Kirby Star Allies was a crushing disappointment. Kirby has always been a series that focuses on the light and fluffy, avoiding challenge or anything too spiky where it can – but the pink blob’s first venture onto the Switch was a step too far.
It was poorly paced and far too slight, with the four player focus making the action muddled and comically easy.
Forgotten Land rights those wrongs, and although it has many of its own flaws is still a satisfying adventure and possibly the best Kirby game ever made.
For one it’s a 3D adventure rather than residing on a 2D plane, feeling very much like a lighter version of Super Mario 3D World.
Set in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic world (it’s all explained by the end, and quite well) you explore a range of environments you wouldn’t usually expect to see Kirby in – such as decaying shopping malls and run down fun fairs. All in order to rescue Waddle Dees, which in turn help you unlock new worlds.
Things get a bit more formulaic by the end, but the locations are a varied bunch and there’s a solid range of objectives to complete in them – many of which you won’t be able to achieve on a second run through.
The controls are also tight, and Kirby is almost too overpowered at times – his ability to suck up enemies and inherit their abilities would be enough, but then there’s the chance to upgrade those powers further as you progress.
Safe to say most of your foes don’t stand a chance, even the larger boss characters – many of which sadly get recycled a bit too much as you get to the later stages.
So Forgotten Land runs out of steam before the end, but for the most part it’s a well presented delight – but it truly shines when you get a second player involved.
It’s a huge step up from Star Allies, which may have supported four players but was hobbled by being far too messy – whereas this is a far tighter experience, with the perspective allowing for both of you to not step on each other’s toes.
It is a shame the second player is stuck with playing as Bandana Waddle Dee, as although it’s understandable not having two Kirbys sucking up everything in sight it’s a shame there aren’t a few more playable characters to choose from.
Because despite Waddle Dee’s impressive array of fighting moves you’ll be stuck with those throughout the whole adventure.
This is a minor gripe though, especially as we imagine most people joining as a second player will be an adult playing with their child.
And in that context, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a perfect title. It likely won’t win over those who have already explored Odyssey’s vast platforming landscapes, but this is an ideal first step for those entering the world of gaming – or for those who simply want a relaxed co-operative experience with a healthy sprinkling of Nintendo magic.