Kirby's Return To Dream Land Deluxe Review
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Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe Review

After the refreshingly new adventure we got from Kirby last year, The Forgotten Land, going back to a side-scroller game was tough in Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe. Sure, this new Switch game isn’t really new but rather a remake of the Wii game of the same name. There’s enough content here to warrant this remake but it is difficult to recommend it because of how great Kirby has been in its past.

Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe is as cookie-cutter as it comes. It is a traditional Kirby game with all the classic elements. It is charming and highly accessible. It seems Kirby venture across Dream Land in order to help repair alien Magolor’s crashed ship (which is literally a space ship). Kirby is also accompanied by friends in this adventure including Meta Knight, Bandana Waddle Dee and King Dedede.

Kirby's Return To Dream Land Deluxe Review

These friends also play into the game’s drop-in and co-op mode where anyone around you can pick up a Switch Joy-Con and jump into the game. As a result, they can choose to be any one of these characters that play alongside Kirby. Each partner also has its own unique play style, movement system and attack patterns. However, only Kirby can suck in enemies and perform Copy Ability.

As Kirby games go, stages are mostly linear and you run from the left to the right blasting things away around you. You then suck in abilities and use them to defeat the enemies in your way. For the most part, Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe doesn’t deviate from the classic gameplay. So much so that it is incredibly easy and almost holds you hand most of the time.

Kirby's Return To Dream Land Deluxe Review

There’s always a convenient ability nearby when a mass wave of enemies is on the next screen. The run-and-gun sort of areas also have a nice ability to help carry them. Enemies are also a pushover. That goes for the bosses too. This means the abilities, which are quite easy to master, make an already-easy game, easier.

If you even remotely play games, you’ll easily find your way around Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe. I seldomly died, bosses were defeated without much effort and even the tougher challenge rooms scattered around some levels were just flashy moments on the screen that were over too soon. Don’t get me wrong here. I think Kirby fans expect this level of difficulty. I personally sat my nieces down to play the game and they loved it. For them, it was a challenge.

Kirby's Return To Dream Land Deluxe Review

If Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe is too difficult for you, which I highly doubt, you can then activate the Helper Magalor feature. It comes with some benefits to make the game easier including automatically triggering the Copy Ability when you suck an enemy in. However, you would really want an easier game to enable this mode.

But apart from the game’s breezy difficulty, Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe is fun to play. The abilities are great to see in action and the super abilities, which are limited to certain Copy Abilities, look epic too. There’s even a really cool Mecha suit ability where Kirby transforms into a Gundam. With this, he can fire laser beams and even tracking rockets. It was incredibly fun to play even if there wasn’t much to it.

Kirby's Return To Dream Land Deluxe Review

After the main game ends, the Extra Mode unlocks in Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe. In this mode, you can replay the previous stages with more challenges. I was disappointed to see this unlock only after I sped through the campaign. Given how easy the game was in the first place, I think this mode should have been an option from the start.

There’s also an epilogue story mode in Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe. In this mode, I could play as the alien Magalor. I was surprised how well fleshed out this mode actually was. Magolor has its own movement system, abilities and each stage has been crafted to take advantage of them specifically. Not to mention that Magolor has his own upgrades too. I earned points after completing stages and could unlock new ways to play future levels.

Kirby's Return To Dream Land Deluxe Review

If anything, this mode showcases what Kirby games need – a real sense of progression. Not just running through on stage to the next and losing your abilities along the way. This Magolor mode felt far from the typical arcade game Kirby has become.

Outside of the core game modes, there’s also Merry Magoland. This is a carnival world where Magalor is the ringmaster. It unlocks early into the game and urges you to play through various minigames from across past Kirby games. The more you play, the more stamps you unlock in your punch card. As a result I unlocked cool-looking masks from across the Kirby series. These masks could be worn across all compatible game modes and gave me a reason to keep playing.

Kirby's Return To Dream Land Deluxe Review

Sadly, the minigames are kind of a snorefest after a while. These games feel dated and lose their appeal quickly. You also can’t set up a playlist of the ones you want. I played through the each once or twice and didn’t really want to go back. The whole mode is more of a distraction than a feature.

Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe is a nice package of content but some stuff definitely shines brighter than others. It is as cliche as Kirby games come which is both a good thing and a bad thing. There are better Kirby games in the series and while this is fun while it lasts, I can’t help but feel that the game generally plays it safe.

Kirby's Return To Dream Land Deluxe Review Kirby's Return To Dream Land Deluxe Review

This Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe is based off a review code sent to us by Nintendo. The game is available on 24 February only on Nintendo Switch. Grab it for R1,199 here.

Kirby's Return To Dream Land Deluxe
  • Story - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Gameplay - 7/10
    7/10
  • Presentation - 8/10
    8/10
  • Value - 7.5/10
    7.5/10

Summary

Kirby’s Return To Dream Land Deluxe plays it safe. It isn’t anything remotely new and exciting either. Its epilogue mode shows just how much potential there is if Kirby wasn’t just an arcade adventure.

Overall
7.5/10
7.5/10

Pros

Epilogue mode is great

Bright and colourful visuals

Fun in co-op

Cons

Too easy to be fun

Mini-games are dated

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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