When it comes down to classic platform titles for Nintendo based game systems many remember the Kirby Dream Land series which started back in the Spring ’92 on Game Boy. The original Kirby Dream Land title for Game Boy was considered to be a high profile classic that sold at least five million copies worldwide. A few years later Nintendo released Kirby Dream Land 2 back in ’95 and despite not being quite as successful as its predecessor was still considered as good in terms of gameplay. Following the release of Kirby Dream Land 2 the third installment within the DL series was released in Japan and America between ’97-’98 for the Super NES. It was a bit surprising seeing Kirby Dream Land 3 for the SNES around the late 90’s especially considering the fact that the Nintendo 64 was released back in ’96. Also, considering that Game Boy had become even more popular by the late 90’s with games such as Pokémon Red, Blue, Yellow some people would question why it even appeared on the SNES console in ’97.
While its possible that Kirby’s Dream Land 3 was overshadowed by various high profile released for the PS1 & N64 by ’97 it was still considered to be critically acclaimed game. Kirby’s Dream Land 3 saw the return of Dark Matter the main antagonist from Kirby’s Dream Land 2 along the inclusion of multiple endings depending on how the game was completed. Throughout the game Kirby aligned himself with various friends such as Gooey, Coo and Rick along with other new characters as he seeks to restore peace to the universe following the destruction of the Planet’s rings by Dark Matter. As players progressed throughout the game they were required to collect Heart Stars leading up to the final boss battle. The final boss battle in Kirby Dream Land 3 relied on whether or not players collected all of the Heart Stars which made things more interesting.
For those who did not collect all of the Heart Stars they had to battle King Dedede while he was possessed by Dark Matter just to fight him again in his normal state. If players did not collect all of the Heart Stars before completing the game they were left with a cliffhanger ending which would urge players to play through it a second time to try and unlock the true ending. The true ending of the game came after players battled the true main villain Zero following their encounter with King Dedede & Dark Matter. As far as gameplay and graphics are concerned Kirby Dream Land 3 was definitely the best within the “Dream Land” series because it was on Super Nintendo opposed to Game Boy. However, despite how cool Kirby’s Dream Land 3 was it came out on the SNES a few years to late. Its possible that Kirby’s Dream Land 3 could have been more popular if the game was released for the N64 between ’97-’98. Either way, Kirby’s Dream Land 3 is still an underrated platform classic that would probably be considered a 16-bit hidden gem for the SNES console.