Then there's Dream Land 2, a big improvement on its predecessor, with the cerise spheroid joined by three animal assistants in a more substantial adventure. The third game, released on the SNES, is better still, with a lovely pastel aesthetic reminding us that Epic Yarn wasn't the first Kirby game to adopt a charmingly homespun art style.
If Dream Land 3 is probably the pick of the traditional 16-bit adventures, it still falls short of Kirby Super Star, perhaps the first time Masahiro Sakurai really flexed his creative muscle. Rather than a standard-length campaign, it offers several shorter game types, including a brilliant treasure hunt and the addictive Gourmet Race, where Kirby has to gobble as much food as possible while racing King Dedede. Again, it's been superseded by a remake - the DS's excellent Super Star Ultra - but it's well worth revisiting in its original form.
But wait! There's more. An interactive museum is a particularly welcome addition, as Kirby strolls down a red carpet lined with boxes from all the titles he's ever headlined. Inhale one of these and you're taken to a page that lets you look at the case from any angle, or watch a trailer for the game in question. There are a couple of manga comics to read and episodes from the TV series to watch, too: in its current form it'll mean little to non-Japanese speakers, but it's this kind of fan service that was missing from the Mario collection.
Better still, there's a challenge mode that uses assets from Kirby's Adventure Wii. Three worlds have three different objectives to complete, mainly score-chasing gauntlets that see Kirby given a single ability to complete a race against the clock while collecting stars and defeating enemies.
Finish them all and you'll unlock boss stages that rework Super Star's Gourmet Races as you attempt to beat alien antagonist Magolor to the chequered flag. Hang on: challenge? Kirby? It's true; and although passing them is a doddle, earning enough points to get a gold medal may prove a little tougher than you'd expect.
The bundled booklet is a delight, too, with plenty of sketches, concept art and trivia, while the soundtrack CD offers 42 tracks from 16 Kirby games, as well as three orchestral remixes of popular tunes. It all adds up to a great value package with a genuinely celebratory feel. Memo to Nintendo: this is how you commemorate a beloved character. Now let's have a Metroid anniversary collection and we'll forget about that nasty All-Stars business. Deal?
Like a beautifully-wrapped box of chocolates with a surprise extra layer. Sure, there are too many coffee creams, but you'll find plenty more tasty treats to enjoy.