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 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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