Kirby and the Forgotten Land marks a whole new chapter in the centuries-old history Kirby franchise. It is mainly because Kirby and the Forgotten Land is Kirby’s first 3D adventure – excluding spinoffs like Airplane ride. Beyond a change of perspective, forgotten land brings many more new features to the table.
A large number of Kirby and the Forgotten Land trailers and even the game’s demo focused on two main features: the ability to upgrade Kirby’s copy abilities and Mouthful mode. Kirby’s upgraded abilities gain new movesets, and Mouthful mode is all new to begin with, so there are plenty of new mechanics for players to play around with. This is where new Treasure Road stages shine, which weren’t previously featured in trailers.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land Treasure Routes
Kirby and the Forgotten Land contains mostly open stages, taking full advantage of the game’s new 3D setting. These are full of hidden areas to explore, as well as optional lesson objectives to complete. That being said, fully completing objectives at any given stage usually requires focusing on one or two copy abilities. Treasure Road’s stages provide a stark contrast: they’re short, bite-sized stages in which Kirby must make full use of an ability.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land Treasure Roads seems like a simple addition, but their execution is very creative. Essentially, each stage is a short obstacle course tailor-made for Kirby’s Copy Abilities or Mouthful Mode abilities. These can be unlocked by completing a stage that contains a new ability, or by hovering over the game world map to manually discover them.
At first, these Treasure Road challenges seem like fun, side content, just there for completion’s sake. After going through the first stages and unlocking the town of Waddle Dee, their true purpose becomes clear: Kirby receives a rare stone at the end of each stage, which is the material used to improve the game’s copy abilities. This provides an incentive beyond the satisfaction of completing a stage, even though it’s quite fun to do so to begin with.
Treasure routes bring challenge and creativity
Kirby and the Forgotten Land Treasure Road stages are all unique from each other. Kirby’s new Ranger ability, for example, forces Kirby to fire at moving targets while on a platform, while the Fire ability step allows Kirby to ignite multiple fuses and break boxes that get in the way. As unique as all the stages are, they are always easy to navigate. This is where optional goal times come in.
Each Treasure Road stage has a maximum time of three minutes to complete, but a bonus goal time that can go down to 45 or 30 seconds. These times can get surprisingly strict – defeating six waves of enemies and a mini boss with the Sword ability is suddenly much harder with a one-minute time limit.
One stage in which the timer is particularly frustrating involves a Mouthful Mode ability whose name will be omitted for spoiler sake. Just be aware that solving three sequentially difficult puzzles with a strict timer is not a fun time. The only disappointment here is that completing those times only grants Kirby a handful of extra coins to spend on upgrades and collectibles, and there’s no shortage of those elsewhere – especially with forgotten land new wild mode difficulty.
Along with the added challenge, the Treasure Roads also serve to teach players about Kirby’s abilities. This is useful because, unlike other Kirby Games, forgotten land does not have the ability to check all of Kirby’s entries in the pause menu. One specific step that comes to mind is Kirby’s ice ability. In it, Kirby has to run down several hills in a short time, dodging enemies and obstacles in the way. Running normally is way too slow, but the scene teaches players how to smash B to surround Kirby in ice and glide in no time. It’s a good way for the game to teach players some of the forgotten land deceptively complex controls without feeling overly forced.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land The Treasure Road stages provide a great bonus challenge for those looking for it. Playing through the stages is fun on its own, but the real satisfaction comes from completing all the bonus goal times. The reward for completing these stages is also too good to pass up – Kirby’s enhanced copy abilities are an exciting inclusion. No matter how Kirby and the Forgotten Land is played, players are sure to have a smile on their faces the entire time.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is now available on Nintendo Switch.
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