Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe Preview: A Promising Port

On February 24th, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe will release on Nintendo Switch, bringing a beloved Wii platformer to a new audience. Nintendo held a special preview event to showcase the game, including some new features that will be present in the Switch version. Notably, the Nintendo Treehouse staff focused on one of the game’s new copy abilities, as well as the new Merry Magoland sub-game mode. Last but not least, the company showcased the new Magolor Epilogue, which features an all-new campaign centered on the character Magolor.

Our preview began with a look at Level 3: Onion Ocean. The first thing that stood out to me in the preview is that the level looked really vibrant. The Wii version was no slouch in that department, but the beach location didn’t look like something out of a game that came out more than a decade ago. The character designs have gotten a bit of an overhaul, and they really seemed to pop against the game’s backgrounds. It’s here that we also got a chance to see the new Mecha copy ability in action. The ability looks like it will become a fan favorite, and it also seems to be a bit more intricate than Kirby’s typical powers; one Treehouse staffer showcased an in-game guide that had five pages describing all of the different things Kirby can do with the ability. While Onion Ocean seemed like the ideal place to showcase the new Sand copy ability, that one was not shown during our preview.

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe puts a big focus on multiplayer, allowing players to drop-in and drop-out at any point in the campaign. Players that prefer to compete against one another can always check out the new Merry Magoland mode. The mode compiles eight sub-games from previous Kirby titles, as well as two new ones. Our preview event featured a look at “Kirby on the Draw,” a sub-game that debuted in the original Return to Dream Land. Given its initial appearance on Wii, it should come as no surprise that it offers motion controls, but players can also opt for button controls, or even touch controls when played in handheld mode. Merry Magoland features more than 100 missions to complete through these sub-games, and players can do so with friends or solo.

The coolest thing about Merry Magoland is that it features some fun callbacks to previous Kirby games. Players can unlock stamps by playing the sub-games, which can then be used to unlock masks. These masks can be worn by any of the game’s playable characters (even Meta Knight, who already wears a mask), and represent familiar Kirby favorites, like Kine from Kirby’s Dream Land 2. Even better, players can then wear those masks in both Merry Magoland, as well as the main campaign, giving diehard Kirby fans an even greater reason to unlock them.

The existence of the game’s Magolor Epilogue leaked last month, but no additional details were provided. Nintendo showcased the mode during our event, and it significantly differs from the main campaign. Rather than playing as Kirby, Meta Knight, Bandana Waddle Dee, or King Dedede, the mode puts players in the roll of Magolor. The character seems to handle significantly different from the rest of the cast, and he also looks to be in rough shape following the events of the game’s story. The character has lost his powers, and players will have to work to get them back. Unfortunately, the team was not able to tell us how long Magolor Epilogue will take most players to complete. The epilogue is unlocked alongside an Extra Story Mode and an Arena, once the main campaign has been completed.

So far, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is looking like a strong addition to the Nintendo Switch library! It doesn’t look nearly as ambitious as last year’s Kirby and the Forgotten Land, but that’s to be expected given that this is a port. However, for newcomers to the series that have never experienced a traditional 2D Kirby game, this might end up being the best option on Switch. The small improvements to the main campaign look nice, but the additions of Merry Magoland and the Magolor Epilogue should give Kirby fans a nice incentive to revisit the title. Hopefully the finished product proves an enjoyable one, but fans can get an idea for themselves today, as a demo for the game has been released on the Nintendo eShop!

Are you looking forward to Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe? Did you play the game on Wii? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!


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