Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe Embraces Multiplayer

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land is back 12 years after its Wii debut. And this time it’s “Deluxe!” What does that mean? Well, in this case it involves leaning further into the original game’s family-friendly fare. Aside from design changes to ensure appearances are consistent, this feels like stopgap that satisfies Nintendo’s desire to give people a multiplayer game in early 2023, as well as a new, more traditional Kirby adventure after Kirby and the Forgotten Land.

Kirby’s got a new friend, and he’s decided to drop in. Literally, as Magolor’s Lor Starcutter crashed onto Popstar, losing Energy Spheres and equipment alike. He needs to get home, so it falls to Kirby (and if you have friends locally, Bandana Waddle Dee, King Dedede, and Meta Knight) to find the missing parts to help Magolor on his way.

Review: Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe Leans into Multiplayer Experiences

What follows is an incredibly traditional Kirby installment. Kirby and his friends go through eight areas, referred to as levels, with different themes like Cookie Country, Nutty Noon, and Egg Engines. When playing as Kirby himself, the puffball can inhale and steal Copy Abilities from certain enemies, granting him 26 total options. Some of these can even become Super Abilities, allowing Kirby to wipe out large swaths of enemies and decimate terrain to reach certain special areas and acquire extra Energy Spheres. Leaf, Spear, Water, and Whip debuted as Copy Abilities the first time around, and this time Festival, Mecha, and Sand join them. Each one is serviceable and useful in its own situations, though I sometimes found Sand so similar to Leaf that it didn’t feel all that distinct or necessary. If someone is on-hand locally, they can join you in the adventure as Bandana Waddle Dee, King Dedede, or Meta Knight. However, given the relative ease of the

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