Nintendo has published a new Kirby game nearly every year since Kirby’s Dream Land launched for the Game Boy in 1992. These games have experimented with different genres, but the mainline Kirby games have all been side-scrollers – until now. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is the first 3D platformer Kirby game, and it proves that there’s a lot about the Kirby franchise that translates perfectly to the 3D space.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land takes full advantage of its new 3D environment, showing off impressive set-pieces and using clever cinematic camera shots to give the world a sense of scale not found in previous Kirby games. After Kirby and the denizens of Dream Land are transported to a new world, Kirby washes up on a beach in a manner not unlike Crash Bandicoot, and then players are set loose to see what this new take on Kirby is all about.
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Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a 3D platformer, but it maintains a strict linear structure. Players aren’t exploring large open environments like Super Mario 64, but the levels themselves are full of secrets and hidden paths for players to discover. It’s a little disappointing that HAL Laboratory and Nintendo didn’t go all-out with the jump to 3D, but what’s here is still very impressive and feels like a major leap forward for the franchise.
In the transition to 3D, Kirby retains all the usual tricks that fans have become accustomed to in his other adventures, including his ability to float and consume enemies to absorb their powers. Kirby and the Forgotten Land levels are often populated with a nice selection of different enemies for Kirby to absorb, so players are able to swap between different copy abilities regularly. Of course, there are levels designed with specific copy abilities in mind, though usually players have a lot of freedom when it comes to what powers they’re using.
Kirby’s rogues’ gallery looks tremendous in Kirby and the Forgotten Land, with the…