Nintendo’s favorite pink fluff-ball is back in a brand new adventure! This time, the adorable Waddle Dees have been kidnapped and it’s up to the ever-hungry Kirby to save the day!
Classic Kirby Action…With A Twist
Kirby has returned in his first new adventure since 2018! Kirby and the Forgotten Land. This time around we have some baddies that kidnapped the population of Waddle Dees and Kirby has to save them. Facing enemies, puzzles, and bosses to free the population of squishy friends.
All the core Kirby action is on display here. Run around, inhale enemies, take their powers and fight more enemies. The graphics are beautiful here, and details abound to the point that, at times, I stopped and just took it all in. There are lots of new mechanics in The Forgotten Land, but what is great is that it takes elements that have been part of Kirby games from the beginning and truly elevates them. For instance: Kirby’s inhale ability.
Kirby’s main defining attribute (besides being pink) is his ability to inhale enemies and take their powers. This unique ability has been the core of Kirby games since the very first game. Now Kirby gets the ability to inhale large objects and use them to his advantage now. From using traffic cones to spike the ground, to using a life preserver in his mouth to make an air bazooka (one of my favorite powers).
These bring a unique aspect to travelling the different levels and solving platforming puzzles. Unlike most Kirby games, The Forgotten Land‘s levels are designed as more of an open area. Not open world, but way more open than the normal linear Kirby games we’ve had in the past. These larger areas encourage exploration and puzzle-solving, a welcome new style for Kirby.
Kirby Kicks It Up A Notch
While Kirby has always been able to eat and absorb the abilities of enemies, updates to this mechanic have been few and far between. Early on, the ability to absorb boss enemies’ powers was added. However, after that, there wasn’t much change to Kirby until 2018’s Kirby Star Allies. In it the powers could be combined with the abilities of friends and the core elements to create new powers and team abilities.
For this new adventure, Kirby will find blueprints to upgrade the various powers players come across throughout the game. Each ability can be upgraded, with some of them being upgraded twice. These upgrades also mean they can increase the difficulty level, addressing the common complaint of Kirby Star Allies being too easy.
This is the first time you can upgrade powers in a Kirby game, and it makes for an interesting experience. Some of the powers force players to change their playstyle slightly to adapt to the new abilities. Although, once I got used to how the powers worked now, they became a welcome change to the standard Kirby style.
Blueprints can’t create upgrades on their own, however, you need a blacksmith. For that, you’ll go to the all-new Waddle Dee Town! One of my personal favorite additions to Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the Waddle Dee Town. Here, you’ll find the Weapon Shop to get your copy ability upgrades and there is even an area inside with a training dummy to test them out. There are also mini games, health power-ups and more. As you free the Waddle Dees throughout the game and clear certain areas, you unlock additions to the Waddle Dee Town. These additions can be a café, item shop, or even a game booth.
Great Update To Classic Series
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a welcome update to the Kirby franchise. While not entirely open-world, it does encourage exploration to find secrets and complete secret challenges in each level. Meaning replaying levels later in the game, or after you complete the campaign, is rewarded. The changes to the various powers are also welcome ones. Bringing a classic game series to a modern console isn’t always easy. Many developers have tried and failed. Like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Odyssey, and many others before it, Nintendo has proven that it is more than capable of keeping its classic characters not only relevant, but incredibly fun.