Kirby and the Forgotten Land Review: Think Pink! (Switch)

Floating onto Nintendo Switch comes Kirby and the Forgotten Land. Join Kirby in another exciting adventure as he and his friend are transported to a strange new world filled with threats old and new! Upgrade your powers and use Mouthful Mode to save the day in this 3D Platformer. But is it any good? Find out in this review!

Kirby And The Forgotten Land Review: Think Pink!

Developed by HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo Kirby and the Forgotten Land sees the return of the ever-joyful Kirby in a brand new adventure. And for the first time in a fully 3D adventure. Well, first 3D Adventure on home consoles but that is a debate for another time. In this titanic title, you’ll float, fly, and gobble up baddies as you try to save the Waddle Dees after they and Kirby are transported to a strange new (yet familiar) world.

The big gimmick this time around is Mouthful Mode. Throughout the game, there will be a selection of items that Kirby can suck up to unlock some brand-new abilities. Suck up a traffic cone to help enemies get the point, suck up a vending machine to shoot soda cans, suck up water to relive Super Mario Sunshine, and much more besides. I won’t lie dear reader, reviewing Kirby and the Forgotten Land has been a joy. And is easily one of my favourite games this generation.

Kirby And The Forgotten Land is available now on Nintendo Switch via the My Nintendo Store, eShop or on physical cartridges for £49.99 or your local equivalent.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land – Announcement Trailer – Nintendo Switch

Story – Once Upon a Star

As one would expect Kirby and the Forgotten Land‘s story is fairy straight towards. One day as Kirby is minding his own business swaggering through planet Pop Star a mysterious portal opens up sucks and many innocent Waddle Dees into it. They are then thrown into a strange and largely abandoned new world. Along the way, Kirby meets Elfilin and learns he must save the now-captive Waddle Dees! On his quest, Kirby discovers that passing through the portal has granted him a new power, though more on that later. Can Kirby save the day? Find out in the game or something!!

Kirby And The Forgotten Land features plenty of cute cutscenes,

Kirby And The Forgotten Land features plenty of cute cutscenes,

It goes without saying that of all the titles released in 2022 Kirby and the Forgotten Land is hardly the deepest and most thematically complex. Even if it is yet another title that Nintendo has produced with post-apocalyptic elements within it; it is their third or fourth on the Switch alone featuring elements of that. The world the game takes place in has a terribly familiar look to it. With the circumstances of its current fate never being outright stated but you do get hints about it in some of the text of the “Gacha” items you can discover.

Familiar Places

Again, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is not a title with a deeper thematic edge to it. Though with that said it does offer some surprisingly deep environmental storytelling the likes of which I’ve not seen in a very long time. Sure, it is still a kid-friendly title your child or younger relative can play without being upset by said storytelling. But as an adult, I can just see the kids of today who play this making “This Kirby game is so DARK” YouTube videos in ten or fifteen years’ time. Beyond all of this, the story itself is perfectly in tune with what a game like this needs; it is light, bright, breezy, and contains many cute moments.

That's not unnerving at all!

That’s not unnerving at all!

As I say, there isn’t really much to discuss in regard to Kirby and the Forgotten Land‘s story. There are some fun moments sprinkled throughout. And the game’s cutscenes are well-animated, often cute, and undeniably charming. With many of the characters present, both old and new, are animated in such a way that grants them a wealth of personality. This a great game if you want something you can just sit back and enjoy without worrying about being troubled by darker or heavier material.

Gameplay – Star Warrior 3D

Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a 3D Platformer which takes the basic gameplay loop of the previous Kirby games and translates it to a proper 3D plane for the first time in the series’ history. Though there is some debate on that fact. Regardless the title as it stands is a perfect recreation of the traditional mechanics of the Kirby series. Feeling like a logical direction to the series. Evolving certain aspects whilst keeping many true to the original formula.

The new Zelda game is looking great.

The new Zelda game is looking great.

If you have ever played a Kirby title before you have a basic idea of how this one works. You hop about the levels sucking up baddies to gain powers. Said powers can be used to defeat other enemies, and bosses, or to solve puzzles. It is all basic stuff. But it is done brilliantly well. And this ‘basicness’ makes it an easy title to learn and master the controls of in short order. This giving you more time to enjoy the game and explore the worlds and experiment with certain powers. Honestly, I’ve had a blast playing Kirby and the Forgotten Land for this review.

Beginner’s Pluck

In truth, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is perfect for newcomers to the platforming genre. Be they adults or children. The challenges it offers are simple to understand and there are never any levels or sequences that ask too much of the player. Aside from maybe the odd boss fight but even then it is nothing too difficult. And it has a modest level of difficulty that can be made easier with the Spring Breeze mode. Plus there is a co-op mode so another person can join in and help should they be needed. Of course, the ease of access isn’t without its own obvious downsides.

Kirby And The Forgotten Land is great for kids and beginners.

Kirby And The Forgotten Land is great for kids and beginners.

In short, it might be too easy for some. Again, this is an excellent title for those who are bad at or looking to start playing platformers. But for anyone looking for a harder challenge then regrettably you aren’t going to find it here. Seeking out the hidden Waddle Dees does add an extra layer of challenge back into events. But even still it is easy to get them all in one go for almost anyone with even the slightest level of experience with the platforming genera.

Waddle Dees Whatta Day!

