At last week’s Nintendo Direct, the long-awaited step into Planet Popstar’s future was finally revealed. Kirby and the Forgotten Land from HAL Laboratory made its debut hours after being leaked on the Nintendo eShop. The latest game featuring the lovable super tuff pink puff will take the iconic hero of Dream Land into the next dimension for the first time in his history. Kirby will begin a new mainline adventure on the Z-axis. As Kirby will truly be controlled in an open three-dimensional sandbox with all of his powers intact, fans can’t help but start making some rather large Milky Way Wishes for the ambitious project. These are just a handful of features we hope to make some sort of return in Kirby and the Forgotten Land when the game launches this Spring 2022.
Air Rides Anyone?
While the sub-game Kirby’s Blowout Blast that was featured in Planet Robobot may have been the first 3D-esque mainline entry to feature Popstar’s hero with his iconic vacuum-like abilities, Kirby: Air Ride for the Nintendo GameCube was the original title in the franchise that brought Masahiro Sakurai’s creation to an open space — even if it was a small one. Despite being an odd one-button racer, Kirby: Air Ride did allow the insatiable pink puff to step off his wicked Warp Star vehicle to hijack even cooler ones. Kirby may not have been able to utilize his signature abilities outside of jumping in the City Trial mode, but controlling his hoverboard machines was still satisfying.
Now that Kirby will have a ton of space to traverse in Forgotten Land, perhaps sections of the game will feature areas where he can hop back on his iconic air rides (or even the warp star which appears in the trailer) for some vehicular combat. Maybe even some of City Trial’s iconic landmarks can make a return near or within the city section of the game!
Do Not Leave The Other Players Waiting
Being on a new axis means that HAL Laboratory will have a lot to figure out in terms of how Kirby can control and interact with multiple players. Multiplayer has never been an easy feat to add to single-player designed experiences, but Kirby has always remained on top. Cooperative campaigns have become a staple of the mainline console entries and are featured in every Kirby game currently available on the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo eShop page for Kirby and the Forgotten Land currently does not yet list the title as being single-player or multiplayer. There will no doubt be some multiplayer element implemented into the game, but whether or not it will pertain to the campaign is a mystery for now. Hopefully, we will all be able to grab some buddies and yell at each other for grabbing the wrong ability again.
Speaking of Buddies, How About Those Animal Friends?
Assuming we do get multiplayer in Kirby and the Forgotten Land, the animal friends would be a fantastic cast for Kirby to work alongside. Hal Laboratory brought back Rick, Kine, Coo, Gooey, and the others during Kirby Star Allies‘ first wave of DLC updates. The longstanding cast of friendly critters has been recently getting a large spotlight with both Japan-exclusive merchandise and video game appearances. Is it too hard to ask for the second player to be able to control their favorite purple blob, octopus with a bow, or a giant hamster again? If they can not appear as playable characters, it would at the very least be nice to see the animal friends featured in a minor role. Even if it’s a simple background cameo or presenting Kirby with some form of a subquest, the animal friends are well warranted to make another appearance!
Simple Multiplayer Sub Games
Kirby’s sub-games have drastically evolved over time. Whereas these bite-sized attractions were once intended for quick bursts of fun between solo and competitive multiplayer runs, the additional modes have been expanded into full-sized spin-offs. While no one will be complaining if we get more sub-games that are the chunky sizes of King Dedede’s Drum Dash or Kirby Fighters, it would be complementary to the Nintendo Switch’s design philosophy if Forgotten Land was to feature a slew of quickfire miniature titles. Considering how Nintendo has marketed the Switch for quick, easy, pick-up and play titles, it would be the perfect time for HAL Laboratory to bring back sub-games such as Samurai Kirby that take less than a minute to play with a friend.
Combo Powers Come With Power
It may not have gone out of its way to refine and reinvent this gameplay feature, but Kirby Star Allies did ever so slightly touch upon the copy combination aspect that was only previously featured in Crystal Shards for the Nintendo 64. With the 2000 Kirby title heading to Nintendo Switch Online this year and combination efforts making a brief appearance in the last mainline entry, it is about time Power Combos made a real return to their former glory. HAL Laboratory has a lot to accomplish with its first true 3D Kirby game, but considering the feature has a groundwork laid out in its predecessor, it is not hard to see why fans would think the mixing of abilities could be efficiently implemented into Forgotten Land for some familiar puzzle-solving.
Iconic Locations Go Z
What if players could explore King Dedede’s castle or Meta Knight’s Halberd from a new perspective? The first trailer for Kirby and the Forgotten Land may have only shown a new abandoned city location, but you can bet that some iconic locations will always make a comeback when the next threat comes crashing down on Dream Land. The new locations of Forgotten Land already look extremely promising, but you can bet that fans will be hoping to explore the areas of Popstar they already adore again.
Kirby Costumes Please!
For anyone who is not aware of Kirby’s current popularity across Japan, the character has been receiving promotional brands practically every other month for the past few years. From being a sailor and conductor to cooking up cuisine at his own restaurant and most recently roaming construction sites, Kirby is always getting dressed in new outfits for all sorts of adorable occasions. There is plenty of art and plushies donning costumes inspired by both real-life professions and characters from across the series. It would be great to see some of the merchandise and collaborations implemented into the game as swappable outfits for when Kirby has no copy ability. As if Kirby could not look cute enough, it’s about time the pink puff gets to dress up to pay homage to his history!
Besides, it’s about time the games acknowledge the fact that the Kirby Café has become a permanent mainstay restaurant in Japan… and the existence of the Dream Button!