If there is anything we know for sure, it’s that Nintendo doesn’t mess around when it comes to remakes. In fact, much of the Switch library is built on them, giving newcomers to the company a taste of some of the best games they offer. The recently released Metroid Prime Remaster showed what Nintendo is capable of, but is Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe on the same level?
Originally released on the Nintendo Wii back in 2011, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land was (and still is) hailed as one of the best Kirby games of all time, so it’s only right that Nintendo would want to bridge the gap from Kirby’s first 3D adventure, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, and whatever they’re working on next in the series – and what better way than with such a classic?
Designed with multiplayer in mind, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is the same old 2D side-scrolling gameplay formula we know and love – including the option to enjoy it in its entirety with up to four friends with drop-in/drop-out co-op – more on that shortly.
If you played Return to Dream Land previously (or any Kirby title, for that matter), you will know exactly what to expect here. Fun, light-hearted 2D side-scrolling goodness across numerous simply laid out levels, sucking up enemies to gain various abilities, and collecting, well… collectables. The original formula hasn’t changed, and it doesn’t need to. It’s a lot of fun, and the levels themselves don’t pose much of a challenge, making this the perfect pick-up and play experience.
In regards to the multiplayer, up to three players can join Kirby on his adventure in local co-op. As was the case in the original, players can team up as Meta Knight, King Dedede and Waddle Dee as well as also being able to select coloured variants of Kirby. Though admittedly it is better to choose one of the former characters, as they each offer a unique weapon to aid along the levels.
As fun as playing through the game with three friends is, it can get a little hectic on the screen, especially when Kirby is using his “Super Ability” where he basically destroys anything and everything on the screen while the other characters can do nothing but watch in awe.
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe does have a few additions to keep it feeling shiny and new. Two new copy abilities are now available, Mecha and Sand – which are both fantastic additions to the already great line-up, though I did find myself preferring Sand. A few existing abilities have been tweaked slightly too.
Another big addition to Return to Dream Land Deluxe is the “Helper Magolor” option which effectively makes an already easy game, even easier. This option makes it so that Magolor will rescue you if you’re about to fall off the map, and will even give you stamina-boosting potions throughout your adventure. This mode is perfect for children or players who are new to platformers.
One of my favourite additions to the Deluxe edition is Merry Magoland, which is Kirby’s version of a theme park. This section of the game allows you to play through 10 mini-games which have numerous challenges to complete too. Completing these challenges will allow you to unlock masks that you can put on Kirby; some being really cute, and some being downright scary. The mini-games make for a good bit of friendly competition for you and your friends too…
Perhaps the biggest improvement in Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is the addition of the post-game mode Magolor Epilogue: The Interdimensional Traveler, which is unlocked when you finish the base game. Finishing the base game won’t take you too long, taking roughly between 5-6 hours depending on how quickly you get through each level. This new mode adds a few extra hours to your playtime and sees you playing as Magolor on a mission to restore his lost powers. It’s a fantastic addition to an already wonderful game.
Playing through as Magolor does offer a slight change in gameplay as he has totally different gameplay mechanics to what Kirby does. Not to mention, you will have to collect all his abilities as you play through the levels, so he will gradually become more powerful.
Some smaller improvements over the original include improved graphics and sounds. The game does have a certain charm with its vibrant cartoon art style and its catchy soundtrack. It’s not going to blow you away, but it sure is nice to look at.
Oh, and if you want a little more of a challenge from the game, you can unlock “Extra Mode” which adds a lot of stronger enemies throughout the levels as well as tweaking boss battles so they require a bit more thought to beat.
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is a wonderfully wholesome game that is impossible to put down when you pick it up. Everything about it has a tendency to make you feel all warm inside and that’s the kind of game I can get down with. Add that to the fact you can play with up to three of your friends and family at any point makes this a must-play for any Kirby or platforming fan.
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe £49.99
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is a wonderful example of another great Nintendo remake. The price may be steep, but, if you are a fan of Kirby, or simply played the original, this is a great wholesome family-friendly game to fall back on.