Kirby and the Forgotten World review

Kirby and the Forgotten World is filled to the brim with content, creativity and plenty of charm. An excellent game.
The Kirby and the Forgotten World review gave Sander a headache, because the wide grin he had while playing just wouldn’t go down.

There it is, the very first Kirby game in the main series in 3D. After nearly thirty years of Kirby games, with successful and less successful experiments, developer HAL Laboratories has managed to perfect the 3D formula. It was well worth the wait, because Kirby and the Forgotten World is so much more than a horribly new installment in the series. Above all, it is a game that takes you on an unforgettable journey full of richly filled levels, minigames and full of charm.

Kirby and the Waddle Dees on Planet Popstar are suddenly sucked through a vortex one day and end up in the Forgotten World, where the Beasts hold sway. The Waddle Dees are soon kidnapped and Kirby sets out to rescue them. He does so with the help of Elfilin, a friendly yet mysterious creature who acts as his guide through the seemingly post-apocalyptic world. It’s a simple premise that does its job well and yet manages to provide a spectacular finale towards the end of the game.

The levels are all well designed. They are relatively short, but contain a lot of charm. Kirby travels through city ruins, abandoned amusement parks and dilapidated factories, each containing massive puzzle rooms, unique optional missions and plenty of secrets. Kirby’s copying powers play an important role in solving all those riddles, and sometimes you have to jump into a level several times to unlock everything. That is anything but a punishment. The Kirby series effortlessly makes the step to 3D gameplay here. Each level puts a smile on your face, because of the design, the wonderful music, and the ingenious level design.

In addition, Kirby and the Forgotten World gradually becomes a lot more challenging than previous games in the series. Each world has several treasure paths, a kind of ‘challenge rooms’ in which you have to reach the goal within a certain time with a specific power. The later worlds in the game also become challenging, especially when you play on ‘Wild’ difficulty where your health is halved. However, players who are looking for less of a challenge can fall back on the ‘Green as Grass’ difficulty setting. There are also a number of strengthening items that support you well. Kirby and the Forgotten World thus addresses a long-standing criticism of the lack of challenge, but at the same time doesn’t sideline new and younger players. Everyone is welcome in this beautiful world.

Kirby has twelve powers at his disposal in this game, including the well-known sword, fire and ice powers as well as new ones such as the ‘adventurer’ and the drill. They have relatively few copy powers, but they can each be upgraded several times. For example, you can upgrade the sword to a ‘claymore’ and the fire power-up goes from volcano powers to dragon fire. Each upgrade is visually different but also changes in power and attack speed, providing a different experience on all fronts. For each copying power you ultimately choose your favorite and therefore build your own arsenal that you prefer to fight with. Small changes, big impact.

The new mouthful transformations are also diverse and always useful. They let you turn into objects that completely change the playstyle for a moment. With the car you tear through the levels and break through walls, with the drinks machine you fire cans at enemies and walls, and with the water balloon Kirby slurps full of water which he then uses to clear up mud, for example. The transformations have a wide range of functions for puzzles, exploration and combat. The mouthful transformations are therefore a bull’s eye.

The multiplayer is also successful. Player two plays as Bandana Waddle Dee, an old hand in the business. With his spear and wide range of attacks, that character assists Kirby in an almost Dynasty Warriors-like way. More importantly, the second player is therefore never subservient to the pink marshmallow. While the Kirby player has control over the camera and always has more to do thanks to the copy and mouthfull powers, player two is certainly more than a simplistic ‘assist’ mode due to Bandana Waddle Dee’s unique playstyle.

Finally, there is the Waddle Dee village, where all rescued Waddle Dees find refuge. This hub contains the gunsmith where you upgrade your powers, but is also full of mini-games and special shops that you unlock along the way. There is a fishing pond where you earn money, a colosseum where you endure multiple battles for unique rewards, but also a food stall where you serve customers in an addictive minigame. In addition, you can snap an owl in Kirby’s hut to replenish your health, but also display the figures that you find in the levels. This optional hub grows with your efforts, quickly bonding you with the Waddle Dees and coming back time and time again.

Kirby and the Forgotten World is simply an excellent game. Not only is it the best Kirby game in a long time, but it transcends itself thanks to a cartload of secrets, minigames, charm, and rock-solid gameplay. Developer HAL Laboratories has brought Kirby to 3D perfectly. Kirby and the Forgotten World is unforgettable.

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