Review: Kirby and the Forgotten Land – The Pink Puffball’s New World

You will have a difficult time finding a game character that looks as cute and cuddly as Nintendo’s beloved pink puffball Kirby. One of the best parts of a Kirby game is how easygoing it can feel to play through, despite having some challenges present to keep you on your toes. This is exactly what you find in Kirby and the Forgotten Land for the Nintendo Switch. Only this time, Kirby is taken out of Dream Land and into a world that looks reminiscent of our own. But whether in a fantasy world or a real one, the charming nature of Kirby is felt throughout the entire experience, and it’s fantastic.

The biggest difference for this Kirby adventure is how the gameplay is taken into 3D space. While not the first time we’ve had a Kirby title play like this, it’s the first we’ve seen done on a home console in a long time. Moving Kirby around feels good and echoes the simple controls of the 2D-style games we’ve had in the series up to now. Kirby’s ability to suck up enemies and copy their powers is here too, allowing you to wield all types of magical powers and abilities to get around obstacles and groups of baddies. It’s easy to understand, quick to pick up, and fun to really get into throughout the course of this adventure.

At the same time, the plot of this game has Kirby pulled out of Dream Land and lost in a place called New World. In truth, the name of this place is as silly as it is obvious, but that is neither here nor there. Both Kirby and the Waddle Dee army are stranded in New World and hunted by a new enemy called the Beast Pack. These are furry critters that reside in New World, kidnapping the Waddle Dees for a mysterious purpose.

As usual, Kirby characters always have a cutesy charm and goofy demeanor to them, so while the Beast Pack isn’t intimidating, they do fit well with the status quo of any Kirby game. Enemies you encounter later in the game get progressively more sinister, but the cuteness is still always there.

Kirby needs to rescue all of the Waddle Dees hidden throughout New World, which in turn can help him build up the Waddle Dee town that’s been set up as a refuge. This town acts as the hub of the game, which allows you to do a variety of things. You can power up Kirby’s copy abilities, unlock collectibles to marvel at, and even partake in challenges at the arena. The catch however is that you can’t do many things until you rescue enough Waddle Dees to build up the town more. Doing so will unlock new locations to visit in the town, but also progress the plot in ways that become more clear as you finish stages.

Speaking of stages, there are a lot of locations you’ll visit, and even more Waddles Dees to rescue. Finishing challenges as you progress to the end of a stage, as well as completing boss battles and discovering secrets, will help you obtain more and more Waddle Dees. There’s a wide range of areas from forests, beaches, and industrial locations, to much more cosmic places that appear as the plot thickens. But getting around isn’t simply jumping and running through the game’s open environments.

Kirby can now use Mouthful Mode to suck up objects and gain abilities that can change up parts of the environment, or increase his powers to battle enemies. Sucking up a car can let Kirby drive around with great speed while using a traffic cone will allow him to smash open something to reveal hidden secrets on the stage.

There are a number of powers that all have their unique applications, although it can get to a point where they only appear conveniently when the stage obstacles require it. You won’t be roaming around with cone-head Kirby the entire time, unfortunately. But the later portions of the game start to blend together the use of mouthful mode transformations into clever and interesting obstacles. That’s when they’re used at their best and make traversing the stages much more fun.

A few other neat features that round off Kirby and the Forgotten Land include the mini-games you unlock in the Waddle Dee Town, as well as local co-op. A second player can take control of Bandana Waddle Dee at any time, dropping in and out of gameplay, to help Kirby get through a stage. Having a second person can make certain challenges easier, especially boss battles. Both players can work together in bringing down groups of enemies with their abilities, even though Bandana Waddle Dee can’t use copy abilities or Mouthful Mode.

The game also doesn’t make anything more difficult when you bring in another player, so things may be too easy in some cases. But it’s a lot of fun running around the open areas with Kirby and Bandana Waddle Dee. The small interactions that the two have together outside of cutscenes are exceptionally cute at the best of times.

The mini-games are short and sweet. You’ll spend only a brief time completing them to reach new high scores to share online. The one exception to this is the Challenge Arena, which lets you replay boss fights from the main story and take on newer, tougher challenge battles.

To get the complete true ending, you’ll need to finish all the Arena battles, but the reward may not be worth the struggle for some players. The final stretch of challenges can be endurance battles that push you to the limit against multiple boss encounters. It’s not impossible, but definitely a lot more of a challenge than the rest of the game.

Small nitpicks aside, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a great addition to any Nintendo Switch collection. The game is fun to play, either alone or with a co-op friend, and has a lot of content to get through. For a new kind of adventure for Nintendo’s pink puffball, this is a solid addition to the Kirby legacy for long-time fans. It’s quite possibly one of the best, if not cutest, Nintendo Switch games you can pick up.

What are your thoughts about Kirby and the Forgotten Land? Did you play it on the Nintendo Switch? What do you want to see in the next Kirby game? Let us know in the comment section!

Kirby and the Forgotten Land
  • 90%
    Kirby and the Forgotten Land - 90%
90%

Great

The game is fantastic and very fun to play through, along with a lovable main character. Despite a few shortcomings, this is a solid experience you can play through alone or with a friend. There’s a lot of content that isn’t boring or mediocre, along with side content that will have you trying to finish everything.

Jakejames Lugo

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