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Friday, February 24, 2023

Today Brought Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe & OCTOPATH TRAVELER II

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Good day. Good options.

Today, Nintendo Switch owners (and hopefully you, the reader, are already one of those) have some great options in two great videogame genres to buy from starting today: Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe for 2D platformer, and OCTOPATH TRAVELER II for Japanese RPG. Both games have free demos available for download on the Nintendo eShop. Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe has a specially built demo experience, while OCTOPATH TRAVELER II has a three-hour demo that transfers to the full game. I haven't actually played the OCTOPATH TRAVELER II demo (yet), so apologies if you came to this article expecting commentary on that. Hopefully that'll have its own dedicated article soon.

I have, however, played the Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe demo, and it's very comforting and I got good vibes from it, similar to the Kirby Star Allies demo and less similar to the Kirby and the Forgotten Land demo. So I'll talk about that!

Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe Sand Wave copy ability Gordo
Hey, Gordo! Your leader, Captain Stitch, hasn't heard of Sand Kirby before!
Take this POCKET SAND and report back to him that Sand is a Copy Ability now! (Same with Mecha, but that's not in the demo.)

The demo had what appeared to be the first two levels of the first world, Cookie Country, though I don't know if those two levels are actually the level design of the real first two levels in the final game. They seemed to be designed more to show off cool special features than to be coherent first two levels. These included each level having a dedicated Super Ability section (screen-clearing Copy Abilities that you can keep using over and over with a generous time limit) that opens up a portal to another dimension featuring a “flee from the left side of the screen trying to crush you” shadow wall, plus a Sphere Doomer boss fight. The demo also featured Merry Magoland, featuring only two subgames (Ninja Dojo and the new Booming Blasters) with six missions total and a similar number of masks to collect. What's cool about the masks is that you can equip them not only within Merry Magoland, but in the story's platforming levels, too.

Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe Booming Blasters level 3 victory screen Chef Kawasaki first place
Chef Kawasaki is one of the many masks available.
Some masks come with alternate effects, like different sounds. (Kawasaki's isn't one of those.)

Ninja Dojo—you get just one shuriken to throw at a moving target, which likes to fake you out on its approach in harder difficulties—is actually pretty challenging to keep hitting Bullseye throws, and getting three of those consecutively is a mission. As for Booming Blasters (which has never been seen in the series before), that pits you against three other characters as you try to blow each other up with an ammo-limited weapon that gets stronger the more hits you land with it. You can shoot straight, do a charge shot that bounces, jump over shots, jump and shoot to counter that, pick up ammo cartridges around the map, and also pick up a super gun with a very wide and long range... which also leaves you vulnerable while picking it up. It's fun.

Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe Leaf Copy Ability pause menu profile description dance
This is the first time I've ever used the Leaf Copy Ability! Leaf Kirby is cute.
(Well, I didn't play any Kirby games between Kirby Super Star Ultra to Kirby Star Allies.)
By the way, it's nice that this game has Copy Ability controls in the pause screen again.

Besides those two levels, there is also a boss battle with Whispy Woods. And after beating Whispy Woods, you unlock a Copy Ability room (only containing a dummy Kirby to beat up, and the Copy Essences for Fighter, Sand, Tornado, Hi-Jump, and Ninja) and the ability to fight Whispy Woods EX, which isn't that much stronger, but Kirby has only half of his health.

Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe Leaf Kirby Whisper Woods cutscene mad Nintendo Switch
Leaf Kirby encounters his PAPA, who looks like he wants to ground him.
Leaf Kirby reminds me a lot of Turtwig (both cute, both leafy, and both Withdraw), so Whispy Woods would be like Torterra.
By the way, you can press in the right stick so Kirby will take off his mask. Good for capturing this facial expression.

I'm aware from what I wrote here that it doesn't seem like I'm CRAZY excited about Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe, but there is a lot of fun content here (including beyond the original), and I've always felt bad about missing out on Kirby's Return to Dream Land (and a whole generation of Kirby games after). I'll add it to the list of games I'll want to play this year when I have the time. Ah... and at least the OCTOPATH TRAVELER II demo is on that list!

Ludwig doesn't want 3D Kirby to be the future of that franchise, so he feels somewhat obligated to try to get Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe to go outsell Kirby and the Forgotten Land—a tough task, seeing as how the latter is the best-selling Kirby game since the stats were being recorded. The game felt very familiar to him in how it plays despite him not playing it before.

Lots of other dress-up masks await you in the Souvenir Shop, including those from Marx.
Ludwig eventually bought Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe over three months later.


  1. I never got the original. My older daughter has been playing various Kirby games and I got her this remake. I preordered from Walmart and got a Kirby Keychain. She got the Elfilin mask in the demo and would like it in the actual game. .

  2. Exciting! I got mine coming in the mail any day now!

    Thinking about it, is it a good or a bad thing that this game came out after Covid? I know these are an entirely different kind of mask, but i can't help but think that the gaming media and general public would really be latching onto this games collectable gimmick if it had come out during the height of the pandemic or a year after. In TWEWY Neo, the main character wears a mask as a fashion statement. It was meant to define the character and really make him stand out, then covid came along and all that went out the window. Either way, nothing really great would've happened, so probably best that we get the game now.

    Anyway, don't think I didn't notice your heinous attack on the Gordo kind. The sand ability has only just been created, the lack of knowledge on it is not the fault of those poor Gordo who have been patrolling that one spot for the past 12 years or so. Their dedication i might add, has kept them shining and impervious to even the lowest of beachy grain attack. As i said before, this vile action against the fearless, brave, humble, and physically attractive Gordo species will not go unnoticed.

    1. I'm not sure if the mouth on the Chef Kawasaki mask counts as an uncovered mouth... since it's covering Kirby's mouth, and that's what matters, right? Presumably the Kawasaki mouth is just a texture and not a hole in the mask.
      ...But Kirby IS able to inhale and swallow, and when he does so, the mask covers his eyes while his mouth is completely exposed, so it's clearly not attached in a manner that keeps virus droplets out.

      As for the Gordos... hmph.


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