Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe Review – A Fun Family-Friendly Affair

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe Review

The Switch houses countless ports, remakes, and remasters. While you may struggle to identify what else could make its way to the platform, Nintendo still has a few titles up its sleeve. After last year’s outing, a new interest has grown with the pink blob, and with that comes another release. Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is a remake of the Wii classic which sees the podgy character rid himself of the number of gimmicks from previous titles and go back to its classic gameplay. Is this traditional experience the perfect release to follow Kirby’s first foray into the third dimension?

As Kirby and co. peruse the world, they notice a strange object enter the atmosphere of Planet Popstar. Soon they realize that a spacecraft is plummeting toward the ground. After the smoke clears, Magolor disembarks and assesses the damage to his ship. He notices that several parts have gone missing which leaves the craft inoperative. Kirby and his friends decide to locate the lost pieces so that Magalor can take flight once again. While the story is simple and conventional, there’s still a certain level of charm and whimsy that permeates the presentation. Each character has a thick outline and cel-shaded design that adds a storybook aesthetic. This, along with the playful score, captures an innocence that will appeal to younger gamers and will whisk older fans back to their childhood. 

Back to Basics

Fans of traditional Kirby’s will instantly feel at home with Return to Dream Land Deluxe. You venture across a 2D plane to overcome numerous docile enemies that waddle throughout. The platforming itself is a simple affair and offers very little challenge. Instead, the focus is on using your abilities to find hidden areas and collectibles. As with other releases in the franchise, you can easily suck up enemies and copy their powers which alters how you approach the next segment. As well as the usual suspects, new abilities have been added. The Mecha suit lets you hover across the terrain and blast enemies with lasers whereas the Sand costume allows you to throw grain-based attacks. This diversifies the experience further and adds a new twist which gives more reason for players to revisit the game.

Another new feature is the ability to add the Magolor Assist option. If you activate this, you will gain extra health, be saved from falls, and receive extra items. While this may help younger players engage, the base game doesn’t offer much challenge in the first place. However, the Extra mode does crank up the difficulty with some new foes and tougher enemies that inflict more damage. The dimensional rift segments are some of the most exciting parts of the game as you must wobble away from oncoming walls. In the Extra mode, the intensity is heightened as walls fly across to create some hair-raising moments. Unfortunately, the only way to access this mode is after completion which means you’ll have to wait to challenge yourself.

Encore! Encore!

A new and truly wonderful addition is Magolor’s Epilogue. Once you finish the main campaign, you unlock this unique story that differs in terms of gameplay from Kirby. Magalor takes inspiration from action platformers such as Mega Man. With your powers gone due to dimensional travel, you must now track these down and restore your abilities. The simple premise allows for the character to continually evolve as you can upgrade particular skills throughout. Because of the combo meter and medals that reward your success, there is an incentive to replay levels.

Return to Dream Land Deluxe lends itself to local multiplayer fun with its easy drop-in/drop-out co-op feature for the main campaign and the epilogue. In addition to these are the minigames in the Merry Magoland area. Here you can tackle all manner of activities with either motion or traditional controls. These are addictive albeit simple tasks that are perfect for younger players and families. To add further incentive to revisit this mode, there is a stamp system that rewards you for completing challenges. This grants you masks that you can equip which adds a little personalization for players.

You’ve Got a Fight on Your Hands

Challenge rooms are also accessible during your escapade through Planet Popstar. These focus on one ability and due to this, offer interesting layouts that take advantage of your powers. As well as this, the game also includes the Arena. This boss endurance mode puts you against the biggest and baddest enemies one after another. The inclusion of these gives fans more reason to stick with the game; however, while there is a lot of additional content, it is by the book.

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is an enjoyable and nostalgic trip back to the classic formula of the franchise. Like previous releases, the game includes a wealth of content that will keep you busy for a substantial period. The new Magolor’s Epilogue is a welcome addition and changes the familiar recipe of the series. While the game is great for younger players and families, the lack of difficulty means that veterans will find it a breeze. Although it doesn’t deviate from conventions, it still maintains its charm which will resonate with fans.

***Nintendo Switch code provided by the publisher for review***

The Good

  • Loads To Do
  • The Epilogue
  • Classic Gameplay

The Bad

  • Very Conventional
  • A Bit Too Easy
  • Having to Unlock the Harder Mode