This past weekend, I had the chance to download and play through the first three levels of the upcoming Kirby and the Forgotten Land. The demo is now available on the Nintendo Switch eShop for all.
I grew up a Kirby fan. I played tons of Kirby’s Adventure (NES), but there came a point where Kirby games were just too easy. Kirby is the most powerful character in the entire Super Smash Bros Ultimate line-up, so it makes sense that his games are a bit on the easy side. He’s just that much stronger than everyone else.
Although I’m a big fan of the original Kirby 2D platformer style, I’m excited to see Nintendo try something new. Seeing Kirby in a 3D platformer just feels like the natural progression to what a Kirby game should be today. It’s like playing a Kirby game in the style of Super Mario Odyssey.
After making my way through this demo I can still say that the level layouts feel like they can fit in a cartoon version of The Last of Us. The main difference is that everything in Kirby is so cute. Most times, when I come across an enemy I don’t want to hurt them, or I think they are my friend until they attack me. All of these creatures are so cute, well all minus this big fella.
There are two things I find cool about copying enemy abilities in this game. For one, the abilities last nearly forever. In most games, when you find an ability or power up it is usually only for a limited time. In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, new abilities last until you take damage or drop them. Even after that, you can still pick them back up and continue using them.
Second, I’m a big fan of the evolution of abilities. This made me think of the different evolutions of Pokémon characters. The chance to level up each ability may motivate players to work on each ability, instead of just sticking to their favorite one.
There are also some brand new abilities, or maybe they should be called takeovers. Where Kirby can stretch out to eat a giant item to become that item. Instead of swallowing the item and stealing its power, Kirby’s form stretches out keeping the item inside of him. Here’s a video in case my explanation doesn’t make much sense.
When they first showed Kirby eating a full car and stretching out to its shape I thought, that just looks wrong. After playing the game and becoming a Kirby vehicle, it was actually a lot of fun. I’m excited to see what other large objects Kirby can take over. Here’s Kirby taking over a Soda Machine.
While the levels feel closer to an open world game, they still feel mostly linear. Sure, there may be multiple paths to take at certain points (forks in the road), but for the most part you just follow the main path.
This isn’t a collect-a-thon game either. Most of what you can collect (Stars) can be found on the main path. I found myself searching off path for more loot and collectibles, but not finding much or being able to head too far in other directions.
Before I talked about how Kirby games became too easy at a point in my life. This demo offered two difficulties. I wouldn’t call them easy and hard mode though. More like, Easy and Normal.
The main difference I noticed in the two modes was the size of Kirby’s health bar (hit points). In Wild Mode it is about half as long as the Spring-Breeze mode health bar. You’ll also collect more Star Coins in Wild Mode.
In many of the classic Nintendo platformers, 2D and 3D, it was well-known that most bosses only have three hit points. Land three attacks and you win the battle. In Kirby and the Forgotten Land, the bosses actually have way more health than that. The one I faced, Gorimondo, had a health bar longer than Kirby’s, by a whole lot.
I didn’t have the chance to try the demo out in co-op mode, but this game seems like it would be great to play with a friend.
I’m excited for Kirby and the Forgotten Land to come out later this month. There’s so much that has changed, while still keeping the spirit of Kirby alive. I don’t know if I will pick this one up on Day One, but I most likely will since it comes out right in time for my birthday.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land comes to Nintendo Switch on March 25, 2022.