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So I never got around to playing Return to Dreamland on the Wii for whatever reason… I think there was a period of time where I prefer watching LPs of Kirby games instead of playing them myself? I’m not really sure why, but I’m glad there was an expanded port to the Switch so I could actually play it. I mean, it did look fun, so it was probably going to be a great time, right? Yeah, it’s another game to 100%!
…I did not 100% it.
Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe is a game that I loved, like, a little over two thirds of, but boy, that last third is just. Well, I know having a harder Extra mode goes all the way back to the original Kirb, but hoo boy the autoscroll segments of Extra Mode’s orb dimension segments got kind of brutal after a certain point and bosses that I thought were decently challenging on normal were just kind of nuts. There’s nice helpful items you can get from Magoland but damn. That halved health bar is brutal. The fact that the changes to the stages effectively boil down to there being more and bigger enemies is also something I think is kind of dull for a campaign as long as Dreamland Deluxe, and I kind of wish they messed with the standard enemy models a little the way they did in the original Dreamland. So yeah I really do not feel compelled to finish Extra or the True Arena, like I am straight up not having fun with those. I got through the first level of the last world and decided I was done.
The rest of the game rules though. I really liked the Superstar-style big elaborate move lists for the copy abilities even if I found some of the inputs a little fiddly, and I enjoyed the Deluxe specific ones a lot. Mecha Kirby rules super hard and Sand is pretty neat. I gotta admit that I was especially fond of Spear too, it makes Kirby into a goddamn murder machine. The levels are fun and have some pretty neat little puzzles, and I had a pretty great time 100%ing Normal Mode.
And I gotta be real, I always love A Kirby Story. Love these little guys. Love the stylistic choice being consistent with Forgotten Land when it comes to Dedede too, he’s so friend shaped. I wouldn’t say this is my absolute favorite stage design in the series or anything but the atmosphere and aesthetics are pretty good, especially when you hit the last chunk of the game.
Speaking of Kirby Stories, Magolor Epilogue was a lot more fun for me than Extra in terms of more challenging content. The score based gameplay and upgrades were a lot of fun to mess with, and I DO love that little guy. He’s super fun to play with and his personality is a lot of fun. Maybe I do kind of wish it was just a little bit longer but eh it was still pretty great.
Magoland is the other piece of new content Deluxe brings and it’s… alright. I’m sure the minigames are more fun if you’re playing with friends instead of against the AI but I did have an okay time. Not enough to want to try and get every mask but I got a fair amount. The masks themselves are a fun collection of references and I do like them for the most part but…. I want to see Kirby’s cute little face doing his cute little emotes instead of a static mask… they did make replaying levels a little more fun and I imagine they’re really fun in multiplayer, but they were mostly Alright to me.
Honestly I wish I liked Extra mode more than I do because everything else is great and I feel kinda bad for being defeated by Kirby of all things. I mean the game just dumps lives on you constantly so it’s not like I was in danger of getting a game over literally ever, but at the end of the day this isn’t the kind of thing I come to Kirby for. I finished the stuff that mattered to me and I guess people who actually like to get their ass kicked by the cute little guy game for babies can enjoy Extra, but I think I’m good.
Another fun little map pack to clean my way through! I enjoyed the settings and the little stories that went along with them, especially the homoerotic paintball rivalry. I hope those dudes kissed at some point. I do kind of hope for another indoor map at some point, though, I kind of like those even if they take quite a while to get through. The vehicles are alright but man was the excavator fiddly.
It's picross babey! It's still great, I still didn't bother with mega picross because I don't find it quite as fun. The music for color picross fucking whips, actually, and I'm pretty sure this is the first game I've had with the full set of Extra Puzzles? Damn those are huge. I did kind of charge through them in one night but they're still kind of wild. Anyway good stuff. I do kind of find myself needing a puzzle game like this every now and then for enrichment, like how every so often zookeepers will give a lion a pumpkin full of meat.