Kirby and the Forgotten Land – a Nintendo Switch exclusive, as you'd expect – is the first 3D adventure for Nintendo's little pink balloon mascot, and the departure from the realm of all things 2D (and 2.5D, for that matter) seems to be getting a fairly strong reception.
In the latest game featuring Sakurai's favourite Smash fighter, the cute pink creature arrives in an unknown land and discovers that Waddle Dees are being kidnapped by the Beast Pack. Oh no! To rescue the Waddle Dees, Kirby heads journies with Elfilin – whom he meets in the new world – and must shove anything (and everything) possible into their mouth in order to save the day.
During your adventure, you’ll make use of a range of Kirby’s abilities to combat foes and navigate 3D environments. You will face various platforming challenges in a world where nature and a past civilization have fused.
When you set out to free the Waddle Dees, you will find them being held captive at a goal point at the end of each stage. You will want to explore every nook and cranny to rescue as many Waddle Dees along the way, too.
Some elements are new to the series, and some are staples at this point – but how has tinkering with a classic formula gone down with critics arouind the world? Most seem to think that the refreshed Kirby formula is a strong choice for Nintendo, though Kirby poses no real risk to the king of the platfomers, even with this new 3D direction.
Our own Tom Orry noted that "Kirby remains just below A-tier, which is still a great place to be" in our VG247 Kirby and the Forgotten Land review – after all, he conclude, "it’s often where some of the tastiest snacks are."
Gamespot noted that this may well be 'the best Kirby yet', stating that the game is "the biggest and most inventive entry in the long-running franchise" in its 9/10 review.
IGN wasn't quite so generous, suggesting the "post-apocalyptic setting may not be as thematically interesting as Planet Popstar", but the game is still "lovely and vibrant". IGN scored the game 8/10.
VGC reflects that Kirby's transition to 3D "won’t give Mario any restless nights" but "the exuberant creativity around [Kirby and the Forgotten Land] makes for a bold, buoyant adventure" in its 4/5 review.
In a Recommended review, Eurogamer notes that "Kirby and the Forgotten Land's an open-armed thing, and now more than ever before it's a game that's for absolutely everyone". Calling the title "an absolute hug of a game", Eurogamer says it could be Kirby's best outing yet.
Despite complaining that local co-op is a little lackluster, GamesRadar gives the game 9/10, with the site saying "the bigger, more open 3D setting full of challenges and inventive features makes this an unmissable adventure for long-time fans."
So, will you be picking it up? Kirby and the Forgotten Land releases on March 25 for Switch.