In 2022, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, a 3D adventure, was released and was quite popular with new players to the franchise and long-time fans. Personally, I enjoyed the cute and fun levels, but nothing beats the classic 2D side-scrolling Kirby games that I grew up with.
The latest remaster from Nintendo is known in PAL regions as Kirby’s Adventure Wii, which was originally released in 2011. It was announced late last year that it was going to get the remaster treatment. If you are new to Kirby, Return to Dream Land follows Kirby on a mission to help Magolor, an alien who crashed their ship onto Kirby’s planet, Popstar. With Magolor stranded, he needs help to repair the Lor Starcutter (ship), and Kirby agrees to recover the scattered broken pieces.
During the gameplay, you travel to different worlds to retrieve these pieces, and along the way, you inhale enemies and copy their abilities. The levels are well remastered, bright and colourful, and a lot of fun to play, but for side-scrolling adept players, it won’t be much of a challenge. I will say, though, it’s so much fun. The game still stands strong as a contender as a great platformer all these years later, but by the time I rolled the credits, I did find some repetition built in there and didn’t always want to go for collecting every single item in the game. Perhaps I’ll go back through and do those at a later stage. Once you finish the game, you can increase the difficulty in Extra Mode, making gameplay a lot harder. There are also additional secrets popped into the game, but you just have to get through the first playthrough to unlock those.
On top of the extra unlockable secrets, there are a few differences in the game. Of course, there are the graphics, which look fantastic on the OLED Switch or TV, but Kirby has different abilities he can copy from new enemies. One of which is the Mech suit! If I had the choice of using this ability, I would always choose it as the flying and bombing abilities weren’t just fun; they worked so well.
If you played the Wii version, you’ll also be surprised at the two new modes created for the 2023 Nintendo Switch version, which includes a post-game mode, Magolor Epilogue: The Interdimensional Traveler. In the epilogue, you play as Magolor, defeating enemies and collecting magic points, which you then spend to upgrade your abilities. The second new mode is Merry Magoland, an amusement park where you can play a range of mini-games. These games are so much fun and can be played with four people. The mini-games also have their own achievements the player can complete, and you can unlock additional masks. Our favourites are, of course, the boss masks, which look adorable when Kirby wears them.
So is this a perfect remaster? We’d have to say a big yes as Kirby’s Return to Dreamland excels in graphically enhancing the game whilst keeping its 2D charm. The 2023 Switch version, with the addition of two new modes, gives players something to come back to and have fun with. This game is solid and sets a challenge of true skill if you want to 100% the game, and we think it’s well worth adding this incredible title to your Switch collection.
Lover of all things gaming, film and technology from 80’s to now. My background in Marketing & Operations Management has provided me with a strong work ethic and ability to think outside the box.