Kirby and the Forgotten Land Nintendo Switch Review

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is one of the best adventures of this year and if you're a Kirby or platforming fan this is one game you must play.

By Grayshadow, Posted 29 Mar 2022

Kirby is one of Nintendo's most beloved characters, with each new installment bringing a lovable adventure teeming with colorful locations. The franchise is notorious for being a straightforward journey made primarily for children but enjoyed by adults. Kirby and the Forgotten Land mostly go against this, delivering the same child-friendly adventure and adding a layer of formidable levels but still maintaining its charm. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is one of the best adventures of this year, and if you're a Kirby or platforming fan, this is one game you must play.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Nintendo, Switch, Review, HAL Laboratory, Cover, NoobFeed

Kirby and the Forgotten Land has Kirby and most of Dreamland being transported through a vortex to a new world retaken by nature. Kirby eventually finds a city overtaken by wilderness with many of the other landscapes having similar qualities, all structures that once housed hundreds now empty. The Waddle Dees that were also sucked into this world are being taken prisoner by large animals called the Beast Pack. After saving a small creature named Elifilin the 2 join forces to save the Waddle Dees who were taken.

When first revealed, many compared the trailer for Kirby and the Forgotten Land to Super Mario Odyssey, but they are not the same. Instead, Kirby and the Forgotten Land more resembles Super Mario 3D World with a series of linear levels that have secrets hidden throughout. Each stage has Kirby locating hidden Waddle Dees, completing missions, and facing a primary boss within the area. These objectives are unique to the stage and only count when the stage is completed. If you miss anything, you must replay the stage.

The stages are selectable throughout a HUB world that you navigate with the Warp Star. You can instantly travel to any location once unlocked, and the map itself is detailed. The stages are varied and creative but short, with secrets often extending the life of the 2-3 minute stages. Kirby can use its iconic copy ability to duplicate any power but the newest skill is the Mouthful Mode. Here Kirby can suck in a large item and use it for various platforming challenges. This includes a car for driving, a cone for slamming through pipes and hard floors, a wheel for blowing wind, a lightbulb for lighting dark areas, swallowing water for clearing toxic goo and fighting enemies covered the same toxic sludge, gliding, a construction lift for reaching high areas, and another I cannot say for spoilers. The Mouthful Mode is usually reserved for platforming and puzzle challenges, but when used in combat for rare occasions can easily defeat mini-bosses in a few hits. It brings more variety to the gameplay while also building on Kirby's existing talents.

The most defining quality of a Kirby game is the visual design and presentation, and Kirby and the Forgotten Land doesn't disappoint. The entire game looks fantastic, and the designers did an exceptional job with the character models and animations. In comparison, previous Kirby games kept to the whimsical atmosphere, as the developers mixed together both fantasy and realistic designs for something entirely fresh. Buildings and structures were taken straight from real life and placed into Kirby's world but the developers kept that fantasy style the series is known for. Providing a much-needed invigoration to the franchise that usually falls back on identical concepts.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Nintendo, Switch, Review, Gameplay, NoobFeed

Stages are separated into 7 worlds, with the final world containing 1 stage. Each has a theme such as grassland, desert, snow, amusement park, and a volcano with bosses at the end of each stage and mini-bosses occasionally placed in levels. The boss fights are locked behind a Waddle Dee rescue requirement but you'll get more than enough by completing the stages. The boss fights are inventive but easy, each one having unique attacks and can be defeated without a copy ability. The developers ensured that Kirby can still attack using Stars produced by the bosses in its base form.

Controls are reliable, with Kirby able to fly for a limited time, but to prevent players from exploiting this, Kirby can only fly a certain height from the ground and for a finite amount of time. There's only 1 default speed, but Kirby can now dodge effectively. This ability is incredibly useful as when timed Kirby can counter-attack with massive damage. For the game's true final boss, you must learn this mandatory skill.

Stages themselves combine platforming, combat, and puzzles that make use of all of Kirby's skills and abilities are hand. The missions are not revealed at first; instead, if the player fails to complete an optional mission but completes the stage will reveal the objective. Each time you complete the stage, another hidden mission reveals with each stage containing 3, including freeing hidden Waddle Dees. The missions are straightforward as they're listed in order, making it easier to determine the location of interest. 

