I think you guys and gals already know if you're going to purchase Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition. By this point in your Nintendo career, you're either a Kirby fan or you're not. I always find it surprising just how many people love Kirby. While most Nintendo fans embrace this cream puff, I also find him to have a dedicated following among those that gravitate towards more mature, 'core' fodder. I guess even the most hardened gamers can't resist Kirby's mix of cutesy graphics with simple-but-engaging platforming.
Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition has come around to celebrate 20 years of existence, and also to offer up something special for all those fans. Part game collection, part new content and part trip down memory lane, I'm quite happy to say that Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition is the best anniversary tribute Nintendo has put together. They may not have handled many collections like this in their history, but Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition is proof that Nintendo is definitely getting better with their celebratory game gatherings.
Going on about the games included in Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition is a bit silly. You all know what titles are included and you also know that there's nowhere near the full amount of Kirby games that are available. When you look at main entries and spin-offs combined, there's a huge amount of Kirby content out there. The aim of Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition, as far as gameplay goes, is to offer up some of the best installments that the mainline series are represented. I'd say Nintendo pretty much hit that nail on the head.
From Game Boy to NES, SNES to N64, you're going to experience some truly classic Kirby games. While you may argue that one title should be substituted for another, I think this collection of games does an excellent job of showing out the Kirby series has evolved over the years. You can see how Nintendo and HAL have been tweaking Kirby over the years to make the most of his abilities. This progression also reminds me why I feel that Kirby's Return to Dreamland is the best Kirby game ever. This wonderful collection of titles does a very nice job of showing you what Kirby has done best over the years, with Kirby's Return to Dreamland learning from them all.
UPDATE - I am an idiot. There are indeed save states. I have taken back my original comments about save states, which is why this paragraph has been removed.
If you don't feel like enjoying your nostalgia with actual gameplay, you can pop on over to the virtual history museum. You'll actually stroll down a long hallway that offers up exhibits on Kirby's adventures over the years. You'll learn about the platform these games were on, view 3D boxarts from those releases and even check out trailers for those games. You'll even come across some Kirby anime episodes and a musical feature from a chamber choir to round things off. The history museum doesn't exactly go super in-depth with each Kirby title, but it does give you a nice look at what made each game a worth entry in the series.
For those hungry for new content, there's also some of that packed in as well. Based on the challenge levels in Kirby's Return to Dreamland, you have another set of weapon-based challenge levels that are just waiting for you to perfect. These challenges are just as addictive as they were in the Wii original, and they'll surely provide you with a lot of fun. Going for the gold score on each level is going to become a labor of love, asking for perfect weapon use and a great time as well. This kind of content does a great job indicating just how Kirby can cater to even the most core-oriented, achievement-addicted gamers out there.
Rounding out the package is...the package itself! Without a doubt, Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition is one of the nicest physical boxes Nintendo has put out. The emblem design for the 20th anniversary is top-notch. The bigger boxart helps to house the included history booklet that gives you a much better look at what Kirby has brought us over the years. You even get a track listing for the soundtrack CD included in every box. This soundtrack features samples from all the mainline entries in the series. Kirby's games have some excellent tunes, which makes the soundtrack CD that much more of a prized possession.
Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition is an absolute no-brainer for Kirby fans. While there may be a few things to nitpick here and there, it's hard for any Kirby fan to not be pleased with this set. You get a collection of playable Kirby games, some new content to sweeten the deal, a look back at Kirby's lifespan, a wonderful booklet and a soundtrack CD. You really need to find a spot on your shelves for this fantastic package. Any self-respecting Kirby fan certainly should scrap together the funds for this beauty.