Last week I was afforded an early look at Kirby and the Forgotten Land and—once I finally managed to pull myself away from Triangle Strategy—I’ve really been enjoying the title. Owing to its March 25 release date, I won’t be getting too deep into my impressions. However, I am free to share some observations from the game’s first world.
After being unceremoniously pulled from his home on Planet Popstar, Kirby finds himself in the abandoned urban wastes of the Natural Plains. While not exactly the limitless free-roaming environment many assumed from the initial reveal trailer, it does offer a series of nicely constructed levels complete with puzzles and hidden paths to navigate as well as a wide array of destructible elements.
Kirby does battle with both standard enemies—which can provide him with the requisite Copy Abilities such as Cutter and Bomber—and members of the new Beast Pack (like the canine Awoofies). The first Mouthful Mode item encountered is the car, and, while even Kirby’s notoriously floaty controls already work well in this 3D world, Car-Kirby is a perfectly tuned machine that corners like a dream.
He can also take on the forms of soda machines and traffic cones, offering fun and fresh new move sets for the game’s debut play mechanic. Players will find themselves shooting cans, breaking water mains, and so much more on a mission to rescue the captured Waddle Dees. These liberated Waddle Dees will then inhabit the Waddle Dee Town hub, building additional facilities that unlock new in-game perks.
Visually, the game looks fantastic, with particularly stunning fur, feather, and fabric textures. And that soundtrack? Pure Kirby.
For the family gamers among us, two play modes make the game a nice match for old hands and Kirby series newbs alike. Wild Mode offers more Star Coins and a solid challenge, while Spring Breeze Mode provides substantially more health. Kirby’s flying companion Elfilin is always around when you need her to provide a little additional exposition, and drop-in multiplayer (wherein your player two takes control of that scamp Bandana Waddle Dee) makes this title ideal for a little couch co-op with your kids.
While I certainly could go on, I’ll instead wrap things up here and instead direct all interested parties to the Nintendo eShop where you can download a free demo of Kirby and the Forgotten Land right now. If you complete the demo, you’ll even receive a special code you can use should you decide to purchase the full game. And, given how much fun I’ve already had with this one, I’d certainly recommend it.