picking up where you last left off isn't an issue. Filled with busy little enemy critters, special power-ups and bonus levels galore Kirby's Dream Land 2 is a heck of a solid investment. Cute N' Cuddly In case you needed to be refreshed on video games basics #253: Kirby is a fat, pink marshmallow shaped protagonist who can eat more than your football playing teen aged brother. Needless to say, the dude is cute. Kirby's environments are also cute. Everything looks soft and kid-friendly. Never mind that stinking bad guys into his big gaping hole might be one of the most frightening images an adult could ever conceive of. For kids, and adult game players who know better, this animation is profoundly effective no muss, no fuss. Well, in Kirby's Dream Land 2, the Kirbster gets to suck it back on a number of different and relatively complex levels. Of all the Kirby games I've played, this one definitely offered up the most challenges and the most diverse locations. Each of the seven islands that Kirby visits is loaded with separate and distinct stages. You'll travel in the air, under water, in the snow , over canyons and into an evil castle. You'll encounter all kinds of baddies. Some of them will be easily dispatched by a quick swallow, others will make you stand and fight like a macho pillow, and still others will cough up a special ability. The power-ups in this game are something to get excited about. With the right weapons, Kirby becomes a true menace to bad guy society. He can gain the use of a boomerang cutter, or have the ability to shoot fireballs, or my favorite, turn bad guys into ice cubes - perfect for throwing into your mid afternoon Kool-Aid, eh, Kirb? Thirsty, guy? Lullabies The tunes in Kirby's Dream Land 2 are sweet enough to make Mother Goose gag. Bouncy, light and tamer than a kitten at milk time is how I'd describe these little melodies. The sound effects tag right along on the cute ride. The only thing that might bug you is the tinny speaker on the Game Boy, which makes all of the higher pitched effects sound even more irritating than they already are. I wouldn't worry though, as long as you don't play your Game Boy with headphones plugged in (are you a masochist?), you should have no problems with the audioscape of Dreamland 2. Like You Couldn't Figure That Out Guess what? Kirby's Dreamland 2 is exceedingly easy to play. But, it's also quite long and it gets progressively more difficult as you work your way through. The controls are simple. You have one button to jump, one to consume and by pressing up on the direction pad, you puff up like a balloon and float for a while. The controls change a little bit if you scoop a power-up or if you hitch a ride with one of your three animal buddies (Rick the Hamster, Kine the Fish and Coo the Owl - I swear I'm not making this up) but for the most part this game handles as smooth as melted butter. Get The Card Out Kirby's Dream Land 2 is a must buy Game Boy title. It's got plenty of stuff to do and see and the game continually surprises you with its inventiveness. The coders and artists behind this game have been working on the Kirb for years, and of all the good Kirby games I've played, this one takes second place right behind Kirby's Pinball Land. I even enjoyed it more than Kirby's Super Star for the Super NES. What can I say? Some of that Miyamoto magic has rubbed off on this cart.

I'm giving Kirby's Dream Land 2 9.5 out of 10

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