A Forgotten Land That’s Worth Remembering

I’ll be honest. Kirby and the Forgotten Land wasn’t on my radar while working through Pokemon Legends: Arceus. I think I had heard about it but didn’t pay much attention to the content or release date. I had finished the Pokemon game and was talking with a friend the day before Kirby came out when he mentioned that he was picking up the game the next day. The only Kirby game I’d ever owned before that was Kirby Tilt N’ Tumble that a friend had gotten for me for my Gameboy Color. The game lived up to it’s name in that you played by moving the Gameboy Color itself around instead of using normal controller movements. It was a cute mechanic but not something I was great at so it ended up getting set aside. Despite my not so great history with Kirby, I checked out the trailer for the game and it looked pretty interesting. In no time, I was on Amazon ordering my own copy of the game and was playing it two days later. I do not regret this Kirby title in the least. It’s been a lot of fun and I still have a lot more to play.

The story behind the game is that Kirby gets the ultimate karma, being sucked through a crack in space into another dimension. There, he needs to collect a bunch of waddle dees that have been captured and are being held throughout this world. The world is separated into a number of regions with smaller areas within each. The finding and releasing methods of the waddle dees are not as straight forward as you might expect. When you go into each area, you are given a list of objectives. The first is just reaching the end of the level where you will find a cage with a few waddle dees waiting to be released. There are also a few of them hidden through the level that you have to find and release. Listed below those two are a few mystery objectives. As you go through the course, you will discover what they are if you happen to stumble into the requirements. This could be interacting with certain items, finishing something within a time limit, defeating a certain enemy without taking damage, or any of a number of other possible jobs. When you do at least the first part of any objective, you will be clued into what it is so you know to try to finish it. At the end of the stage, you will free a waddle dee for each objective completed for the first time. If there are any undiscovered achievements, one of them will be revealed so you know what to try for on your next run through the area. As you free more waddle dees, they will accumulate in their town on this world. Features of the town will become unlocked at certain milestones.

Making your way through this takes more than just Kirby’s incredible suction powers too. As you go along, you’ll start collecting copy abilities from some of the enemies you find. (Some are still just spit out as projectiles with no power gain so don’t expect a new ability from everyone.) You’ll find enemies that attack with swords, throw bombs, spit fire, shoot guns, have freeze breath, and more. If you inhale one of these enemies, you get their ability. Kirby has his ability in place of his suction power until you let it go or it gets knocked out of you when you take damage. (For a certain amount of time, you can recover the ability, thankfully.) Back in the city between areas, you can swap out what ability you have and can even upgrade the abilities making them more powerful. What ability you choose can make a difference in how you are able to interact with the enemies and obstacles in each area. Some areas will actually have stations where you are able to choose from a couple of different abilities so if you’ve lost yours or picked poorly for that area, you might have a chance to fix that. To upgrade the abilities, you will need to play the mini-games scattered around each region along with the regular game areas. Each one gives you a rare stone and you will need a couple of them as well as blueprints found in the games areas to order an upgrade from the waddle dee in charge of that process.

Does this sound like enough variety to work with? If not, don’t worry because there’s still more to come. Along the way, you’ll run into items that Kirby can engulf and use as tools and weapons without losing his copy ability. These objects could be anything from a car, a traffic cone, a hoop, an arch, or even just water. This will change Kirby’s shape and allow him to handle specific challenges. If you see something he can use, it will be necessary for the next part of the area, but it is only good for a certain amount of time before you have to leave it behind. Each item will play an important part, often being required to release one of the hidden waddle dee. It can also just be something new and fun to play around with.

If this still doesn’t sound like enough to do, there is still more. Many games have something to collect throughout the game. (Pokemon is the ultimate at this idea.) This game is no different yet it has its own twist. Throughout the worlds, you find gashapon capsules. Once you have completed an area, each one you found is opened and the random gashapon is revealed. These can be figures of enemies (like the adorable awoofy pictured), objects from the game, or Kirby in one of his forms. To make filling out your collection even easier, after freeing enough waddle dees, a gashapon machine is installed in the waddle dee town and it only costs 10 coins to play. To make things even more entertaining, these aren’t just a basic collectable. You are given a house where you can sleep and heal, but there’s also a fireplace in there with room for three gashapon figures on the mantle that can easily be changed when you find new ones or just want to change your decorations.

If this sounds like a lot to take in, it is. It’s a lot in a fun way though. There are many ways to play given the various abilities and which ones you feel most competent with. Also, do you want to power through each level to get to the end as soon as possible or do you (like me) want to finish each area and free every waddle dee on the way through before going to the next area? This is all up to you. Each area is repeatable with coins replacing the hidden waddle dees that have been already freed and it tracks your best coin total for the area. In some areas where Kirby inhales an item, there is a star at the end allowing you to retry that portion to get a better time or try to do something in it better. Even the mini-games have a goal time to try to hit as an extra challenge beyond just completing it for the stone. They definitely did a great job on this game and it will be keeping me busy until the next big game comes along.

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