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Kirby and the Forgotten Land Review

A wondrous transition to 3D

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a Nintendo Switch on

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is rated Everyone 10+ by the ESRB

HAL Laboratory's long-running iconic series enters a new dimension with Kirby and the Forgotten Land and it's one excellent platformer.

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Kirby and the Forgotten Land screenshot 1
I know you're hungry, Kirby, but leave those chicks alone!

As someone who's been enjoying Kirby games since Kirby's Dream Land for Game Boy, I've been on many adventures with the pink puffball and always look forward to what he has in store next. When I first watched the trailer for Kirby and the Forgotten Land, I didn't quite know what to think. With loads of series going open-world, I was a bit worried that this was headed in that direction as well but thankfully, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a stage-based 3D platformer and it fits the classic Kirby mould seamlessly. v1d30chumz 3-235-186-94

In fact, I can't get over how well it adapts to the genre because most series that take the jump from 2D to 3D gameplay end up feeling very different. Heck, even Super Mario 64 (which is awesome) doesn't feel as much like the original Super Mario games as Kirby and the Forgotten Land feels like the classic Kirby titles. Needless to say, that's quite an accomplishment for HAL Laboratory; so, congrats!

Kirby and the Forgotten Land screenshot 2
I wonder what sort of delightful prize Kirby won this time...

The core gameplay of Kirby and the Forgotten Land should be familiar for anyone who has ever played a Kirby game as you transform via various power-ups that can be activated by swallowing enemies and they're all great fun to use while facing the cute baddies that rush towards you. The goal of each stage is to rescue as many kidnapped Waddle Dees as you can and although you get a few for merely completing a level, the fun is in finding the rest whether they're hidden or unlocked after completing a side-mission. This aspect makes mastering stages an absolute joy, especially whenever you discover a cleverly hidden secret that you previously overlooked. 😄

With all of that in mind, Kirby and the Forgotten Land really shines while playing cooperatively as a second player controls the spear-throwing Bandana Waddle Dee. Although Kirby obviously has more abilities at his disposal, Bandana Waddle Dee is a great character for kids to play as considering he has simple and intuitive controls and packs quite the punch. There will be some waiting around at times, though, such as when Kirby brings certain large objects to life with Mouthful Mode and the second player is just along for the ride. Now that I mention it, Mouthful Mode is super-silly and I loved seeing what Kirby could bring to life next whether it's used for solving a puzzle or simply commanding some sort of vehicle. It's imaginative stuff that complements the already superb gameplay exceptionally well.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land Is Superb Co-op Fun
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Kirby takes Bandana Waddle Dee for a ride that he'll never forget

There are countless stand-out moments throughout Kirby and the Forgotten Land's campaign that you'll remember fondly for years to come. From the plentiful challenges that unlock ability upgrade currency to the spectacle of inhabiting a roller coaster, there's a lot that will impress when it comes to both gameplay and presentation. Plus, everything in the world is adorable. Although there's an undertone that you're in some sort of post-apocalyptic land, it's all rendered in a colourful and cheerful manner that'll keep a smile on your face as you master stages and unlock goodies. Speaking of which, expanding Waddle Dee Town after collecting certain amounts of the fellows is rewarding stuff as more shops and fun-filled mini-games unlock. Oh, and you can scan amiibo to get even more surprises. 😊

I don't have much to say about Kirby and the Forgotten Land when it comes to disappointing aspects but it does have a couple. For starters, most of the bosses are simply pushovers that you can mindlessly attack until you eventually win. A few of them have enjoyable puzzle elements but for the most part, they're rather underwhelming despite the fact that they generally look spectacular. Finally, I wish that the side-missions were revealed right off the bat because it can be frustrating playing through a stage multiple times only to have question marks still obscure missing objectives which are only revealed when you check off another objective. This system can be annoying, especially for completionists, so I'm looking forward to sharing discoveries with my fellow Kirby fans on release day.

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It's time for the chums to sleep after a long day of adventuring

Playing Kirby and the Forgotten Land made me realise that I've never seen any series transition smoother to 3D gameplay. Even with its new dimension, it's undeniably Kirby through-and-through and also one of the best games in the franchise.

  • + Classic Kirby gameplay is adapted beautifully to 3D and Mouthful Mode is very silly
  • + Loads of challenges and memorable scenarios
  • + Adorable presentation / great co-op fun
  • - Bosses are mostly quite underwhelming
  • - Hidden objectives can be annoying
9.0 out of 10
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Watch A.J. play Kirby and the Forgotten Land
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