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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Kirby and the Forgotten Land to release March 25, 2022 (and isn't open world)

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Let's watch a trailer about it together!

I admit, looking back to when Kirby and the Forgotten Land was announced in the September 2021 Nintendo Direct, that I shouldn't now be surprised that Kirby and the Forgotten Land has a release date of March 25, 2022. After all, the original release timing was “Spring 2022”, and late March definitely qualifies. I dunno, I thought it'd be in April or May. But here it is, March 25, as said in this short, but information-filled trailer:

My initial impression is that it's fairly linear-looking despite being in three dimensions, like a level you might find out of Super Mario 3D Land or Super Mario Galaxy. I maintain that impression with this new footage, but while you might fault me for not paying attention to the meaning of spring, other gaming websites don't understand the meaning of the footage they look at. For example, Kotaku (an awful outlet) and writer Ari Notis, described Kirby and the Forgotten Land as being “open-world-styled” and having “the BotW treatment: wide-open areas, a post-apocalyptic vibe, and an impressively deep toolkit.” It's yet another example of gaming journalists comparing any three-dimensional game to being akin to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. There is absolutely nothing to support that—and a fair bit of footage to believe the exact opposite—in any of Nintendo's marketing for the game, other than them using the word “explore” as a verb Kirby can do in these 3D stages. I mean, there's clearly an overworld map traversable via Warp Star (much like in Kirby Star Allies), which wouldn't be a thing in an actual open world game.

Specifically, you'll want to explore to find caged Waddle Dees and repopulate Waddle Dee Town, the home base or hub area of the adventure. Caged Waddle Dees are apparently at the end of the levels, and when you free them, they'll run shops (there's clearly some collectible currency in the levels) and provide minigames in the town. I'm sure there will also be some form of the fairly standard mechanic in platforming games (including previous Kirby titles, like Medals or Crystal Shards) to incentivise poking around all the nooks and crannies of a stage with other kinds of collectibles.

Copy Abilities seen in this trailer include Bomb, Tornado (a favourite of mine, though I'm hesitant on if it'll still feel amazing when it's in 3D), Hammer, Crash, Sword, Drill (this is new), and Ranger (also new). Bandana Waddle Dee is also available as a multiplayer co-op option. Like other games in the series, the abilities aren't just there to pwn things, but may also have puzzle-solving utility as well.

Tornado Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Will 3D Tornado Kirby keep all of his good-feel invincibility frames?

Oh, there's also that blue rodent with the chipped ear that looks like a Minccino (that's a Pokémon) cousin. It's named Elfilin. Kirby rescues it from a cage, and there's also a doll version of it in a cage that reminds me of the Zapfish dolls from Splatoon's story mode if you replay a level. ...Maybe the Elfilin doll serves the same purpose. Maybe not. In any case, I'm sure we'll hear a lot more about Elfilin. It seems innocent enough, though Kirby fans already see that as a cause for concern, since there's the impression that Kirby isn't allowed to have friends without them being evil first. I mean, Prince Fluff wasn't bad! Gooey... is a thing, too. Or how about Ribbon? ...We'll see...

Ludwig doesn't think Kirby and the Forgotten Land is doing anything really revolutionary, but a good, solid Kirby game is appreciated. He doesn't know if outlets are calling it an open-world game because they're incompetent and don't know how to describe videogames, or if they're trying to poison the well by giving false information to their audience for the sake of trying to disappoint them. (Ludwig doesn't want an open world anything, so it not being so is a plus.)

It's pretty obvious from the Kirby and the Forgotten Land demo that it's a linear 3D platformer. Ludwig disliked it.
The game is out now!


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