HAL takes us back to the Land of Dreams: we return to the first modern chapter of the saga in the review of Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe
After taking such a bold (by his self-imposed standards) step in The Lost Land, the rounded mascot of HAL Laboratory revisits the “modern” side-scrolling that made its debut twelve years ago: now that Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe it’s here, one review it is de rigueur. Not that it serves the fans who have always loved (or who have learned to love) the soft curves of the franchise: if on Nintendo 3DS we have had excellences such as Triple Deluxe and his majesty Planet Robobot, after all, we owe it precisely to that title released almost timidly on the Wii.
The game is not a port of Kirby’s Adventure Wii; after gutting it to the point of seeing the end credits more than once, we can say that we can talk about remake. We will try to go in order, because the additions to the title awarded with an eight (by Andrea Babich) in Nintendo Official Magazine #123 are not few at all. The marketing that preceded this re-release didn’t fail to blurt out most of them: an emphasis on minigames and a brand new post-game campaign. However, we can reassure you about the rest: the smudges present in the original have been cleaned up properly.
Una lore tentacolare – Review Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe
Talk about plot of Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe forces us to make a necessary distinction, before proceeding with the review. In the series, as we anticipated in our preview dedicated to the game demo, two narrative currents coexist. On paper, the plot of this game (when taken out of context of the other chapters of the saga) is as simple as the gameplay, and relatively an end in itself. However, in the much more complex mosaic of the lore of the series, it is from this title that the revelations on the universe of the pink ball are almost never lacking. In that sense, replaying the title on hard mode helps (we’ll get to that).
Be that as it may, the game itself sets Kirby and (implicitly, or explicitly playing in co-op) his companions facing a new task: to help the alien creature Magolor to fix his interplanetary craft (called, needless to do it on purpose, Astrobarca Lor). During the adventure players will come across Energy spheres, collectible gears detached from the ship, and in the larger components, kept respectively by the levels themselves and by the bosses. The plot takes an unexpected turn at the end of the adventure, paralleling Mark’s exploits in Fun Pak/Super Star Ultra.
“Ah, but his name is like the vacuum cleaner” – Review Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe
Il gameplay, like the Wii original, combined two of the different approaches to the series up to that point. The first, dating back to the very first Dream Land for Game Boy, consists of the basic powers of the protagonist: aerial movement facilitated by the ability to inflate like a balloon (and flight to the bitter end, something almost never seen before in the nineties), and the power to suck up nearby enemies at will. These two elements have always contributed to a much more forgiving difficulty curve than almost any other platformerbut there’s no shortage of curveballs here either.
From Adventure, and here we are alluding to the chapter released on the NES, the copy ability. Any enemy that does not fall into the most basic species, when absorbed, grants Kirby the ability to attack with his unique talents. There is everything from simple swords to mastering fire, passing through new features introduced in the remake such as sand control and a real miniature mecha. However, drawing heavily on the Fun Pak / Super Star Ultra, it is with this adventure that the fighting game-style directional inputs (we know something about it) have also become a standard in the sequels on Nintendo 3DS. And thank goodness, we might add.
Si vola, “ma” – Review Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe
Il level design in this sense it goes hand in hand with the qualities of the protagonist. Kirby can fly, it is true, but it does so in levels that are almost claustrophobic at times, specifically designed to be crossed in flight. More often than not, the one-way doors to cross involve a sense of yin and yang in terms of difficulty: acting as a checkpoint, they make life much easier for anyone who has passed a section already short of its ownbut at the same time they prevent the you have completed to lose a life on purpose and come back. However, we will discuss this in more detail later. For now, DNA takes us back to the early days of Adventure, instead of Star Allies’ open spaces aimed only at co-op.
From this game started the trend of the main series to implement a “super gimmick”, or a power-up that drastically alters the gameplay. Before Triple Deluxe’s Hypernova and the eponymous armor in Planet Robobot, however, there were Super Copy Ability. Put simply, these are particularly powerful versions of some transformations, with which you demolish the landscape until you unlock a portal to a separate section. In the latter, you must escape from a moving wall without leveraging your powers, to then defeat a miniboss and get two Energy Orbs. We soon get used to associating these two initially so contrasting phases with each other.
