Hello, everyone! I just finished playing the Kirby and The Forgotten Land demo, and I’m here to give my impressions. If you have a Nintendo Switch, you can download the new Kirby demo now and while it’s downloading, kick back, and I’ll let you know what to expect. Let’s dive in!
Before you get started, know that the Kirby and The Forgotten Land demo features both solo and cooperative modes. If you think you’d enjoy this with a buddy, call them over. I played it in solo mode but co-op would remind me of the LEGO games, based on how the levels are structured.
There are also difficulty settings, which were a surprise for me. The game features three stages and you can change the difficulty before each one. In the first stage, I played on Spring-Breeze Mode and found it to be way too easy. For the last two stages, I played on Wild Mode and while it was still easy, I definitely got hit more and I felt like it was harder to aim.
In terms of core gameplay mechanics, as you walk around these linear, 3D levels you can jump, inhale, float, slide, and flip around. Kirby will still hold onto inhaled blocks and rocks, and fire them out with a button press if you’re not using one of the Copy Abilities.
The hallmark Copy Abilities are still here. You can inhale a knight and obtain the sword ability. The same goes for the bomber guy with the nightcap and the boomerang spartan. I’m sorry I don’t know their names but I know that they’re classic enemies, so I think you’ll get my point. There were also a handful of new enemies to take down, like the bull that rushes at you and the snapping turtle that you have to defeat with the Cone Mouth ability.
In addition to standard Copy Abilities, Kirby can now use Mouthful Mode abilities. In the demo, I inhaled a car, a traffic cone, and a vending machine. The car let me speed around, boosting through cracked walls and enemies. I could also jump while in car mode which was pretty surprising.
The traffic cone also let me jump, but I could flip upside-down and stab into cracked floors and pipes. Cracked floors would open craters where I could avoid enemy attacks or collect hidden items. Cracked pipes would geyser water that would propel the cone upward to reach higher platforms. The vending machine basically let me fire soda cans like a mad man, which was pretty cathartic.
This is probably a tired perspective at this point but Kirby and The Forgotten Land reminds me of Super Mario Odyssey. Especially with how you discover hidden areas and items. The visuals also have a Super Mario Odyssey vibe. If you enjoyed Super Mario Odyssey, I think you’ll really enjoy Kirby and The Forgotten Land. The second stage had a challenge that asked me to find five tulips and touch them so they would blossom. This felt very similar to what Odyssey often asked the player to do within certain stages.
The demo featured a couple of boss fights. The first was a swordsman named Wild Edge, who didn’t present much of a challenge but I enjoyed the fight. I liked that I could still inhale the boss and obtain their Copy Ability for the next stage.
The final stage of the demo is pretty much a build-up to a boss fight. The fight takes place in an abandoned mall with a giant ape named Gorimondo. This fight was awesome! It was way more challenging than the first boss fight and was more difficult than any of the boss fights I remember from Super Mario Odyssey. But for the sake of transparency, I didn’t beat Odyssey, so take that with a grain of salt.
The end of the demo showed a montage with more stages and Copy Abilities, as well as a handful of new Mouthful Mode abilities. One that I thought was really cool was the Air-Zooka ability. I doubt that is the official name of the ability but it reminded me of those Air-Zooka toys from back in the day. This montage also showed that it will be possible to upgrade Copy Abilities to increase their effectiveness and give them secondary abilities, which I believe is a first for the franchise. Correct me in the comments below, if you wish.
This demo showcased Kirby and The Forgotten Land’s gameplay but it also lightly touched on the game’s story, but hardly scratched the surface.
What is The Forgotten Land?
The story for Kirby and The Forgotten Land seems to be pretty simple if this demo is any real indication. Kirby is happily enjoying his day on Planet Popstar when a mysterious vortex appears. Kirby wakes up on a beach in an all-new world with the new Mouthful Mode ability.
That’s basically it, at least for the demo. But the world does seem to have gone through some kind of crisis. Cities are overgrown, buildings are vacant and crumbling, and nearly everything lies in ruin.
After completing the first stage, you rescue a new companion named Elfilin. Elfilin asks for your help in freeing the Waddle Dees and the two of you head off for the second stage to do just that. Elfilin didn’t help me in any way but was essentially along for the ride, albeit nowhere to be seen.
The demo definitely didn’t want to give too much away but I can say that I’m intrigued. I don’t think this is going to be the most compelling story I’ve ever seen but maybe it can be compelling, relative to the Kirby franchise. Admittedly, I haven’t played a lot of Kirby games, so I wouldn’t know but I can’t imagine the stories are Kirby’s stong-suit.
How Does It Perform?
In terms of performance, the game runs at 30 frames per second with occasional dips. I noticed enemy animations are choppy at a distance, but as I got closer, they smoothed out to 30 FPS.
I played the game docked, so I can’t speak to handheld mode, but the resolution seemed fine on my 43” TV. I’m guessing it was running at 1080P, as nothing looked too smudgy. If the demo is any indication of how the final game will play, I think it will be fine. Of course, I’d rather the game run at 60 frames per second. But until Nintendo releases a more powerful Switch, 30 FPS will have to suffice.
I’m really looking forward to Kirby and The Forgotten Land. Especially coming off of Elden Ring, playing something simple like this will be a breath of fresh air. A palette cleanser, if you will.
I think the game looks really good and it plays well. Experimenting with Copy Abilities and Mouthful Modes will be a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to see how I can upgrade Copy Abilities. The secondary abilities to the classic Copy Abilities are the most intriguing takeaway from the demo, in my opinion.
The biggest critique I have is that this demo didn’t blow me away. I loved Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland for the Game Boy Advance and seeing those characters realized in a 3D world like this has a novelty to it. But this demo gave the impression that Kirby and The Forgotten Land is essentially Super Mario Odyssey with Kirby. That’s fine but I think it resigns Kirby to living in the shadow of Mario, instead of breaking out and doing his own thing.
Are you looking forward to Kirby and The Forgotten Land? Let us know in the comments below!