Kirby and the Forgotten Land on Nintendo Switch
I’ve been a big Kirby fan for a while now; he has always been my main in Smash (down b brick spam 4-life), and previous games have always been simple yet enjoyable. Being also pretty easy to own, Kirby and The Forgotten Land is the first time I’ve truly been addicted to a title in the franchise.
Like most stories around everyone’s favorite pink circular vacuum, Kirby and the Forgotten Land begin out with a mysterious event that our titular protagonist has tasted. This time around, instead of taking place on Popstar, his home Planet, Kirby is pulling through a mysterious vortex to a new world that gives him a unique and mysterious power, known as Mouthful.
Mouthful expands Kirby’s ability to suck in and use power of objects, now allowing him to essentially morph into larger objects like cars, hang-gliders, and vending machines. This small but effective addition to the copy mechanic series has always been known for being a blast, and opens up gameplay and puzzle mechanics additions.
Minigames like racing, time trials, and much more are available in fun new ways to thank you, not to mention how amusing it is to see Kirby take the form of something like a cone. It’s honestly really impressive just how much variety they were able to get out of the mechanic, and is very reminiscent of the Cappy mechanic in Super Mario Odyssey.
Now, if you go into Kirby and the Forgotten Land thinking that it’s going to be the Kirby version of Super Mario Odyssey, there’s a good chance you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Although this 3D experience is far more open than previous games in the series, it is still a pretty linear experience.
The flow of Kirby and the Forgotten Land is far more akin to Super Mario 3D world, with each level advancing from point A to B with a concrete end to the level. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but there is also no denying how much potential a 3D Kirby game with big worlds like that of Super Mario Odyssey has.
Every level has a handful of Waddle Dees that need to be saved, either through completing mission-specific tasks or simply finding them. Unlocking more Waddle Dees not only progresses the main story but also opens up more helpful things in Waddle Dee Town, the game’s main hub area. This is where Kirby can upgrade his powers, heal, and even play a fun cafe side mission for some extra income.
The currency that has earned it here and in the side missions can be used to make Kirby’s powers even more powerful and chaotic, as long as its upgrade blueprint is unlocked. Similar to Waddle Dees, they can be found throughout the game.
This really helps to incentivize exploration, as putting in extra time to find a blueprint for something like the Chain Bomb is well worth it for things like boss battles and extra hard time-trial minigames, as the extra power and rapid-fire abilities can make all the difference.
The first level below the unlocking Waddle Dee Town also opens up the multiplayer section of the game, which includes the option to play 2-player campaign co-op and 4-player minigames. Both of these options are fun for all ages, though the ease of combat makes it something that is really special to someone with experience who is younger.
I can’t tell how much I enjoy being able to play through an entire game with my six-year-old nieces and nephews and watching them enjoy themselves as much as I am. My only complaint is that I always end up playing as Bandana Waddle Dee.
Unlike Kirby, Bandana Waddle Dee’s abilities are a lot more straightforward, as the character wields a spear that has a few different abilities, but none that compares to the plethora of attacks Kirby can copy. The camera also focuses on the main player, so if he wanders too far, Bandana Waddle Dee is placed in a bubble that must be popped in order to continue.
That’s just a minor gripe, though, as I was able to get through the entire game in both co-op and single-player, beating it twice. Kirby and the Forgotten Land also have a fair amount of post-game content to explore, including harder levels and bosses through Isolated Isles: Forgo Dreams and the Colosseum.
While definitely more difficult, these areas are not too hard either, though, especially when you upgrade your abilities all the way. What is cool is that you can actually compete against other players and friends who can see the best times, adding another layer to the game’s already great multiplayer options.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is an important step forward for the franchise, even if it may still be a bit too linear. The Mouthful ability and full transition to 3D are two features that should stay here, as they open up the gameplay possibilities.
If you’re looking for a cute, fun game or a palate cleanser from difficult titles like Sifu and Elden Ring, then Kirby and the Forgotten Land came at the perfect time.
Reviewer: Andrew McMahon | Award: Editor’s Choice | Copy provided by Publisher.
- Mouthful opens up gameplay contributions.
- Loads of minigames.
- Exploring the worlds to find Waddle Dees is a blast.
- Co-op is fun for all ages.
- The experience is still pretty linear.
- Co-op can be a bit limited, especially for the second player.
March 25, 2022