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dbarry_22's Video Game Reviews (221)

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New Super Mario Bros. 2 4.5/5
Blaster Master: Enemy B... 4/5
The Last of Us 4.5/5
New Super Mario Bros. U 3.5/5
Resident Evil: Revelati... 4/5
Scribblenauts Unlimited 2.5/5
Donkey Kong 4/5
Castlevania: Bloodlines 3/5
Waialae Country Club 2/5
Dead Space 2 3.5/5
Nintendo Land 3.5/5
Super Mario World 2: Yo... 3.5/5
Portal 2 5/5
Portal 2 5/5
The Last Story 4.5/5
Tecmo Bowl 3.5/5
Kid Icarus 4/5
3D Classics: Kid Icarus 3.5/5
Dead Space: Extraction 4/5
Back to the Future: The... 3.5/5
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Sin & Punishment: Star ... 3.5/5
Chip 'n' Dale: Rescue R... 3.5/5
Dungeon Defenders 4.5/5

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Kirby's Dream Course   Super Nintendo (SNES) 

A Wacky Take On Mini-Golf    3.5/5 stars

Kirby's Dream Course takes a unique perspective towards miniature golf and provides a fun and entertaining experience even though it does have a few annoying flaws.

By just taking a look at the title of the game and the picture on the cartridge, you might think this was your typical Kirby style game. This is definitely not true. This is mini-golf. But, it's not your traditional mini-golf. In this game, you take control of Kirby and at the beginning of a hole and you are put on an island with some enemies scattered throughout. There is no predefined hole you must take Kirby to. You must hit shots that will make contact with the enemies. Each time you take out an enemy you're given an extra shot to take. When you take out all the enemies except one, the last enemy turns into the hole and then you need to hit Kirby into that hole. I realize that may sound a bit complicated, and really it is in the sense that it provides a decent amount of strategy that you can use. Which enemy do you take out first, what is the best route to take, those things must be considered before hitting a shot. Often times it seems pretty straight forward what you should do but in later courses there are times you really need to think about things.

To add even more depth to this game, there are multiple kinds of shots you can take with Kirby. You can do your normal "putt" where Kirby rolls across the ground. There's also a shot that's more like an iron or wood in traditional golf where you launch Kirby into the air. Not only that, but you can put side, forward, or back spin on shots which will make Kirby do a variety of things. Fortunately you don't have wonder blindly what you're shots will do. There's a line of dots that appear in front of Kirby which provides a guide as to what he will do on a given shot. This lets you line up bounce shots or perhaps you will see if that shot into the air will clear the tree or other obstacle you're trying to avoid.

Lastly, Kirby can obtain items that will help you with certain obstacles. For example, one of the times a super high jump. You can use this after you've made your initial shot with Kirby. Then, at any point while Kirby is on the move you can activate this item and Kirby will jump high into the air and over anything in front of him. There's another item that will turn Kirby into a rock that will basically stop him dead in his tracks and there's an umbrella that will allow you to guide Kirby slowly back to the ground if you activate it while he's in the air. There are several of these items in the game and using them at the right time can drastically reduce the number of strokes you use on a hole.

The game has 12 different courses that have 8 holes each (Why isn't it 9? I don't know, ask the programmers because that makes no sense). In single player you play 8 of these courses and the other 4 are for 2 player mode. Once you beat the 8 courses in single player you can face King Dedede for the final boss before beating the game. Also, you can obtain bronze, silver, and gold medals by getting certain scores on each course. While I was able to obtain silver medals on several of the courses during my play through, I wasn't able to get good enough to get a gold medal on any course.

This where the biggest flaw in the game pops up in my opinion. There is no practice mode in this game. On a few of the courses I could get pretty good on several of the holes but may there was one of them I didn't quite have the right strategy. Well, if that hole happens to be 7 or 8 you're kind of out luck because if you want to try something new on that hole you have to play the whole course before getting to it. Playing a game for 10 minutes just to get to a point where I want to practice something is annoying. One could make the argument that games back then didn't have stuff like this. Well, that's not true. NES Open Tournament Golf on the NES had a training mode where you could practice any hole on any course, this game could have done the same thing pretty easily.

Another annoying flaw is the setup of the power meter. Once you aim your shot you hit the button to activate your shot and a power meter starts to rise. There are marks on this meter that will let you hit a half power shot, or a 3/4 power shot but in reality it's kind of hard to judge exactly how far your shot is really going to go. This is extremely annoying when you have a short putt left to the hole and you hit the shot too soft or too hard just because you're weren't sure how much power you should put in the shot.

This game has a steep learning curve and the lack of a practice mode makes the game even more unforgiving but I had a good time going through the courses, trying to get hole in ones, and beating the game. You can even have a friend join you have some fun, but it would be smart if whoever you have join you at least has some experience with the game because otherwise it might not be fun for them.

This is a unique perspective on mini-golf but my lack of interest in trying to obtain gold medals due mainly to the fact that there's no practice mode really holds this game back in my opinion. I had fun, but I would have had more interest in playing it more if the game had fine tuned a few things to help the player more.




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