In case it's managed to somehow evade your attention, 2012 is something of a special year for someone close to all our hearts. With a birthday and anniversary rolled into one, and a number of special events planned to celebrate the special occasion, it's certainly going to be an eventful year for one, er, fat pink blob. No, don't worry, we're not talking about the Queen - it's Nintendo's loveable pink blob Kirby who's turning a youthful 25 this Autumn, and he doesn't look a day over, er, pink. Even if he's five years Mario and Link's junior, he's still our favourite Nintendo character, after he quickly squished his way into our hearts in the early days of the DS with Kirby Mouse Attack. Some three DS games, two Wii games and a pink smiley frisbee later and we're still very much a fan of Kirby's unique 'eat-enemies-and-steal-their-powers' copying charm. And as an added bonus, his games are generally much easier than Mario's platformers.
To celebrate the little star warrior's twenty years in the gaming limelight, Nintendo have a special collection planned for him, much like they did for Mario a couple of years ago. According to the details released for the Japanese version of the game, Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition will feature half a dozen of Kirby's oldest adventures, as follows:
Kirby's Dream Land (Game Boy)
Kirby's oldest adventure even pre-dates his trademark copy abilities, instead seeing the then-white blob (thanks to the Game Boy not displaying colours) attacking enemies by inhaling one enemy and then spitting it at another. The game also introduced the penguin-in-a-dressing-gown antagonist and Dreamland's tyrannical overlord, King Dedede whose sole purpose in life appeared to be to steal all the food in Dreamland, along with the special Sparkling Star used to harvest it. Whether it's with noble intentions or just a rumbling stomach, Kirby sets out on a quest to recover the Sparkling Stars - and the food - in order to teach that dastardly Dedede a lesson.
Kirby's Adventure (NES)
While taking a nap, Kirby discovers something is wrong he's had no dreams, a seemingly rare occurance when you live in a place called Dreamland. Heading to the Fountain of Dreams, the source of all sleep-time entertainment, he finds King Dedede splashing around in the waters, and soon discovers he's nabbed the all important Star Rod for himself, breaking it up into seven pieces, and hiding the fragments around Dreamland. Without the Star Rod, dreams can't return to Dreamland, so it's up to Kirby to retrieve the various parts and stop Dedede in his tracks.
Kirby's Dream Land 2 (Game Boy)
When King Dedede gets possessed by the evil being 'Dark Matter', and nicks off with the rainbow bridge (you'd need a big bag for that one...), the residents of Dreamland can't visit the Rainbow Islands anymore. With his trusty friends in tow Rick the hamster, Coo the owl and Kine the sunfish who each have their own abilities to aid the Kirbster in his quest, along with his now-standard copy ability, Kirby sets out to recover the bridge and put a stop to Dark Matter's tricks.
Kirby Super Star (SNES)
Known as Kirby's Fun Pack over here, this game features a whopping eight different games featuring everyone's favourite pink blob. The first game, Spring Breeze is a souped up version of the original GameBoy game, complete with copy abilities and the ability to summon a computer controlled character to help you out. The other games involve stopping a giant bird from destroying Dreamland's crops, racing King Dedede to eat as much food as you can, hunting for a load of hidden chests and many more. Kirby Super Star was recently remade for the DS as Kirby Super Star Ultra, adding a few new game modes, including a bunch of Touch Screen controlled mini-games.
Kirby's Dream Land 3 (SNES)
One peaceful day on the planet Pop Star, Kirby's busy fishing with his little blobby friend Gooey. But as a dark cloud starts to swallow up the previously blue sky, the rings that surround the planet breaks yep, it's the work of that dastardly Dark Matter again, and it's up to Kirby and his friends to put a stop to his evil plans. His companions from the previous game return too - Rick the Hamster, Coo the owl, Kine the sunfish - and are joined by some new faces, in the form of Chuchu the pink blob, Pitch the bird and Nago the cat. Stranded in each of the five worlds is someone who needs Kirby's help and only by rescuing them all can Kirby face the final boss.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (N64)
Dark Matter is back, and under orders from the nefarious O2, is after the planet Ripple Star's great Crystal. Hearing of his plans, the queen orders Ribbon the fairy to take the crystal somewhere safer but she gets attacked by Dark Matter on her way, and the crystal shatters into 74 pieces, scattering itself across the solar system. Crash-landing on the planet Pop Star, Ribbon bumps into the ever-helpful Kirby, who's found one of the crystal pieces (she's lucky he didn't try to eat it) and so begins the journey to round up the remaining 73.
Every single one of the games in this collection is already available in some form or another on Nintendo's downloadable shops, so there's a fair chance you may have bought some of them already, if you're quite keen on the little pink blob's adventures in fact, we own three/four of them, depending on whether you count the recent DS remake of Kirby Super Star, which is worth keeping in mind when you're weighing up whether the collection's worth buying.
But Nintendo don't seem to have just shoved six games on a disc and called it a day, as they've added a few extra bits and bobs to make the Kirby collection more worthwhile. For starters, there'll be a set of levels akin to the copy ability levels in last year's Kirby's Adventure Wii, with each level seeing you trying to get a high score or the best time by making use of a particular one of Kirby's iconic copy abilities, whether it's a 'Sword Challenge' or a 'Fighter Death Match'. As it's meant to be a special collector's edition, it'll also come packed with an artwork book, soundtrack CD and an on-disc Kirby calender showing the history of the series through the games and cartoon series.
Unfortunately, there's no details of the European release yet, although the American version should be out sometime in September, so we'd probably assume it'll be around then. There's also no details on pricing but considering it's a collection of old games on a disc, much like the Mario 25th Anniversary Collection, we're hoping for a lower, more budget-friendly price.