[REVIEW] : Kirby and the Forgotten World Test – Open your mouth, say “K”
They managed to come up with an AD that makes the two worlds go together very well, while preserving a more realistic aspect to this post-apocalyptic world than what Dreamland had accustomed us to. And this throughout the adventure and the different regions (each with its own atmosphere) crossed. There are even certain moments when the proposed scene (sets, light) made me stop to contemplate.
Once past the tutorial, we discover that the waddle-dees, also transported to this world, are being kidnapped by the locals. We then jump on our faithful star and we go to save them all.
The selection of the level this time passes through an overworld in which we can walk, perched on our star. Our exploration is limited to unlocked regions and there is not much to do except go to a mission, a challenge or, sometimes, search a place to find some parts or reveal a hidden challenge. It is possible to go through a menu to select a destination on the map and teleport there.
Indeed, once the waddle-dees have been saved during a mission, they all head towards a base camp which they build little by little, giving access to various mini-games, an arena, distributors of collectible figurines , some services and especially to a craftsman capable of improving the powers, but we will talk about the latter later. Some construction steps are linked to the progression in the story and others are linked to the number of waddle-dees saved (the game is quite wide on this and we save without forcing ourselves far more waddle-dees than necessary for everything unlock).
The waddle-dees to be saved are only found in the missions: you have to save 3 of them to simply complete the mission, between 3 and 5 are hidden through the mission (the number is indicated at the beginning of the mission) and 3 others are released by accomplishing for each one a secret objective during the mission. These secret objectives vary quite a bit from mission to mission (find a hidden area, beat a mini-boss with a certain power, beat a boss without taking damage, etc). For an objective asking to perform an action several times, it is enough to perform the action once for the objective to be revealed. And if at least one objective has not been discovered at the end of the mission, the first undisclosed secret objective is automatically revealed to facilitate completion if you want to redo the mission for that.
Some mission runs with the car, hang glider, or rollercoaster wagon offer at the end to just restart that run rather than having to redo the entire mission.
If the missions are the classic content, the challenges are added to that. This is relatively short content in which Kirby is tested on the use of a power (allowing to discover unknown aspects of certain powers as this episode lacks a full description of each power). There are varying degrees of difficulty, but it’s generally pretty doable. The challenge comes above all when you want to beat the proposed time target. It is then generally necessary to repeat several times to optimize its actions. However, reaching this additional objective is not very interesting: finishing the challenge earns, the first time, a rare star (necessary to improve its powers) and finishing under this optional time objective earns, the first time, 50 coins, resource base of the game that can be found anywhere (for example, you finish a mission with 2-300 coins).
Note that the game offers to play in two difficulties, one easier and one more difficult. The easier one has slightly weaker enemies and gives more healing items. The harder one features slightly tougher enemies and rewards some extra coins. The difference between the two is quite subtle, and the benefit of the harder mode isn’t overwhelming. Whichever mode is chosen, the difficulty is clearly surmountable (the opposite would have been surprising in a Kirby). With a more controlled progression of this one than in other opus.
If Kirby evolves this time on three dimensions, the principle of the game remains quite similar: a button to attack (suck up or use the power), one to jump / float, one to give up his power and two (the triggers) to parry (and do a dash).
Unfortunately, the game only lets you choose between two key layouts rather than allowing them to be changed freely. And, strangely, if throughout the game the interactions are done with a button press or a button hold, there is a moment at the end of the game where it is asked to mash the buttons, which is not ideal in terms of accessibility.
Between 3D and the environment of modern world ruins, we are entitled to quite interesting levels, with a construction of these which changes a lot from previous opuses. And in a rather positive way. With in particular secrets sufficiently hidden so that we can see that it is supposed to be hidden (and that we can sometimes miss some), but sufficiently visible so that we can detect them by paying a little attention and without having to rest on a guide to complete the game.
The spaces are also wider, more open. A rather elegant solution to avoid breaking the game is to limit the maximum altitude of Kirby’s flight according to that of his starting point: he can reach a place by jumping from the top of a box, but does not fly enough high to reach it from the ground, for example. On the other hand, we also regularly have invisible walls, modeled by obstacles that Kirby could easily pass, but which he cannot overcome.
With more open areas, the risk of falling is more present. Especially when you use transmorphism, during which you don’t jump in the same way and especially during which you lose flight. Fortunately, the game just puts us back on the last solid place we stood on and makes us lose a little life (classic mechanic in a lot of games, but in Kirbys, the fall is usually fatal) . Death only happens when you lose all your life points. Again, the game is not very punitive since it makes us lose 100 coins and does not make us start again from the very beginning of the level, but at the beginning of the place where we died.
Where the problem with this evolution in 3D is that it is not always easy to realize the depth. It is necessary to get into the habit of looking at the shade (if it is present). But it’s not always easy to use certain powers.
After the tutorial, it is possible to play two in local coop. The second player is however limited to the use of Bandana Waddle-Dee who cannot swallow enemies and therefore use the various powers offered by the game; he is instead restricted to the use of his spear. I have not had the opportunity to test this game mode and therefore unfortunately I cannot comment on the management of the two-player camera.