Kirby and the Forgotten Land Preview – The Last of Us but Adorable?

Like many of you, I enjoy a little goofy Kirby game here and there. When Nintendo announced that the next Kirby Game, Kirby and the Forgotten Landwould apparently take place in…*note checks*… post-apocalypse, uh, I was pretty good with that. It’s a weird combination, but it’s also Kingdom Hearts And that rules, so I’m down for some Mad Max x Kirby. The demo covers the first world, and hot diggety is as fun as it is cute.

Kirby is just chilling out when he’s sucked into a seemingly abandoned Earth world. There he finds dogs and birds capturing Waddle Dees that have been sucked in and putting them in large cages that they could Probably get out of. As the heroic little guy that he is, Kirby decides to travel through this deserted city to free the Waddle Dees alongside his new friend Elfilin, even if it means swallowing cars and fighting big gorillas.

This is the first fully 3D Kirby game (the N64 was an odd mix of 2D and 3D, after all) and it works pretty well. Running Kirby in a 3D environment is smooth and fast, and some features have been streamlined to remove the directional button presses that were previously required. Kirby automatically swallows things that give him powers and can manually swallow other things with the trigger buttons. This simplifies things and speeds up the process of switching between powers, which works well with 3D.

Sure, powers like Sword and Ice return, but the real highlight is Mouthful Mode, where Kirby wraps his entire body around a large object as he tries to eat it. The demo lets you be a car, a vending machine, and a pylon, and all three had distinct abilities and charming, goofy designs. I can’t wait to see what else you can do in the full game, because it’s the most fun gadget in a Kirby game has had for quite a while. You don’t even have to give up your current power supply to enter Mouthful mode, which makes power management even easier.

The enemies have a lot of charm as always, and I liked the giant gorilla you fight at the end of the demo.

The demo gives you a choice between regular difficulty and “wild mode”, which is described as harder but more abundant with Star Coins. I found the wild mode to still be very easy, so I recommend giving it a try even if you don’t normally pick harder modes. I’m guessing Star Coins will be used to buy the little Kirby and Cohors trophies you’ll find in Gachapon Pods throughout the demo, so getting more on a still easy difficulty can’t hurt.

The environments and landscapes are nice enough for such a simple game, although background enemies had some framerate issues in handheld mode. There’s a surreal feel to watching Kirby walk through a city overrun with flora, but that kind of experimentation keeps a series fresh, so I appreciate the bold decision. The enemies have a lot of charm as always, and I liked the giant gorilla you fight at the end of the demo.

So in sum, Kirby and the Forgotten Land excited me. It’s weird, fun, and silly, and those are my three favorite things. I can’t wait to roam other desolate places as everyone’s beloved pink puffball and see what other special powers the development team has come up with. Kirby and the Forgotten Land releases for the Nintendo Switch on March 25.

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