Blast from the Past: Kirby’s Dream Land 2 (Game Boy)
Dream Land is in trouble once again. This time from an evil known as Dark Matter who has possessed King Dedede, stolen the rainbow bridge that connects the Rainbow Islands and plans on conquering Dream Land. Along with the Warp Star Kirby has to defend the land, but this time he is not alone. Accompanied by three allies that resemble a giant hamster, an owl and a fish he takes on his new adventure.
Kirby’s Dream Land 2 introduces the ability to absorb enemy powers. Kirby’s ability now ranges from Ice Breath, Electric Sparks, Spikes protruding from Kirby, Cutter blades, turning into a raging ball of fire and my favorite – Kirby turning into a stone which I thought at first was horrible but realized that each level, where this ability was provided, was actually custom-made for Stone Kirby to roll around smashing and destroying everything in his path. In return it made Stone Kirby a force to be reckoned with. Another important aspect of being able to absorb enemy powers in Kirby’s Dream Land 2 is that it sometimes forces the player to specifically select an ability to get to the goal of that level.
Friends in Arms
Kirby’s allies provide a good twist in the game. Rick the Hamster allows Kirby to ride on his back while being able to run faster and also shoot out an absorbed ability. Coo the Owl, who usually carries Kirby, is a much stronger flyer than Kirby and allows Kirby to inhale while flying. Last but not least is Kine the Ocean Sunfish, or what I think is the “Fish Suit” for Kirby. Kine actually holds Kirby in his mouth allowing Kirby to swim against strong currents and can also absorb abilities such as the spark ability which can be charged up to shoot a bolt out of his mouth.
The levels are not really challenging unfortunately but occasionally do provide a challenge where abilities are needed to succeed. You’ll find traps laid out quite well in some instances though. For instance, disappearing platforms with spikes underneath it is always waiting there to claim its next victim – generally a soft pink (light grey on the Game Boy) type of victim. Although I still found myself powering through them with ease especially while accompanied by Kirby’s allies. Each level in the game is stretched out in the form of sub levels. Sub levels hold a mini boss situated in the middle of the level that Kirby has to defeat to free an ally. Although each mini boss has their own tricks, that will require you learn their patterns before defeating them, they are quite easy to take down. The main boss battles however can be a little challenging once you reach the higher levels in the game. Admittedly I did end up losing all my lives on the boss fights from level 4 onwards as it became exceptionally tough.
Kirby’s Dream Land 2 is quite the sequel and matched the original. From the addition to absorbing powers, to the new found allies, I thoroughly enjoyed the title. The levels were a bit of a no-show at times, with regards to the challenge aspect, but the boss battles and mechanics throughout the game (including those mini bosses as well as main bosses) really packed a punch! This 21-year old title has stood the test of time and will probably remain this way for years to come.