Freeing Waddle Dees is only meant for progression but building Waddle Dee Town. This safe haven increases in size the most Waddle Dees are saved, adding mini-games, an arena with an optional boss fight unique to it, and consumable items. Kirby also gets its own home where you can rest. The town gets bigger and more robust as you collect Waddle Dees and, when filled feels like an entire village with restaurants, stores, and even a theater to watch previous cutscenes. 

Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Nintendo, Switch, Review, Tower, Fights, NoobFeed, To Isolated Isies

Gashapons which are separated into 4 volumes, serve as the primary optional items. These provide random collectables after completing a stage if collected but can be purchased at Waddle Dee Town, with volume 1 being the cheapest and volume 4 costing the most. You can't unlock all of these by purchasing them as some are locked behind story progression or other requirements, but the game warns you before you spend more Star Coins at the machine. The trophies inside are great collectables and will especially attract Super Smash Bros. Melee fans.

Star Coins serve as the game's currency for not only purchasing gashapons but upgrades and items. Kirby can upgrade its abilities at the Waddle Dee Town after finding a blueprint. Each copy ability is here for you to take before a level, and each upgrade requires Star Coins and Rare Gems. Rare Gems are only obtained from challenge stages and in the end-game stages, with players rewarded with more Star Coins for getting a Par Time. Once the copy ability is upgraded you can change back to any option if you want, with some sub-categories having different advantages. The developers included a testing ground for you to decide which one works best for you.

Kirby can purchase 2 types of consumable items, healing and stat-boosting. Both can be used immediately or stored, but only 1 slot is available for later use. The stat-boosting items are the best since they grant increased speed, strength, or health and can be extended for up to 500 seconds. As for the healing items, they come in 4 variants with the least expensive healing for less and the most expensive healing Kirby to full health. It's nice to have the option, but Kirby's bed provides healing while in town for free so purchasing the food is unnecessary until you take it with you.

The town does include an array of mini-games that can be played alone or cooperatively. This includes memory games such as making food orders and fishing. Each mini-game provides Star Coins and in the case of the arena Rare Gems. Nintendo even included a way for other players to send helpful messages when looking for secrets and the ability to send presents.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Nintendo, Switch, Review, Gameplay, NoobFeed, Boss Fights, Phantom Gorimondo

Whereas the first half of Kirby and the Forgotten Land plays like your standard Kirby game it's what happens afterward that provides the real challenge. Here players are plunged into a new area called the Isolated Isles that serve as an extension of the core campaign. Here players are tasked with going through every level of each stage to collect soul orbs. The developers went above and beyond with this section, remixing the entire levels and even the boss fights. Instead of just reskinning the boss encounters with more health and dealing extra damage, they include entirely new attack patterns and sometimes environmental hazards. 

This can become tedious as with the missions, you have to complete the stage to get credit for all souls obtained, but you'll have to replay everything if you miss any. Thankfully Elifiln will tell the player when all the orbs in an area have been collected. Unlike the first half of the game, the Isolated Isles cannot but tanked through and requires dedication to complete. 

Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Nintendo, Switch, Review, Gameplay, NoobFeed, Stage Cleared, New Missions, Objectives

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is incredible but has its minor issues. You cannot instantly restart challenges after completing the stage, and there's no restart checkpoint option. The aiming for bombs is fickle, and stopping the ice shield takes longer than it should. The game has a notable long loading time when leaving in-progress missions, and there's no way to skip the final outro when completing a mission. These are just minor issues, but they do mount up.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land, Nintendo, Switch, Review, Gameplay, NoobFeed, Forgo Bay

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is one of the best games featuring the iconic pink hero. It delivers the same charm and wonder that the franchise is known for but in a refreshing way with realistic things such as cars and soda machines. The phenomenal visuals are complemented by the excellent level design and boss fights along with challenging encounters for those seeking them. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is another exceptional exclusive on the Nintendo Switch and one you should not miss out on.

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): Switch
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Developer(s): HAL Laboratory
Genres: 3D Platformer
Themes: Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Fighting
Release Date: 2022-03-25

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