Kirby is one of Nintendo's flagship series, while not as popular as some. the series got its humble start on the Gameboy, where Kirby was a tiny little inflatable blob who could only float, run and jump for the most part. Along came Kirby's Adventure for the NES, which added Kirby's famous copy ability as well as gorgeous, pastel colors, faster pacing, and more challenging gameplay. In 1995, Kirby returned to his Gameboy roots in Kirby's Dream Land 2.
So, what's Kirby questing for this time? The Rainbow Bridge, which connects the Rainbow Islands has been stolen by King DeDeDe, who has been possessed by a mysterious substance known as Dark Matter. It is up to Kirby to...retrieve..the...wait, how you steal a bridge?! Oh well, it's a kirby game, so I don't suppose logic really matters. The story is what we've come to expect from kirby games; Dark Matter brainwashes X, who steals Y, so Kirby must defeat X and Dark Matter to retrieve y. In fact, this was the first game to introduce the Dark Matter that has been so important in future sequels.
The graphics are more detailed than the first Dream Land, almost on par with Kirby's Adventure, however the Gameboy's limitations mean that the game is back to grayscale. Pretty disappointing after the giant explosion of color that was Kirby's Adventure, and also pretty ironic for a game which has a story focused on a "Rainbow" bridge. Still, the game looks great for a Gameboy game. If played in a Super Gameboy accessory for the SNES, the game does have a more varied color pallete, but aside from the short intro, it's mostly hues of yellow.
The basic gameplay remains the same - make it through the levels while trying not to die, and copying enemy abilities to help along the way. The biggest problems with the gameplay are the fact that the controls are clunky and less responsive than they should be, and the extreme lack of difficulty. Even the first Dream Land, which was directed at newbie gamers, had more challenge than this. The coolest new additions to the gameplay are stars, which award an extra life if enough are collected, and the addition of animal friends. There are 3 animal friends which kirby can ride: Rick the Hamster, Coo the Owl, and Kine the Sunfish. Each helps kirby in their own special way, and kirbies copied abilities also change according to which he is riding.
The game's music is the same mostly fast paced, upbeat chip-tune score you're used to in a kirby game. Most of the songs are lively and catchy. There isn't much in the way of sound effects, though.
Overall, Kirby's Dream Land 2 suffers from clunky controls and having basically no challenge. Much like the New Super Mario Bros. series, the lack of difficulty just makes things boring. I literally made it through half the levels by randomly floating around and not really paying attention to anything. It's a very shippable entry in the series despite the fact that it introduces staples such as the collectible stars and Dark Matter.