Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading. In this instalment, we’re covering Kirby and the Forgotten Land by developer HAL Laboratory.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land Demo: (The Explanation)
The mad devs at HAL Laboratory have only finally gone and done it. After decades of pleas and eager wishes, Kirby will never be the same again, as everyone’s favorite, ball shaped, pink consumer of everything, is finally setting out on an epic 3D adventure and while the full game is denied to the general public for a few weeks more, an utterly fantastic demo is out now.
Much like how Super Mario Odyssey pulled Mario out of his regular surroundings and thrusted him into a world that is most certainly, not typically known as the one we’re used to see him exploring (thanks New Donk City), it is now Kirby’s turn to explore new surroundings. It is utterly amazing just how well HAL Laboratory has been able to take a modern, realistic looking setting and serve it up with the same cutesy graphics and color palettes Kirby games are known for.
For lovers of all things Kirby, you will certainly enjoy the level of graphics at play and you will certainly enjoy the exploration on offer, but please don’t go expecting something similar to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Pokémon Legends: Arceus. To do so would be to set yourself up for disappointment, as the levels available in the demo, are certainly not open world and you cannot head off exploring in whatever direction you desire, as the levels are fairly linear, driving players from beginning to end. However, they do at least house some fun secrets waiting to be discovered.
Aside from that one singular, bitter tasting note, you will be pleased to know that even when just playing the demo, gameplay feels solid with enjoyable explorations, all filled with the charm Kirby games are known for. Inhaling enemies to copy their abilities is just as enjoyable as it has always been but in addition to the abilities well-known to fans at this point, there are plenty of moments in the demo’s three levels to check out the game’s Mouthful Mode and discover the many uses that come with them.
Additionally, you won’t even have to settle for just the regular copy abilities, as the demo also gives players the chance to try out evolved abilities, to experience the benefits of ability upgrading for themselves: Also, for just by playing the demo, you can acquire useful passwords that can be used to unlock items in the full game for when the time comes and Kirby and the Forgotten Land is forgotten no longer and is released worldwide.
What’s more, whilst players will not be able to experience all of the game’s benefits in the demo, such as the mini-games that can be unlocked, at least you can pass a Joy-Con to a friend and play the demo together, so if it’s not you who needs convincing, at least you have the chance to play alongside your love one and let the demo try to convince them that the full game is worth experiencing.
For those who are on the fence as to whether you should consider picking up Kirby and the Forgotten Land, quite simply, this is the demo for you. All progress made, sadly, does not carry over to the full game, but you will get your chance to explore three of the stages available in-game, with one being an interesting boss battle, but you’ll also get the chance to complete in-game/in-demo achievements, uncover secrets and try your hand at evolved copy abilities.
Not to mention, you will also get to try out the new mouthful mode, be it by driving a car, firing out cans of drinks from a vending machine, or taking control of a traffic cone that knows how to slam into the ground, hard. With plenty on offer in the demo, which feels like next to nothing compared to what the full game has to offer, if you are still struggling between yes and no, this demo will answer many questions for you.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land Demo: (The Gameplay)
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Category: Action, Platformer
No. of Players: up to 2 players
Release Date: March 25, 2022 (Worldwide)
File Size: 6.2 GB