Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Nintendo Switch, 2022)


It's Kirby in post-apocalyptic Earth! ...WTF? I seriously have no idea what to expect from this game going in, so let's find out.

The game opens with Kirby on his homeworld when a huge storm happens, pulling him into the sky.

He wakes up on the shore, Link's Awakening style.

The cutscene seamlessly shifts to gameplay and it looks like this game is in 3D. That's right, the first (I think) Kirby game to let you move around in 3 dimensions. The visuals are also pretty nice.

This new world that Kirby has been yoinked into is clearly Earth...a post-post-post apocalyptic Earth where the ruins of the old world are long-since overgrown with vegetation.

The levels follow a pretty linear path, like Mario 3D World or Crash Bandicoot. There's no roaming around in this game and it isn't open-world, two things it kind of appeared to have at first glance.

The gameplay is like the other Kirby games, steal powers from enemies and use 'em. The sword is the first one you get and probably the most common, which works for me because it's my favorite. I remember when I first got it in Kirby's Dream Land 2 and could only use it for the final battle of that game, now it's in all of 'em.

Here's that damn Poppy Bros bastard, who has fallen far since his days of being a miniboss. Now he just lurks around, throwing bombs and wishing he could regain his ability to jump.

In the ruins of a car showroom, we find this beat-up old retro car. It doesn't work anymore, but Kirby can copy it and Become Car.

Now we see the debut of the main antagonists of the game, SHIBA INUS. They strike in packs and they're vicious.

Wait, seriously? These guys are the villains? Are they the ones who destroyed the world? IS THIS GAME A META-COMMENTARY ON CRYPTO?

Kirby becomes a car and peels away to safety. He's like a super-benevolent version of The Thing, running around assimilating everybody.

There are a bunch of these vehicle bits throughout the game and it adds some variety.

Sometimes a barrier appears and locks you into fighting a few enemies before you can progress.

Here's Player Two (if you choose to co-op), Bandana Waddle Dee. Since the last game, he's joined the Crips.

World 1 is Natural Plains. What's natural about it? I don't know, but it's full of ruins of buildings.

I assimilate a vending machine and run around shooting canned goods at foes. The canned goods turn into healing items when they hit the ground, which brings me to one of the issues with this game: It absolutely inundates you with healing items. This game drops healing items like Stranger of Paradise drops loot, it's ridiculous. It's hard to run into anything resembling danger in this game, and as a result the game isn't intense or all that interesting 90% of the time.

Miniboss! I actually looked away from the screen and kept mashing the attack button to throw cutters, and I won. Yep. I didn't even look at the screen. Playing on the harder difficulty level too. I hope it increases the difficulty beyond "impossible to lose" at some point. I don't want the game to be difficult, I just want it to feel like I'm accomplishing anything by winning these fights.

Kirby goes SUPER SAIYAN as he battles mushrooms and spinning faces. I like how enemies from his very first Game Boy game are alive and well here.

The cannon puzzle is one of the puzzles I like from this series. LIGHT THE FUSE and jump in before the fuse finishes burning up, then see where it sends you.

Kirby assimilates...a staircase??

Kirby: "Whoa! I'm a staircase!"

On this island we see one of the many, many side-stages in this game. Every world has five main stages (fifth is usually shorter, with the boss), but you also have these side-stages that appear between main stages. They're purely optional, and consist of quick challenge courses.

Winning these quick challenge courses usually involves using a specific power for the entire thing, and nets you currency for upgrading your powers. That's right, the powers can be upgraded, sometimes with rad effects.

Damn, the porcupine power is HARDCORE in this game. You basically turn into Lavos.

Speaking of Lavos, this world looks like it went through the Day of Lavos. Here's a Shinra-esque insignia. Kirby asks no questions about this world because these aspects of it mean nothing to him in particular compared to any other world, but we the players know what we're looking at.

Kirby flees from a GIANT BOULDER.

On this screen you can see how many Waddle Dees you've rescued from each level. There are 46 total in World 1 and I believe you need 15 to reach stage 5 / the boss (which I'm already past as of level 3). I'm going out of my way to find everything.

I've heard of the Mall stage, and here it is. Weird that it's called "Alivel Mall" but now that I think about it, it's pretty much the most "alive" place in this world.

I like these quick vistas at the beginning of each level, and they're usually visually remarkable in some way.

Long-dead escalators greet our hero at the entrance. This vaguely reminds me of the Souls series in that it's transpiring in a world with all kinds of hints of "what used to be" before whatever great cataclysm that felled it. Which figures because the amount of Souls similarities increases as this game goes on, and it definitely isn't an accident.

It's PORCUPINE MANIA. This was probably my least-favorite power in KDL2 because you were stationary while activating it, but here you can roll around like a deadly death ball.

The main objective throughout all of these levels is to rescue these guys. Beating a level normally will get you like 3 of them at the end, plus there are 4 hidden ones, plus you'll get a few more from various side-objectives (usually 3 side-objectives with 1 Waddle per).

The visuals in this game have a great mood to them that kind of feels like Link's Awakening Remake. Like a diorama look or something.


That's actually the first boss, Donkey Kong's angry mohawked cousin.

He does big sweeping attacks that you can jump over and strike back, and feels more like a Souls boss than anything else. You circle while locked on and wait for an opening to unleash damage. However, there's no dodge/roll button here, nor is there even a run button, which makes it significantly harder to be evasive. Luckily you have a massive amount of HP so none of that really matters, and you can face-tank most bosses while spamming ability of choice.

Here's one of the cooler things about this game: Waddle Dee's Gun Emporium. You can warp back here between stages and pick out a new ability if you don't like the one you've got. He stocks everything you've found so far, plus...

...you can evolve your abilities by finding scrolls out in the wild, usually hidden in stages.

I already found the Volcano Fire Blueprint, which upgrades the fire power to Tier 2.


"Not in the shop!" screeches the shopkeeper.

More on this later.

1 comment:

  1. Rob Schneider is... a staircase! Rated PG.

    Powering up abilities sounds really cool.