Kirby: The Mario Clone
Or "Kirby: The Puffy Pink Poser"
I've seen people on this site compare Mario to Pokemon, Zelda, Banjo-Kazooie, everything you can think of! But for some odd reason, no one has pointed out one of the biggest Mario clones ever made, and it's published by Nintendo themselves!!
That's right: Kirby. This cute, little pink marshmallow thing has a lot of recognition out there because, like Mario, his games are easy to get into. He was also a kick-a$$ fighter in Super Smash Bros., and Kirby's Super Star is considered by many to be one of the best SNES games ever made.
But what really makes Kirby stand out when compared with Mario? What prevents him from nameless name-calling like Mario?? Here's a comparison of the two I wrote out:
Mario- Save the Princess, throw a party, play sports, let clones like Wario star in all new series of video games.
Kirby- Beat the crap outta King Dedede and save PopStar.
Mario- New enemies in every game. And a lot of popular ones too (Goombas, Koopa Troopa, Buzzy Bettle, Shy Guys, etc.)
Kirby- Bland Mario ripoff enemies with freaky names (Bronto Burt, Waddle Dee, Sir Kibble, Bonkers, Gordo, Scarfy)
Mario- 60+ games
Kirby- About 10
Mario- Except maybe for the Mario Party series (I don't like those graphics) and the GB Mario games, Mario has always looked great.
Kirby- Kirby looks great in EVERY game. Ever play Kirby's Dream Land 3? Though it and Yoshi's Island both use the Super FX2 chip, Kirby looks a lot cooler (my opinion, of course).
Mario- Kids are his main audience, but gamers of all ages play Mario.
Kirby- Like Mario, Kirby is for little kids (heck, I heard Kirby's Dream Land was made just because GB platformers were considered too hard), but he has a wide audience too (I'm 16 and I still love playing Kirby games).
Mario- Mario has a long, 20 year career in video game history. He has evolved in countless ways, from a construction worker to a plumber, golfer, tennis player, party preparer, doctor, go-kart driver, and even a hotel manager (Hotel Mario, for the CD-I).
Kirby- Not much. The little pink ball has only been around for 9 years, and only went under one really different character change (in 1995, he was changed from ghostly white to pink).
Mario- Yoshi. That's it. But Yoshi is cool, so we overlook this.
Kirby- Man, he has a LOT. Rick the Hamster, Koo the Owl, Kine the Fish, Chuchu the Octopus, Nago the Cat, Pitch the Bird, and a blue bob called Gooey. And don't forget about Kirby's Super Star, where he can access up to 16 partners!! Lots of helpers for Kirby, if you ask me.
Mario- Bowser, the most known villian in video game history (the only one close to him is Dr. Robotnik, or maybe Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII). Bowser's big, powerful, and greedy, yet also has a side to him that makes you care for the big brute (like in Super Mario RPG, when Mallow comforted him after Smithy took after his castle).
Kirby- Here we have a blue frog named Dedede for a "villian" (he's not really a villian, he just gets his body taken over by Dark Matter, making him bad). But he's small, unlike Bowser, and also, unlike Bowser, he seems content with living in a happy little sunny paradise (Bowser, as conformed in Super Mario RPG, lived in a deep, dank canyon which had no sunlight). Although this makes the blue dude more flexible for future Kirby games, it also makes him more boring. Only Meta Knight, his partner, is truly evil, but he's only in 3 games, and doesn't put up much of a fight in any of them...
Mario- Stars, Mushrooms, Coins, Bricks, ?-Blocks, Flowers, !-Switches, Red Shells (Super Mario 64)....even vegetables (Super Mario Bros. 2, U.S. version).
Kirby- Tomatoes, Candy (invisibility), Stars (collecting a certain number gives you an extra life), 1-Ups, and Blocks. Not a lot...and most are ripoffs of Mario...
Mario- Jump, run, shoot/fly/spin attack, swim, butt stomp (Super Mario 64), not to mention all the stuff you can brandish in Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Smash Brothers.
Kirby- Jump, swallow, and....gain the ability to use over 3 dozen powers!! And each has their own effect. Like the Parasol power, which allows you to float to the ground, and the Microphone, which creates a deadly noise to destory enemies with. It would take a page or more to describe all the moves Kirby could learn from these powers, not to mention he can use his animal partners to make, in total, over 100 moves in the Kirby series!!!
Kirby has his own charm, but Mario will always be number one with me. Sorry, but I just don't find Kirby that different from the rest of the Nintendo crowd. Link, Kid Icarus and Samus all have their own styles, while Kirby just stands in the plumber's boots with a super happy land even more cutesy than Mario's. It's better than seeing the unending torture of Pikachu, though...
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