Granted experiences with that can vary. Not least of all due to the fact that whilst many of those challenges are easy, some are rather obscure. Sure, with some it is simple stuff you’d find via exploration or standard stuff like completing certain objectives quickly or without losing health. But sometimes it can be fairly random stuff like greeting seagulls on the map. Something I’d have totally missed had I not accidentally bumped into one on that particular level.

The rescued Waddle Dees will build their own village.

The rescued Waddle Dees will build their own village.

In addition to these, there are special star challenges which you need to complete to get star stones to upgrade your moves. These challenges are simple enough. Requiring you to complete a special challenge map in a limited time frame. The hardest thing about them is trying to complete them in the challenge time. But even then it is just a matter of practice to eventually get them done completely. And for those of you hoping that you’d get a bonus for doing them under the target time you don’t. Just some bonus coins. Which feels rather lame given how time-consuming some can be.

Big Mouth!

As previously stated, the big new gimmick for this Kirby game is the Mouthful Mode. It makes for a cute and fun gimmick. And it is always neat to discover new ones along the way. Though sadly it isn’t quite as impressive as I feel it should be. In truth, they just feel like your standard powers but with an extra layer of flare. Plus you only ever use them in limited areas. With them functioning more as solutions to puzzles than power-ups. They are a lot of fun to use. But the gimmick isn’t quite as cool as others the Kirby series has had over the years.

The Mouthful Mode powers are fun if limited.

The Mouthful Mode powers are fun if limited.

I still feel that the combination powers from Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards is more interesting and fun. But this title does make up for it by the fact you can upgrade many of the powers you collect. Giving them new traits to suit your playstyle or the challenges at hand. These can be swapped out at the Waddle Dee Village. The location that all the rescued Waddle Dees go to. And yes, it is every bit as adorable as it sounds. And it kind of makes me want a spin-off game where you have to manage/build a village for them. But that is a whole other matter.

Pink Think

Even with all of that said I’d be lying if I said that Kirby and the Forgotten Land hasn’t been a joy to review. The controls are simply great with them being easy to learn and having great response times. The title plays well on both TV and Handheld mode with neither version feeling like the definitive entity. And beyond anything else, it is just plain fun. And its transition into 3D has really paid off. Which is a phrase I never thought I’d ever say this side of 1997.

Adventure in the third dimension!

Adventure in the third dimension!

Whilst I will grant you that this isn’t a game for everyone; again, it can be too easy at times with it having less of a difficulty curve and more of a slight bump. If you are looking for a light and bright platformer on the Switch with decent replay value then this is the title for you. And if you are on the fence, there is a demo you can download from the Switch’s Eshop. And a very good one at that. This proves once again that video game demos are a good thing and developers of all stripes should really make use of them more. But that is a discussion for another time.

Graphics & Audio – Brave New Worlds

As one would expect going into any Nintendo game the production values of Kirby and the Forgotten Land are astoundingly high. With some fantastically produced music, and visuals that are truly top-notch. I’ll be honest dear reader and say that this is one of those occasions where Ol’ Chris is struggling to really put into words how great they are. The game looks brilliant. Working well with the hardware to create worlds and levels that are almost as rich in colour and character as our lead. Creating a world which truly does look lived in. Even if the occupants are absent.

Kirby And The Forgotten Land has some brilliantly designed worlds.

Kirby And The Forgotten Land has some brilliantly designed worlds.

I’ve played this title on TV and Handheld and never experienced any slowdown. With everything running at a decent pace both from a technical and structural point of view; everything ramps up rather nicely but never to the point it feels like it asks too much of you. Sure, this isn’t the most graphically impressive game this generation. It isn’t pushing the envelope in that regard. But everything feels so expertly crafted that it is defiantly one of the best-designed games of this generation. Providing some memorable and brilliantly design worlds and some wonderful new characters to enjoy.

A Kick to the Krib

Likewise, the music is great. Providing a selection of well-composed and brilliantly performed pieces of music. Each one feels adventurous and slightly epic, but at the same time cheerful and buoyant. Much like our hero to be fair. Just about everything looks and feels perfect. There is one minor issue which I’ll get into in a moment. But beyond this, I have to say that Kirby and the Forgotten Land looks almost perfect for a title like this and is one of the best I have reviewed that came out in 2022.

Not a rustle to be had.

Not a rustle to be had.

Something that does annoy me about the sound design of Kirby and the Forgotten Land (and is something that annoyed me throughout the playthrough for the review) is the absence of sound effects in the cutscenes. I’ll grant you that in the grand scheme of things that isn’t much. But given how brilliantly they are animated and how great the soundtrack is the absence of them in those scenes give them this weirdly unfinished quality to it. Yes, it is done for creative flare. But for me, it just feels strange to witness. When this was happening in the demo I accepted it as it was just a demo. The absence here is a strange creative decision. But hardly one to ruin the title.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land was reviewed on Nintendo Switch.

Summary
Without a shadow of a doubt Kirby And The Forgotten Land is one of the best titles to have released in 2022. And one of the best on the Nintendo Switch. Offering bright, breezy, and downright fun gameplay all wrapped up with some brilliant and characterful levels and characters. However it may be too easy for the more hardcore gamer looking for a challenge.
Good
  • Brilliant Art Style
  • Great Soundtrack.
  • Super transition to 3D gameplay.
  • Charming cast.
Bad
  • Maybe too easy for some.
  • Mouthful Mode is kind of disappointing.
9
Amazing

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