The title was one of the later major Nintendo 64 releases, originally coming to the console on March 24, 2000 in Japan, and June that same year in the west. It’s the 15th Nintendo 64 title to join the subscription service, with the current roster including the likes of Super Mario 64, Lylat Wars/Star Fox 64, Banjo-Kazooie, and more.
The title will come to the service on May 20.
Despite being Kirby’s debut on a 3D system, the title wasn’t a full transition into the third dimension as seen with the likes of Super Mario and The Legend Of Zelda. A full-fledged 3D Kirby title wouldn’t be seen until 2022’s Kirby And the Forgotten Land, with Kirby 64 instead retaining the side-scrolling style of previous entries rendered with 3D models.
The biggest change to the Kirby formula came from the Power Combos mechanic, which allows the pink protagonist to combine two abilities for additional effects, with there being a total of 28 different combinations overall. Power Combos can be achieved by either inhaling two enemies at once, throwing one ability at another, or by spitting an enemy at a second enemy.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards also has a four-player multiplayer mode that includes three different minigames, and as with previous Nintendo Switch Online classics, Kirby 64’s multiplayer will include an option to play online as well as locally.
The game’s critical reception was generally positive upon its launch, but there was a general consensus regarding the game’s short length and low difficulty.
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards will be available to download on May 20, with annual Nintendo Switch Online plus Expansion Pack subscriptions costing £34.99. At the time of writing, Expansion Pack subscribers also gain access to Sega Genesis titles, as well as the expansions for Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.