TAG24's Take: Forgotten Land brings Kirby into a 3D world that lives up to the hype
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is out exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, but is the final product actually worth all the hype surrounding its release?
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Kirby as a beloved video game character, so developers HAL Laboratory have a lot to prove.
But then again, maybe they don't. Kirby has been one of Nintendo's most popular icons since the early 90s, and with more than 30 games, varying in genres, he's got a strong catalog behind him. At this point, a Kirby title could probably do no wrong.
Kirby is like the cute version of Mario, the alternative for kids that grew up on anime and don't see the appeal in playing as an Italian plumber.
As the first 3D adaptation in the series, Forgotten Land is something of an experiment. Mainline Kirby games have typically stuck to the 2D platformer format, making this title a stray from what fans have come to expect.
This isn't at all a bad thing. If ever there was a game series that deserved a more open 3D world treatment, it's the big K.
Forgotten land delivers a definitive Kirby experience that fans of the series have longed for in a really cool way, and it absolutely lives up to the hype. So far, it has been the best gaming experience I've had in a long time that didn't involve blood, guts, and gore.
A fun experience for young and veteran gamers
Forgotten Land is simply and undeniably a fun game. It's packed with plenty of action and mini-games, making it feel dynamic and continuously engaging.
The setting gives off The Last of Us Part II vibes, with an abandoned city overgrown with vegetation. It's thriving with all kinds of mysterious secrets and creatures, but in this case the creatures look like a new generation of Pokémon instead of monsters trying to eat your face off.
At a time when we all can't help but think about end times or vast cities left in ruins, it's not lost on me why the game's developers decided to take it in that direction, and it's effective at appealing to an older audience while capturing the cutesy, kid-friendly world that the Kirby series is known for.
As for gameplay, it's pretty similar to Super Mario World, giving players challenging obstacles and battles to fight their way through in a trippy world that makes you feel like you ate a toadstool before playing.
In predictable Nintendo fashion, it does give the option of playing couch co-op with a friend. A second player can join in the fun as Bandana Waddle Dee, but with limited abilities and control. While the co-op is a bit underwhelming, it's always a welcomed addition.
There are only two difficulty settings offered at the beginning of the game, giving players the option to have a more challenging experience with Wild Mode, or a more forgiving one with Spring-Breeze Mode. It seems the game designers intended for it to appeal to younger audiences while being engaging enough for more veteran gamers.
Overall, Forgotten Land is an incredible addition to the series and quite possibly one of the best Kirby games ever.
Cover photo: Nintendo