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Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a 3D platformer in the Kirby series released worldwide for the Nintendo Switch system on March 25, 2022. It is the second game in the series after Kirby Star Allies in 2018 to be released for the Switch. It was first announced at a September 2021 Nintendo Direct, and was released as part of the franchise's 30th anniversary celebration. It is the first mainline Kirby game with full 3D gameplay.

Plot

One day, a mysterious portal opens up in Dream Land, sucking numerous characters and objects into it. Including King Dedede, Meta Knight, Bandana Waddle Dee and King Dedede's Waddle Dees. Kirby gets sucked into the portal and washes up into a vast unknown land where he must rescue the Waddle Dees from the Beast Pack, with the help of his new companion Elfilin.

Gameplay

Kirby (Hammer ability) in a desert-like level encountering a Sir Kibble enemy.

Similar to past titles, players take control as Kirby as he navigates areas and defeats enemies using his copy abilities. This time, in a series first, the gameplay takes place in a third-person 3D environment where players can "freely navigate" areas while completing levels in a linear fashion. A golden cage of Waddle Dees awaits at the end of each stage, and freeing them will complete the level.[1][2] Each stage seems to have "Missions" where players must complete certain tasks such as finding a certain amount of additional Waddle Dees.

Waddle Dee Town, the game's hub world.

The game also has a hub world, Waddle Dee Town, in which it will expand based on the amount of Waddle Dees rescued. A number of activities are available including fishing and running a restaurant. There, players can play minigames and connect online for scores.

For copy abilities, many from prior installments return, with new additions include the Drill and Ranger abilities.[2] This time, copy abilities can evolve into more powerful forms through Waddle Dee’s Weapons Shop.[3][4]

Characters

Playable

Bosses

Copy Abilities

New Drill (left) and Ranger (right) abilities.

Mouthful Mode

Kirby Forgotten Mouthful Mode.png

In this new addition, Kirby has the ability to swallow large objects such as cars and large amounts of water. They each provide a unique set of abilities. His appearance will also change, nearly matching the objects swallowed.[4]

These are the following abilities confirmed for "Mouthful Mode":

Development

In early 2021, Kirby series' current director, Shinya Kumazaki, has stated about a "next stage" for the series when discussing about the series' future.[5] Prior to its reveal, the game was accidentally leaked online on September 23, 2021 due to a listing on Nintendo's Japanese release schedule, with a tentative release date for "Spring 2022".[6] On the same day, the game and its release window were officially revealed during a Nintendo Direct broadcast.[1]

In January 2022, the second trailer and new details were released, confirming the release date of March 25, 2022.[2]

Reception

Kirby and the Forgotten Land received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic. Critics hailed it as one of the best Kirby games ever made.

Several reviewers gave high praise to the exploration-based level design, citing the optional challenges, collectibles, and Treasure Road as elements that gave each level a substantial feel. The upgradable copy abilities and Mouthful Mode were also heavily praised for the gameplay variety they provided while remaining a part of the game's core design, making the combat and platforming consistently interesting as a result. Boss fights were also lauded for requiring the utilization of copy abilities, with several praising the increased difficulty of Forgotten Land in comparison to previous entries in the franchise. The game's visuals and level themes were similarly commended, with the post-apocalyptic aesthetic of the game being cited as creative. Local co-op was praised for being fun and seamless while accommodating younger players. The Waddle Dee Town hub was praised for encouraging player exploration and was deemed a substantially rewarding experience.

Minor criticism was directed towards the sluggish movement, limited vertical movement, grounded environments, and the stale nature of recurring mini-bosses.

Sales

Kirby and the Forgotten Land sold over 2.65 million copies as of the end of March 2022. This means that in one week on the market it managed to become the third best selling Kirby game up until then.

Trivia

  • While it is the first mainline Kirby game to do so, the series has impemented 3D gameplay in the past in sub-entries and spin-offs. Kirby 3D Rumble, Kirby's Blowout Blast, and Kirby Air Ride are notable examples.
  • The first letter of each main world (including both words in Lab Discovera) spells "NEWWORLD".

References

External link

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