Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Platformer
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 24/02/2023
A code was provided for review purposes
Almost a year after Kirby’s adventure in the Forgotten Land, Nintendo and HAL Laboratory go deep into their archive to bring over a Wii classic. Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe tells the tale of the mysterious Magolor. Magolor has crashed his ship on Planet Popstar. With crucial components missing, it’s up to Kirby, King Deedeedee, Meta Knight, and Bandana Waddledee to retrieve them and help the interdimensional being repair his vessel. Is it worth savouring this Wii classic? Find out in this rapid review.
Fun For All The Family
In true Kirby fashion, Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe is pretty accessible and forgiving, with the later levels presenting a bit more of a challenge. There is a harder mode post-completion, albeit still not offering a massive challenge. The game can be played with three other players, as eluded earlier.
Each takes control of the hammer-wielding King Deedeedee, the sword-wielding Meta Knight, and the lance-bearing Bandanna Waddledee. Since each of these characters carry specific weapons, they will be able to overcome specific puzzles and obstacles. However, it is worth mentioning that other players can also play as Kirby.
Playing Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe isn’t just about getting from one part of the level to the other. There are a lot of secrets to find throughout. Those with the right ability, patience and a keen eye will be able to uncover secret rooms, extra lives and the game’s main collectable, the Energy Spheres.
These are scattered around the level, encouraging the player to find them all. Some are pretty easy to locate with a little exploration. Others, however, will require Kirby to use the right ability to access it, which might not be possible on your first attempt. Regardless, it’s still fun to return to that location afterwards either way. There are 120 to collect, so keep your eyes peeled.
These Energy Spheres reward the player with access to some rooms on Magolor’s ship. These are either extra sub-games, challenges or copy ability rooms.
Bigger IS Better!
One of the main features of Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe is the Super Ability. Super Ability is gained once Kirby gobbles up a rainbow-glowing enemy. This copy ability is a far more devastating version of its standard self, allowing Kirby to defeat all enemies on screen and even alter the terrain. There are five different Super Abilities, and their appearance in a level is a cue to a hidden portal to the dimensional rift.
This power has its limitations, as is to be expected. There is a time limit to their use, although it’s pretty significant, and this power cannot be carried onto another level. Its main purpose is to wreak havoc and find the door to the dimensional rift. Obtaining this power makes the game slightly easier, but it’s really enjoyable to clear the screen of enemies and lock down parts of the level. It only takes a button press to carry out the attack, albeit it is a bit of a one-trick pony.
Once the rift is located, Kirby will be transported to another dimension. These areas are the more challenging parts of the game, mainly due to the wall of colourful fog attempting to crush the Pink Puffball, and he will have to traverse the area quickly.
Luckily, these walls are pretty slow. Also, they can be pushed by inhaling enemies or blocks and spitting them out at them. Once Kirby reaches the end of the area, he will enter a showdown with the Sphere Doomer. The annoying winged foe guards two Energy Spheres, which will be yours once he’s defeated.
Here Comes a New Challenger!
Upon competing for the main story, you will be able to play an epilogue as Magolor himself. This is a new addition to this deluxe version and gives players a chance to try a very different play style. Firstly Magolor is in a debilitated state. Magolor fires magic bullets at a short range and hovers for a limited time. His quest is to recover all Fruit Fragments to restore his powers.
He can obtain magic points by defeating enemies and destroying blocks. Chained attacks increase the points earned. These points can be used to increase the efficacy of each power.
I did enjoy this new story mode as it offered a different challenge to the base game. It can also be played with other people via couch co-op, fleshing out Magolor’s story after the events of Return to Dreamland.
Huge Mini Game Selection
No Kirby game would be complete without a decent amount of multiplayer mini-games! The Merry Magoland is unlocked after completing the second level of Cookie Country. Merry Magoland allows players to try out any of the ten available mini-games.
There is also the Stamp Rally, which requires players to collect Stamp Tickets in the story mode. Players also need to hunt for Magolor stickers dotted throughout the amusement park. Completing a stamp card will reward Kirby with a dress-up mask from the souvenir shop. These are mainly cosmetic rewards, although some will give Kirby some extra powers. For example, Kine the Ocean Sunfish’s mask gives the player a better water gun attack whilst submerged.
This extra mode can be enjoyed solo, with other players, and in some cases, such as with Samurai Kirby, it can be played online. There’s even a VS 100 for this particular mini-game. So, give it a shot and see if you have a speedy reaction time and nerves of steel!
After the success of Kirby and the Forgotten Land, releasing a successful follow-up, especially one that is a remake of sorts, is not an easy task. There is a lot to enjoy here in every way; greater improved visuals and subtle cosmetic changes, as well as a catchy soundtrack and the extra modes thrown in too.
This game is more for the younger audience and the Kirby fans too, with easy pick-up and play mechanics and fun multiplayer. It’s not a hard game by any stretch of the imagination. However, finding all 120 Energy Spheres should keep you entertained for a long time. Failing that, there are a lot of multiplayer mini-games and stuff to unlock. In many ways, that is a challenge within itself.
Players who owned the previous version on the Wii may find little incentive to pick this one up. Nintendo seems to release old games under the “Deluxe” banner and add substantial content. As we have seen with Mario 3D World’s Bowser’s Fury or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, to name a few. I would recommend downloading the demo from the eshop and gauging it for yourself. However, if you are a Kirby fan, and love multiplayer 2D platformers akin to past games in the franchise, then add this to the collection.
4 out of 5
You can buy your copy of Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe from the Nintendo eShop today.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.