Kirby and the Forgotten Land is easily one of the best games I’ve played recently and now one of my favorite platformers. You can probably guess that I wanted to explore it fully by that 100% clear screenshot. It’s fun and challenging while also being welcoming to less skilled gamers, which I think is fantastic. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start by talking about an event before the game launched.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land 3D Walkthrough was a fun little pop-up back in March at Universal CityWalk Hollywood, the shops outside Universal Studios Hollywood. They had these various photo-ops with Kirby characters and gave attendees small draw-string bags and lanyards. My friend gem came with me, and I’m glad she asked about fun poses because someone working there suggested posing as if my foot was getting stomped by the hammer! I also love the photo implying I got hit by Car Mouth Kirby!
I brought my backlit Game Boy Pocket so I could play a little classic Kirby Pinball Land too! Or maybe I didn’t really play it at all and just recorded it for the Internet. I’ll never tell.
I wasn’t done looking for Kirby in the real world, because I also heard that Target had these Kirby covers on their red ball bollards. I definitely had to go hunting for them! I think I probably checked close to 10 Targets before finding one that had them. Then I had to ask gem to come out again to take photos of me with them. Tangentially related, multiple people commented on my Aquabats t-shirt that day!
Now let’s talk about the game itself. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the first main series Kirby game to be fully explorable in 3D. Like most Kirby games, it’s bright, colorful, and fun – at least at first. It does get darker at the end, but it’s nothing that would be bad for children. The world shown in the above screenshot of the game was one of my favorites because I absolutely loved the bright colors and amusement park setting.
gem was playing the game at the same time as me, so it was fun to talk about it and compare what we were doing and what we thought. At first, I was trying to 100% each level as I went, but later I decided to just try to beat the game and then come back to 100% each part. The final boss was quite challenging, and then there was a whole additional post-game world to master!
The game features “mouth full mode” for the first time. Rather than just sucking up enemies to gain abilities based on them, Kirby can stretch around large objects to control them. In this video, Coaster Mouth Kirby rides the rollercoaster!
The levels feature gorgeous cinematic intros as well that I thoroughly enjoyed.
What I love most about the game is its variable difficulty with so many optional goals. You can choose between Wild Mode and Spring-Breeze Mode at any time. In Wild Mode, enemies are tougher and you have less health, but you earn bonus coins that are used for upgrades and power-ups. You can change difficulties at any time, but you’ll need to restart the current level to do so. I played in Wild Mode, but I’m glad the easier option was available too.
More important than that in my opinion is all the side goals. Like most platformers, the goal of most levels is simply to get to the end of the stage. But each level also has a number of other tasks that reward additional Waddle Dees to be saved, a way of marking progress in the game, as well as other collectibles. A younger or less experienced player might choose to blow through each level and ignore all the extra collectibles and goals. By doing this, the game can feel much easier than it would if the player wanted the additional challenge. I think it’s fantastic that I can truly challenge myself to 100% the game and feel accomplished by doing so, but I can also let my friend’s young son borrow the game and watch as he enjoys it too. A game that I can 100%, that I can give to my friend’s son to enjoy, and that I can give to a different friend as one of a few wedding presents? Love it!
Like I said at the top, this is one of the best games I’ve played in a while, and I’m surprised it’s not getting a bit more attention. I highly recommend it anyone who loves platformers or for kids who want to have some fun in the beautiful levels!