Having long since grown bored of the tired old Kirby formula, Kirby and the Forgotten Land has brought a much needed change to a series that’s grown a bit stale. Not so very long ago, I reviewed the game’s demo, and I’ve now returned to talk about my full experience with the pink puffball’s new 3D adventure!
To start, Kirby and the Waddle Dees have been sucked into another dimension when a huge hole opens up in the sky. Finding himself in a strange new world littered with the crumbling remains of a past civilization, Kirby takes no delay in venturing out to rescue the Waddle Dees kidnapped by the Beast Pack, with a little blue creature named Elfilin joining him as Kirby’s new companion.
Obviously, the biggest feature worth talking about is the switch to 3D. As mentioned in my demo review, I expected the game to be similar to Crash Bandicoot, but it turns out you have a bit more freedom than that! Each level spanning six main worlds is a decent length and includes five optional goals, which gives you more reasons to explore and take your time. These goals usually involve finding hidden Waddle Dees, along with various other tasks, such as finding hidden items or secret paths or defeating a boss within a time limit.
Plus, Kirby has gained a lot more than merely the ability to travel in three dimensions. For one thing, there’s the new Mouthful Mode, where Kirby can eat and utilize various objects, such as a car for driving around fast, a vending machine for shooting sodas, or even an arch that shapes his body into a glider.
And this is in addition to Kirby’s trademark copy abilities, which can even be upgraded by finding blueprints and enlisting the help of one of the residents of Waddle Dee Town, provided you have enough money and rare stones. Most abilities can be upgraded multiple times, and even those I used to find quite boring became much more fun once I leveled them up once or twice. Kirby even gets a new copy ability, the Ranger, which allows him to wield a gun for shooting distant enemies and targets!
Oh yes, Waddle Dee Town serves as a hub of sorts that you can work on throughout the course of the game by rescuing Waddle Dees. In this way, you can eventually unlock various shops, mini games, and even a coliseum. You can also find a few gotcha machines here for collecting figurines, which you can even display in Kirby’s house!
Although Kirby spent decades adventuring in the 2D realm, the transition to 3D is a seamless one. The only area in which Kirby has been downgraded is in his flying ability, which makes sense. In a 3D space, the game would be too easy if Kirby could just float everywhere.
As for the game’s difficulty level, you can play on either Spring Breeze or Wild Mode. I played using the latter, which makes the game harder and gives you more rewards. And while much of the game is still fairly easy, the challenge did increase later on for sure. It’s certainly not a super difficult game, but I did struggle with some of the later battles. While I normally get 100% in most Kirby games without too much trouble, I settled with 92% this time around. My greatest challenge came in the form of defeating a few of the bosses without taking damage. Some of the later bosses can move quite quickly and have quite a variety of moves that can really keep you on your toes.
This game was a blast to play, a beauty to behold, and a joy for the ears. So if you’re an avid Kirby fan…or you grew tired of the series and want to give it another chance…or if you’re new to the franchise and want a good starting point, I would highly recommend Kirby and the Forgotten Land. Here’s looking forward to more 3D adventures starring everyone’s favorite pink puffball in the near future!