Review | Kirby and the Forgotten Land
One day, Kirby stumbles upon a nature reserve where a lot of misery suddenly arises. A star symbol appears in the sky and absorbs everything.
It’s ridiculous if you ask us, because Kirby gets it too and knows how that feels. But it’s not just Kirby making the reel, it’s his friends and everything loose and stuck is also sent into the air…to the Forgotten Lands. The story is pretty simple, but it does exactly what it’s supposed to and throws you straight into the game. Its tone sets the mood, and above all it gives a good reason to absorb all sorts of things to the accompaniment of the crescendo of orchestral music.
With outstretched leg inside!
This is how Kirby wakes up on the beach, completely taken aback with many question marks on his forehead. What is happening? You are walking from the beach into the overgrown forest where you can see a city in the distance. You have come to an unfamiliar world, but one thing is certain: There are some creatures that are not happy with your existence. Dog/fox-like monsters, the Beast Pack attacking you, and the Waddle Dees kidnapped by this scum… chaos and you’re after it. So you start fighting against the Beast Pack and it’s your job to free your comrades Waddles Dees as well. There’s also a mysterious creature coming your way: your elf. It’s sweet and nice, but you have to figure out a few things about it too. Here you are like a real Kirby: suck that bite and spit it all out again!
He will do a lot for this. Kirby has a pretty good repertoire of copying skills (more on that in our preview), all of which can be upgraded to use the new abilities in a variety of ways. You are constantly faced with possibilities to do this throughout the game, and it offers you new gameplay elements until the end. This keeps the game consistently fun, varied and fresh to play. You also want to replay levels with different copying skills this way. Boss fights in particular are very inviting to do more often with the different skills you have, but do more later. The gameplay is simple: with Y you absorb everything and use your copying skills, and with B you can jump and glide (with Y you blow air and you fall). In short, you can do a lot with a few buttons.
Too much content
The gameplay of Kirby and the Forgotten Land is actually very solid. It plays nicely, it’s responsive, and many copying skills never get boring. There’s a lot to enjoy as there are a handful of areas, each with five levels and a boss fight as the final level. The different areas each have their own theme and the levels are all original and varied. Sometimes we gape at how big and cool something is presented. The graphics style is incredibly good and Kirby is like a unique little pink bubble that can be seen in the various colorful environments the game contains. Colors bounced off the Nintendo Switch OLED, and so we played the game mainly in handheld mode.
These fun and varied levels are quite varied, but not only with their copying skills, but also with their Mouthful Mode moments. While there are several different options available throughout the game, it gets a bit repetitive at one point due to the limited range. As cool and fun as the many levels are, at some point a repetitive feeling arises as the same cheats are applied differently. It’s no big deal, thankfully the fun content stays high, but returning bosses, Moutful Mode apps, and the like feel ‘reused’ in the long run.
Oh, there’s actually more!
Outside of the fields and levels, you also have the option to complete additional challenges. You need to do this to improve your various copying skills. When you complete a challenge, you will get a colored crystal star, which you must return to the weapon shop for improvement. Now there is one area that we must give our full attention to, and that is the village of Waddle Dee. At the beginning of the game there is just panic and there is no one to be seen in your base (Waddle Dee village). As you unleash more and more Waddle Dees in your adventure, the initial construction site becomes a real village full of activities and shops. You can earn extra money in these shops (via mini-games) and buy upgrades, but you can also take this money with you on your adventure and spend it in other shops.
For example, think of health items to regain your health, but also think of boosters for your health (for example, double health bars), more damage, and the like to help you on your way. It can get quite difficult as you progress through the game. In addition to the many shops and activities, you will also have the opportunity to test your skills at the Colosseum. Here you can beat back-to-back (mini) bosses for extra rewards. This way you will never be bored in the village of Waddle Dee. In addition to completing your adventure and many side events, you can also collect Figure Collections. You can definitely spend about 15 to 20 hours with Kirby and the Forgotten Lands this way, and even more if you want to take everything and finish it off. A complete game if you ask us.
Graphics Comments: a stable experience
Performance-wise, there’s a lot to discuss. The big world, full of colorful and original locations, is tough for Nintendo Switch (OLED) to work well, but the platform knows how to do it solidly. In handheld mode, you have to deal with dynamic 720p resolution that fluctuates nicely but never bothers when gaming. When docked, this is a decent Full HD resolution. There’s a bit more to that with the framerate. The game runs at a locked 30fps, which is understandable given the scale of the game. It’s also relatively full and busy at many levels, causing distant enemies to move at a slower framerate. So compromises are made here and there with resolution (handheld) and frame rate, to result in a very smooth experience. It’s a little frustrating to see so many menus at a gorgeous 60fps, which takes a long time for us to experience the game at that framerate.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a game that guarantees a lot of fun. You have a lot of options from different copying skills and since you can upgrade them, you continue to do different things in terms of gameplay. Mouthful Mode is a nice add-on, but due to limited implementation, it may repeat itself in the long run. Different areas and levels are a pleasure to pamper yourself. The extremely diverse color palette per field keeps the game fresh from start to finish, and the fun you can have with smooth gameplay is Nintendo first class. In terms of performance, we can also talk about a fairly stable experience, despite the compromises made here and there. The amount of content this game contains is more than enough and you won’t be bored from start to finish. Kirby takes you on an incredible adventure that’s definitely worth it.