Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe – Review 2023

Mario is Nintendo’s most-popular mascot, but Kirby shouldn’t be underestimated. He’s pink, round, and cute, and his games are consistently high-quality releases. They also hold up extremely well, which is why one of his Wii outings is still enjoyable on the Nintendo Switch in 2023. Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe is a remake of Kirby’s Return to Dreamland on the Wii, and it’s just as fun now as it was 12 years ago. Dreamland Deluxe doesn’t do anything revolutionary; it’s simply a rock-solid platformer with excellent gameplay and lots of new content. Priced at $59.99, this Kirby adventure is a bit expensive for a remake of a Wii game (especially when the outstanding Metroid Prime Remastered is just $39.99), but the extras make it a worthwhile purchase and an Editors’ Choice winner.


Kirby's Return to Dreamland Deluxe

Return to Dreamland Deluxe’s Story

Kirby games aren’t known for their complex plots, so you won’t experience deep themes, twists, or trope subversions in Dreamland Deluxe. As is typical for a Kirby title, the game starts with Kirby relaxing on Planet Popstar. His peaceful life is disrupted when an interdimensional spaceship crashes nearby. Its pilot, Magalor, needs to repair the ship so he can get home. Being kind creatures, Kirby and his friends trek across Popstar to find the parts that flew off.

This is all a justification for Kirby to complete stages in multiple, differently themed worlds (fire, ice, and water) before fighting a boss that holds a piece of Magalor’s ship. It’s Kirby—the structure was pretty much established in the first Game Boy game.


Kirby's Return to Dreamland Deluxe

Kirby’s Side-Scrolling Platforming Still Feels Good

Kirby’s Return to Dreamland Deluxe uses the series classic, 2D, side-scrolling platforming seen in every mainline Kirby game before Kirby and the Forgotten Land. In fact, its gameplay and level design are effectively identical to the

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Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe review: perfect timing

Kirby slashes a Waddle Dee with a massive sword in Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe.

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe

MSRP $59.99

“Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is an exceptionally well-handled rerelease, bringing new content that enhances the Wii classic.”

Pros

  • Base game is as fun as ever
  • Fantastic art upgrade
  • Smart experiments in new content
  • Great minigame implementation

Cons

  • Lacking challenge and variety
  • Magolor Epilogue is light

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is a classic example of “right place, right time.”

In the age of double-dips, video game rereleases can often feel a little random. It’s great that we got a full remake of Dead Space in 2023, but why now? How is the 2008 game enriched in a new modern context? Not every remake or remaster has a real answer to those questions, but Kirby’s latest Nintendo Switch adventure certainly does. On the heels of 2022’s excellent Kirby and the Forgotten Land, the pink puffball found himself riding a new wave of adoration from both old fans and young ones meeting him for the first time. Now was as good a time as any to bring back one of his best 2D adventures — a Nintendo Wii classic that had nearly been lost to time – and Nintendo has gone above and beyond in doing so.

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is even more charming now than it was over a decade ago thanks to an excellent visual makeover that makes classic platforming feel modern again. Though what’s especially impressive here is the package’s brand new features, which double the amount of content and give developer Hal Laboratories space to experiment with ideas that could radically reinvent Kirby’s next mainline adventure.

Reason to return

Kirby’s Return to Dream Land originally launched in 2011 for the Nintendo Wii and has since been hailed as one of the series’ finest

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