Nintendo

Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch)

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Armed with a mallet equal to the size of his head, Kirby marches through the “forgotten” land wailing on wolves and circus seals, the brand’s distinctive, morbidly hilarious lullaby horror intact. Kirby can suck up whole cars though – that’s new – running over the non-threatening enemies at full speed. Or, commandeering a vending machine, pelting foes with fastball-speed pop cans. The world’s Kirby curse knows no end.

Set mostly to jaunty, playful theme music, Kirby and the Forgotten Land spreads into a linear 3D realm successfully. It’s consistent joy to explore and play in this space, the designs infinitely creative with only minimal complexity. Some puzzle designs are worthy of their own full games, imaginative to the extreme, and willing to take chances where other stale series (Mario) won’t.

Then there’s the key tenet of any Kirby adventure, the “cartoon violence” as the ESRB labels it. Kirby and the Forgotten land spreads immense color across familiar lands (desert, ice, lava, etc.) while depicting mayhem that’s kid-friendly and simultaneously fit for the next Jackass flick. Animated movies are often slapped with a critical quote that they’re fit for the the youngest and their parents, but Kirby and the Forgotten Land emphasizes this better than anything from Pixar. Nearly all Kirby games do, but sending playful mammals to their molten doom is nearly a fetish in these games – but the kids’ll love it.

4/5

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