This game is just so unbearably cute. With many games the venture from a side scrolling game into a 3 dimensional more roaming game left many heavy hitters suffering many failures (just look at Sonic). So let’s look into Kirby’s first true venture into a 3 dimensional game.
Right at the start of the game Kirby is sucked through a tear in space and time, much of Dreamland and its residents being sucked in too notably the Waddle Dees. Kirby then wakes up on a beach, then after you walk through a small jungly area you soon find the setting of the game. Kirby is exploring what is essentially the Earth having long been abandoned by Man as nature has overgrown the ruins of Man’s cities. This is further explored in the fact that the enemies of the game, the Beast Pack are just that, the beasts that have claimed the Earth in Man’s absence. And all of this is super adorable. I mean look at the basic enemy of the game the Awoofy, go on look it’s just so cute I want one as a pet.
Kirby’s abilities are both more and less diverse due to the move into 3d. While yes he has fewer core absorbed abilities and his jumping/floating is a bit diminished. Those abilities he does have are expanded upon with more abilities leaving few ones I’d label as junk plus being able to run round things and do a dash for a quick dodge will become very handy on later boss fights plus none of the fights had me yelling about how Kirby was meant to avoid something so the game is well designed around his tool set.
New to this game is the full mouth mode which have Kirby suck up some apparel of modern life like a car and he basically wraps his body around it to use that tool (there’s a fair few driving sequences yes and its adorable seeing his little feet wiggling in the back).
The game plays out through several large areas (which I will be calling worlds because I grew up on snes games and that term just became by default for such things) each based around a major theme but still built around the ruins of Man. So for example the first area is more standard city but turned into a jungle, there’s the ruins of aquatic industries as another as well as a world all built around an old amusement park. Completing each level is not the only goal as there is also finding all the Waddle Dees that have been captured by the Beast Pack. You get 3 default from completing each level as the big cage holding them is the end goal, but there are several hidden single cages in each level. As well as the hidden cages there are further Waddle Dees that you get from beating hidden challenges in each level, these can range to beating mini bosses in certain wars, doing certain sections under a set time or just exploring to a particular area there’s a large amount or different things. All these Waddle Dees then go live in the Waddle Dee town that gets set up as you play the game giving Kirby a base.
Waddle Dee town is also home to many additional mini games and challenges but also several services that aid our pink eldritch horror most importantly upgrading the copy abilities into new stronger forms. To get these you need to find first the blueprints to the stronger forms hidden in stages or some from completing extra challenges and then using currency and rare stones you find in game you can see Kirby become even more powerful than he already was (I’m very fond of the final fire upgrade and watching all the bosses melt before his dragon flames).
The game contains many post game challenges that are very welcoming to do and passed at the right level that working to get 100 percent is well worth it, there’s also several things you can do that don’t go towards the 100 percent completion that you can do at your own pace.
As said at the start the move to 3D is often very challenging for a franchise with many that succeeded often changing in ways that creates divides between the 2d and 3d fans. But Kirby here feels fully like a Kirby game in 3d. Forgotten Land is a great Kirby game that will when it’s time to challenge you feel like a challenge, oh that boss wasn’t so hard? well one of the challenges is beat it without being hit, hope you memorized its attack pattern. So for new and old fans of the most powerful Nintendo protagonist (and by a long way, just imagine all those Jrpg protags who fight God as the final boss, and then realize that protag would be nothing against Kirby) this is well worth your time not just for beating the game, but completing the game…. and I still want a awoofy.