Badger Challenge and Badger Challenge – Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe Review
Of course, even with the level design limitations to make pink ball abilities more of a necessity than a privilege, be prepared for the idea of dealing with a relatively easy platformer. We don’t want to discourage anyone who is tempted by the idea of giving Kirby a first chance, but from day one to today we have not struggled particularly to reach the end credits to review the game. Among its additions, then, the remake has thought “good” to add Magolor helper, a feature with which you can enjoy double life points and a recovery service whenever you fall from an abyss. “Thanks, but no, thanks,” we would say.
Rather, the aforementioned sense of “quasi-claustrophobia” plays into the defiance rate when it comes to boss. Whether you fight them expecting to be able to use the stars generated by their shockwaves or you use copy abilities, in any case the room for maneuver is considerably restricted for each encounter, permanently transforming the floating of the protagonist in a continuous need to take flight to perform evasive maneuvers. The presence of a Smash-like shield and dodge mechanic helps, but it’s not uncommon to see the difficulty situation suddenly turn upside down going from level to boss.
Completismo controcorrente – Review Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe
The challenge rate rises again when the total completion of the game. Those of you who are always on the hunt for the 100% will have something for their teeth, since already from the first levels the title enjoys hiding the Energy spheres collectible in places that are visible, but at the same time difficult to reach without a specific Skill. Keeping close to the powers, which are taken away from us every few shots taken, is even more difficult in the underwater phases, especially when the current is strong enough to send us directly to the next section. The automatic level scrolling never works in our favor.
Il one-way level design, in short, can hide potential peaks of frustration in what is otherwise considered a series of platformers “for novice players”. In general, our advice for “intermediate and up” players is to tackle a title in the Kirby series with the explicit intention of completing it. After all, most of the difficulty lies precisely in this. There longevity, however, in the other chapters he also relied on secondary activities. And this is where, among other things, even those tickets that peep into the levels from time to time come into play.
What is the mascot of Magolandia Park? – Review Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe
I minigames they also return in this chapter, but they do it with an anthological approach that pays homage to the whole series up to now. Instead of limiting everything to a secondary menu, the game has seen fit to dedicate an entire theme park to it. In Magolandia Parkin addition to an incarnation of Magolor apparently unrelated to the events of the main game, there are ten mini-games taken here and there from the rest of the series, from Bomba Pazza (Nightmare in the Land of Dreams, GBA) to Challenge on the chessboard (The Crystal Shards, N64). All support four-player multiplayer.
The mini-games can also be accessed on board the Astrobarca Lor, which in the adventure can be visited at any time (along with levels specifically designed to test the player’s skill with old and new power-ups). As for tickets, they can be used in tandem with the myriad of achievable objectives in each minigame to obtain timberthe collection of which allows you to unlock masks to be used in any context of the game. The amount of content thus increases dramatically, while longevity benefits enormously from the eleventh minigame: a 100-player version of Kirby Samuraias in the best battle royale.
Let’s patch up the plot holes – Review Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe
The extras of Magolor following the events of Adventure Wii have often raised some eyebrows in fans more attentive to the vague canon of the series. A piece puts it there Magolor-Epilogo, first mentioned in last month’s Nintendo Direct. After the end credits of the game, the character found himself in a world suspended between various dimensions. The atmosphere, while maintaining the rounded aesthetic of the series, boasts a “empty” atmosphere much more similar to the FromSoftware titles. We’re not joking: from the sometimes openly “dead” backdrops to some aspects of the gameplay, a pinch of Souls is there.
Specifically, the events of the game have left Magolor bereft of most of his ability. It is necessary to collect the magic points of each level to restore the powers at his disposal to the glories of his appearances as a “playable miniboss” in Kirby Star Allies and Kirby Fighters 2. In addition, in this mode, the map (unique, albeit divided) features a gradual opening which much more closely resembles Adventure for the NES. It takes a bit of grinding to get the scores necessary to fully unlock the skills and to access the extra level, as well as to emerge unscathed from a final boss that made us sweat more than expected. But if you’re looking a good prequel per Team Kirby Clash Deluxe (3DS) e Super Kirby Clash (Switch), qui lo troverete.
Extra forte come un liquore – Review Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe
In this context, it may perhaps seem almost disappointing to think that the additional campaign always remains…