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Kirby and the Forgotten Land Review Roundup: Very solid mouth

An image from Kirby and the Forgotten Land showing Kirby and Waddle Dee cheering side by side at a local cooperative game.

My partner and I when Kirby and the forgotten land falls on March 25th.
image: Nintendo

The embargo on Kirby and the forgotten land Reviews have been rescinded, opening the floodgates for opinion on HAL Laboratory’s latest platformer. So far, most critics are positive about Kirby’s new adventure, with the Nintendo Switch exclusive sitting comfortably a score of 85 on Metacritic. From the sounds of things forgotten land could be a success.

Part of the allure of the cute 3D game is the new Mouthful mode, celebrated by many critics. This ability lets Kirby, who turns 30 this year, expand his already gelatinous mouth to swallow giant objects — like traffic cones and vending machines — to solve puzzles. It is shitty and terrifying, but Mouthful mode is so immersive it’s hard to look away as Kirby’s body adjusts to the shape in his mouth. It really makes you wonder what his digestive tract is like…if he even has one.

It’s not all fun and games, however. Turns out for as adorable as Kirby and the forgotten land is, the game lacks replayability. Many critics also point to the lackluster enemies and unassuming combat as weak points in an otherwise bright and charming action-adventure game. An odd critique of a franchise that for three decades has always focused on being easy and accessible for kids.

We here at Kotaku DotCom didn’t get a precode from Kirby and the forgotten land Timely for a review, but we’ll be bringing you our considered opinion soon. So here’s a look at what some reviewers are saying about HAL Laboratory’s action platformer.


Nintendo’s insatiable pink mascot finally has his first full 3D adventure with him Kirby and the forgotten land. After being sucked into a mysterious vortex (oh how the tables have turned), he finds himself in a seemingly unfamiliar post-apocalyptic world. Building on his old bag of tricks and adding successful new gimmicks like Mouthful mode, Kirby makes an amazing transition into the third dimension.

Even though forgotten land largely sticking to the tried and tested world themes we’ve come to expect from Nintendo platformers – grass, sea, ice, fire, desert, etc. – the remnants of civilization in the Forgotten Land give these settings an atmosphere of mystery that makes them unique. From an abandoned mall and amusement park to a haunted house and a cold subway station forgotten landThe more than 30 stages of tell their own story. Unlike some other recent Kirby games, it almost always feels fresh and full of new ideas.

That extends somewhat to the new “Mouthful” abilities he can use, including the now-infamous auto-transform. These are everyday objects that Kirby can’t swallow whole, instead altering his body while his mouth is wrapped around them (roughly) to allow you to navigate a specific area in front of you. Call me old fashioned but Kirby usually Transforming into a vending machine would be more weird than clever if these Mouthful powers weren’t used in fun ways and revisited throughout the campaign. The car lets you speed through some exhilarating tracks designed for speed, the vending machine slows your movement but lets you blast cans out of your mouth quickly, and a fun circular object basically turns Kirby into a giant air blaster that you can use to shoot fans can spin, knock over enemies and even propel small boats through the water. I’m not sure how developers HAL Laboratory managed to do it, but they managed to turn traffic cones, scissor lifts, and even large, nondescript metal pipes into really fun transformations.

Part of this power vacuum is complemented by the new vehicles in Mouthful Mode. These are something like giant copy skills, where Kirby sucks up a car or a large lightbulb, usually to solve an environmental puzzle. However, since the items are too large, Kirby can’t fully absorb them, so they act more like temporary vehicles than powers that can carry you through the level – for those familiar with 2016 Kirby: Planet Robobot, they’re like far less flexible (but cuter) versions of Kirby’s mech in this game. It’s an adorable and hilarious image, Kirby’s little feet trailing behind a moving car or stretching out on the sides of a stairwell. But as with the copy skills, there are too few mouthful moments. And from the third world forgotten land had shown me almost every new object I could inhale. What started out as an exciting feature quickly became stale.

Unfortunately the game takes too long to get going. It slowly increases the difficulty with platforming and Waddle Dee puzzles, which by the time I reached the final stage and boss fight was finally enough of an interesting challenge. I would have preferred if the game started with this kind of difficulty and stayed at this level for the entire game. There are harder post-credits bonus levels that really test your puzzle/mysteries-solving skills that I wish were at the heart of the game. That said forgotten land feels like it’s more for younger kids and their parents, so I can understand why the difficulty might be a little too slow for me.

Speaking of character action masters, a special nod (once again) to the final section of the game. In true Kirby fashion, it boils over from rainbow-colored fun to something more cosmic. Outside of Platinum, no one knows how to complete a game bigger than HAL. We only wish they had channeled some of that five-star magic into the more restrained platforms that resulted – this would be a game worthy of the Nintendo greats. How it is, forgotten land is another accomplished charmer of HAL’s inhaled hero.


While Kirby and the forgotten land may not pose much of a challenge, it seems like the solid pallet cleaner after knocking it down Elden ring. I know I look forward to stepping out of the devastation of the Lands Between. Hopefully the Forgotten Land feels like a nice vacation.

https://kotaku.com/kirby-forgotten-land-review-scores-switch-nintendo-mout-1848691999 Kirby and the Forgotten Land Review Roundup: Very solid mouth

Curtis Crabtree

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