There’s something about the Kirby franchise that makes it one of Nintendo’s most unique and interesting properties. The company has plenty of other lovable protagonists, but none are like Kirby. He’s an adorable little puffball with a voracious appetite that lets him inhale anything he wants. On top of this, he can also copy enemies and use their powers against them. This bizarre concoction is perfect for a video game series filled with fantastic and quirky adventures, which is why we continue to see new entries into the franchise on almost a yearly basis. However, as with all franchises, some games are better than others. Let’s take a look at the latest entry in this beloved series: Kirby and the Forgotten Land.
Kirby, like many other Nintendo properties, began as a series of games on the Game Boy handheld consoles, which was released in the late 80s and throughout the 90s. He was a minor character in a few other Nintendo titles, but he didn’t get his first starring role until Kirby’s Dream Land on the Game Boy, which released in 1992. The series continued with a number of sequels and spin-offs, with the last handheld release being Kirby: Planet Robobot on the 3DS in 2016. The console games in the series are a bit more sporadic, but they can be traced back to the Wii’s release in 2006 with Kirby’s Canvas Curse. The series has had a number of releases on various Nintendo consoles ever since, with Kirby and the Rainbow Curse on the Wii U being the last release in 2016. Kirby also made a brief appearance in the Super Smash Bros. series, starting with the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl in 2008. Since then, he’s been featured in every subsequent installment of the series.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is an action-adventure game where players control Kirby on his quest to restore a magical kingdom that has been completely sealed away. It’s a 3D platformer with a heavy emphasis on combat, featuring an auto-targeting system and a wide variety of abilities that Kirby can use to take down foes. It features a more exploration-focused and open-ended design than many other Kirby titles, with Kirby able to travel back and forth through a forgotten kingdom to obtain treasure and collectibles. The game is set in a magical kingdom that was sealed away, with Kirby being the only one who can unseal it. The story and the world are, as with most Kirby titles, whimsical and lighthearted. The game has a significant graphical style change from Kirby’s previous games, featuring 3D models with 2.5D backgrounds instead of the 2D sprites of previous games.
As with every Kirby title, the core gameplay revolves around Kirby’s ability to suck in enemies and copy their abilities, which is called the Copy Ability. Players can find a wide variety of enemies throughout their journey, with each having their own unique set of abilities that can be used by Kirby. This is done by simply sucking the enemy up, with Kirby then able to use the new ability immediately. The game features a wide variety of collectables and hidden secrets, as well as a simple but fun mini-game where players can collect treasures that are buried in the ground. The game features some light puzzle solving, but it’s mostly focused on the combat. With Kirby’s ability to suck in his enemies, there’s an emphasis on the auto-targeting system, which lets the player easily take down nearby enemies. Kirby has been an easier series to play over the years, but the team at HAL Laboratory has managed to make the game even more accessible.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is another solid entry into the series, but it doesn’t do much to stand out from the rest of the franchise. The gameplay is a great combination of easy to play but challenging to master, and the visuals are colourful and charming. The game also has a surprisingly deep collectables system, with players able to obtain a wide variety of treasures and items. However, there’s not much to set it apart from some of the other titles in the series. The game is a bit more streamlined and easier to play than other Kirby titles, but it’s a bit lacking in the challenge department. The game is also pretty short, with an average playthrough clocking in at around five hours.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a great example of what makes the Kirby franchise so special. It’s a charming, whimsical experience that is easy to play and is sure to delight younger players and fans of the series. There’s nothing here that’s particularly challenging or groundbreaking, but that’s not what Kirby is about. It’s about bright colours, adorable characters, and a joyous experience that’s easy for anyone to get into. Kirby and the Forgotten Land does a great job delivering on this, and it’s sure to please fans of the series, young and old.