If you’ve taken a look at our list of the best Kirby games of all time lately (or read our original 9/10 review of the last, more to the point), you’ll know that we’re holding Kirby’s Return to Dream Land in high esteem in these places. . A return to classic Kirby action after a few less successful departures from the norm (sorry, Canvas Curse and Squeak Squad), this 2011 entry in the franchise was another super strong addition to the formidable roster of platformers. first class. level.

Now, some 12 years later (what’s the time?), HAL Laboratory has returned to Dream Land to bring us this deluxe edition of the pink puffball’s big comeback and, well, it’s still a hit. But now it’s a banger that looks way better, plays even better, and has more content than ever before. Yes, when they say “Deluxe”, this time they mean it. The original game’s visuals not only got a nice makeover, removing all traces of jagged edges for a super sleek and clean new look, but there were also all sorts of gameplay tweaks, kinks and improvements. as well as the addition of two stunning new ways. to sink his teeth into it. Does Kirby even have teeth?

Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Offline)

But let’s step back a bit here for those of us who haven’t played the original game yet. In Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe, Kirby and his friends come to the rescue of an intergalactic traveler known as Magalor when his ship, the Lor Starcutter, passes through a wormhole and crashes on planet Popstar. Now it’s up to you, and up to three other players in local co-op, to navigate through different 2.5D levels to collect five missing pieces from Magalor’s ship. Along the way, you’ll use Kirby’s mark-copying abilities to take on a host of colorful enemies and battle a bunch of classic Kirby bosses.

There are eight worlds in total to float around and make your way through here and all have stood the test of time well, with plenty of fun and creativity as you progress through the roughly seven hour campaign. . As always, HAL Laboratory strikes a wonderful balance, making it a very entertaining adventure for us older Kirby fans, while still being completely accessible for much younger players to get to grips with. Plus, while it only takes you around seven hours to get through this one if you focus on the main objective, the 120 energy spheres hidden around the levels will easily push that number into the double digits. They’re not particularly hard to find for the most part, but the later areas have a few spheres that will test you.

While the game’s various levels run in the usual range of Kirby environments without too surprises, and although we’ve all been swept along on treadmills, forced to avoid stepping on pistons, and chased by an encroaching wall of black hole energy a million times before (we call it Monday here), there There’s plenty of character and color Kirby, his friends, and their crazy copying ability. Game elements that might feel a bit dated are always a joy, especially when you join other players in local co-op where things get really rowdy. Kirby’s Return to Dream Land also features a ton of super abilities, five ultra versions of regular copy abilities you’ll get your hands on throughout the game, allowing you to unleash screen variations of your normal attacks to take out groups . of enemies and destroy environments to uncover secrets.

Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Offline)

Honestly, returning to that classic style of Kirby action after recently enjoying Kirby’s New Delights and the Forgotten Land, we were impressed with the quality of the old-school action here. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a proven formula. Of course, this deluxe edition doesn’t just offer the 2011 version in its normal state with some graphic bells and whistles. Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe brings a bunch of new modes to the table that give the main game a real boost.

Available as soon as you complete the first stage, Merry Magoland is a Magic Kingdom-style amusement park mode that brings together 11 Kirby minigames for you and up to three other players. Of the games on offer, eight were selected from previous Kirby titles, such as Ninja Dojo from the original Return to Dream Land, Kirby on the Draw from Super Star Ultra, and Egg Catcher from Kirby’s Adventure. The three new additions to this deluxe version are Booming Blasters, a chaotic top-down arena shooter, Samurai Kirby 100, a twist on the classic Samurai Kirby that pits you against the times of online leaderboards, and Magalor’s Tome Trackers, which requires you to pick up assigned books. shelves before your opponents.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Connected)

Taken separately, these mini-games are pretty disposable stuff, there’s no doubt, but grouped together in this wonderfully cheerful and colorful theme park, they create a mode where you can easily spend a lot of time, beat your own high scores, tackle tougher difficulties and absolutely have fun with friends, all while collecting stamps that unlock some 86 different character skins for Kirby and company to wear during the main campaign. We haven’t tried the online side of Merry Magoland yet, an online mode that is limited to battling high scores and high times, but we think there will be plenty of challenges once people will start posting. up to ridiculous records for each of the games. Oh, and there’s also a walkthrough mode you can find yourself in, letting you choose four mini-games at once and then dive in with your friends – a perfect way to score the 100 missions the game takes you to. offers complete. . in all the activities offered.

The other big addition to Kirby’s Return to Dream Land is Magalor Epilogue: The Interdimensional Traveler, an all-new mini-campaign, playable with up to four players, unlocked once you’ve completed the main story. the first time. Here, you take control of Magalor as he embarks on four missions, each consisting of four stages and a unique boss battle. We won’t go into too much detail here for fear of spoilers for new players, but we were very impressed with this new mode, it’s a good chunk of the 90 minute game time which gives you loads of new powers to play with. with platinum medals to chase at every stage and, dare we say, the best boss battles in the entire game. of powers to a decent test.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Offline)

Apart from these major new features, you also have two new copy abilities to add to the mix here, Mecha and Sand, both of which are a perfect match for the fun. In fact, we think Mecha is one of our favorite Kirby abilities so far, equipping you with powerful lasers, air blasters, and multi-directional thrusters to get you closer to levels. Once you beat the main story, the returning Extra mode (which also saw some surprise tweaks) unlocks alongside The Arena, giving you a challenging new twist on the main campaign and a Boss Rush mode to battle against. . All of this makes for an absolutely rich Kirby adventure in content and replay value. We’ve actually completed the main story, the new epilogue, and we’ve had a good chance of playing the minigames so far and our save file shows us that we’re only 34% complete. That’s a lot of Kirby!

Performance-wise, everything runs at a super-smooth frame rate and the new graphics overhaul here really brings the game up to date, with plenty of new environmental details and crisp visuals that look particularly good on the Switch’s OLED display on the pocket computer. . fashion. It’s not just about fancy graphics. Character models have been updated across the board to align with more recent franchise appearances, there’s an easier difficulty setting that engages Helper Magalor, and additional collectibles, like tickets to Merry Magoland, were distributed by levels.

Some tweaks have also been made to the game’s core mechanics. Kirby can now carry keepsake items through campaign stages, a mechanic borrowed from Forgotten Land, so you always have a Maxim Tomato or save ability just in case you would need it, characters can now dodge and dodge through the air while maintaining direction while blocking, and Kirby and friends also have access to a variety of in-game emotes.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Offline)

In the end, what you have is one of our all-time favorite Kirby adventures that looks and plays better than ever and is packed with great new content and modes for fans to get to grips with. The main game has stood the test of time well, it’s really quite hard to believe it’s already 12 years old, and the added content, especially when it comes to the new epilogue, is honestly worth the price of admission. , even if you’ve already fought your way through Return to Dream Land countless times before.

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