2021 feels like the year of games I’ve always wished for becoming a reality. In February Nintendo revealed Pokemon Legends: Arceus, an honest to goodness open world Pokemon adventure game, the game I’ve dreamt of since I was 8 years old. Then, in June, the Big N smacked us upside the head with not just any Metroid game announcement, but Metroid Dread, a game long rumored and teased since about 16 years ago when Metroid Prime launched. Now comes September with a Nintendo Direct chock full of cool announcements, and among them was none other than Kirby, starring in his very own big open adventure game: Kirby & The Forgotten Land.
I’ve loved Kirby since I got my first Gameboy Pocket back in 1996, I have fond memories of playing Kirby’s Dreamland 2 so much that my elementary school folders all had Kirby, Rick, Coo and Dedede doodled all over them. He was fun to draw and fun to play, that’s all that mattered to me back then. I’ve always wanted Kirby to grow along with me, but sadly his games always stuck to the younger demographic and I drifted away from them gradually over time.
Fast forward all the way to 2021, and I am a decrepit old man yearning for years past. Feeling my need for youthful energy echoing through the cosmos, Nintendo has answered my silent plea with Kirby & The Forgotten Land, and boy does it look awesome.
This isn’t the typical, simplified, side scrolling piss-easy type of romp that Kirby is known for these days. This time we’ll be guiding the pink puffball through an overgrown post apocalyptic (but still fun and whimsical, wee!) wasteland filled with crumbling buildings, rusted out cars and giant monster gorillas. While I don’t think the game will be as broad and open as say, Breath of the Wild, I do think it’s incredible and satisfying to see Kirby navigate in anything more than two dimensions. Seeing Kirby at the start of the trailer, waking up on a beautiful beach surrounded by dense jungle, then start to run about and turn in all directions… it blew me away. It’s like watching your dog only ever be able to sit and roll over, but then one day he starts driving your car. Still present is the ability copying power and the cute but menacing enemies and even what looks to be some boss battles against huge enemies. (I can’t wait to clobber Whispy Woods for the umpteenth time) We’ve never seen this kind of Kirby game before, and I am all for it.
Kirby & The Forgotten Land hits the Nintendo Switch in Spring 2022!