Kirby: Return to Dreamland Updated Preview

In our latest visit to Dreamland, we play with some new power-ups and jump into a giant, spiked boot.

All is well for Kirby and friends, at least up until a spaceship crashes and interrupts their lovely picnic. In Kirby: Return to Dreamland, our rosy friend returns to his roots and is ready to suck up some new abilities. Kirby took a break from inhaling enemies in Kirby's Epic Yarn, but his suction abilities are a force to be reckoned with in his latest outing. During our last demo at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, we spent some time as the loveable pink fluff, and our three companions had the option to play as King Dedede, Meta Knight, or Waddle Dee. We learned in our most recent demo that anyone can play as Kirby, so when you make that return to Dreamland, you can choose to tag along as a different-colored clone.

Everyone can be Kirby!

There are benefits to playing as the other characters, though, because they are always armed with a weapon. Kirby's skills rely primarily on the unique abilities that he can steal from enemies, which are represented by way of a fun hat. But if you somehow happen to lose it, you may need to rely on your friends to get you through obstacles instead of chasing down another enemy to get your powers back. Working together always makes things more interesting, but it's not like New Super Mario Bros. Wii where it gets harder with more players. In Kirby: Return to Dreamland, the camera is always focused on the first player, and if others happen to get left behind, they'll get warped back onscreen instead of getting pushed off. There should be no unfortunate accidents this time around, and your lives are shared. Players can drop in and out with the push of a button.

The goal of the game is to help the alien Magolor find all the missing pieces of his wrecked ship. As you go through the levels, you'll find energy gears that will unlock more content within Magalor's spaceship. We hopped around different areas to play with various power-ups and were encouraged to inhale as much as we could. In secret areas, a moving wall forces you to keep pressing forward, but you can push it back a little by spitting things at it. By shaking the Wii Remote while Kirby is sucking, Kirby can perform a power suction that grabs almost everything onscreen. Spitting out blocks, your friends, wayward enemies, and other indigestible items at the moving wall will push it back even further, giving you more time. Sucking up your friends is always an option--or something that just happens because they're in the way. They won't receive any damage, and if anything, they become useful projectiles. Your lives are shared, but you each have to keep an eye on your individual health bars. Whenever someone picks up a healing item, you can hug your friends immediately to share the boost in health.

Some of the copy abilities that we played with included the leaf power, where we slapped and punched foes with a fist full of vines and leaves. Another elemental ability let us harness the power of water, which let us surf the waves when we dashed, and there was a cute move where we hovered in the air by spitting out a never-ending stream of water. There are also enemies that don't have any useful powers to steal, but if you copy a sleeping enemy, you'll also gain the ability to take a nap. When you're not cloning others for your super skills, you can gain special powers for a limited time via power-ups. One monster flame power-up had us summoning a giant flaming dragon that would swoop in and mow down trees. Another power gave us temporary control of a giant orb that basically took out anything it touched. Many of these power-ups are carefully placed, so you know that there's some secret area within the vicinity. Our favorite, though, had to be the spiked shoe, which was similar to Kuribo's shoe in Super Mario 3, but instead of being light and bouncy, it was heavy and stiff. You have to time your jumps carefully to get enough air, but it's always entertaining to hop around in a massive boot.

The flaming dragon.

What often makes Kirby games so endearing are the little details. Though he may not morph into a graceful dolphin this time when he hits the water, he does put on a pair of swimming goggles and attack foes with air bubbles. However, when he's up on the surface, he trades his goggles in for a circular floatie and practices his flutter kick. It's these little touches that make Kirby special, and you can share that experience with friends when the game is released in October.

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49 comments
NND1
NND1

Kirby is F-Awesome

csward
csward

To those of you that are wondering, "hugging" you teammate to heal them looked pretty hilarious back in Kirby's Superstar on the Super Nintendo. It looked like you turned you back to the player and were over top of your ally. So, on the SNES it looked like you kissed your friend to heal them, lol. Wow, just looking at the screen shots reminds me of the good old days playing Kirby's Superstar co-op. That was one of the best co-op games ever.

Wolflink001
Wolflink001

This Kirby game looks very nice. Took them forever to finally complete the development. I'll definatly get it when I have enough money to spend! Skyward Sword comes first though.

Fire-of-Reem
Fire-of-Reem

Now a good new version star fo-...nevermind =( Probably will be too easy though

TheRedTree
TheRedTree

Will you be able to die in this one? ;-) I jest! This is looking good. This will be just my second-ever Kirby game ever played. (I was a long-time Sega guy growing up.) Looking forward to this and eventually the title coming out for 3DS.

blazingkirbies
blazingkirbies

Day one buy for me. I just hope it's longer than most Kirby games.

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

I know what the article says, DryMaster. The list of playable characters in this game is similar to the one in Kirby 64, except that Meta Knight replaces Adeleine. I'm not a Meta Knight hater, but it wouldn't kill the game to have at least one girl.

arabianboss99
arabianboss99

and im hoping for it to be a bit like superstar/ superstar ultra where there are actually some really hard parts

arabianboss99
arabianboss99

im excited because its been a while since ive played a proper kirby game

BelmontWolf
BelmontWolf

@madsnakehhh i know right how much better would brain training have been with a flaming dragon

evolux
evolux

This is the one Kirby game I was personally waiting for... Can't wait for that flaming dragon XD

protokyoto
protokyoto

OMG, ever since the Wii was released I was hoping for an actual Kirby game to get released (Epic yarn was alright but it really didn't have the same magic as games like the Dreamland series, 64, and Superstar did). I am definitely excited about this one and as long as the length is longer than 3 hours this will be a day 1 purchase for me.

madsnakehhh
madsnakehhh

Nice, this seems like a must have for Kirby fans, besides, Flaming Dragon? why every game ever made doesn't have a Flaming Dragon is beyond me.

gaomon_t
gaomon_t

I'm really looking forward for this game and I hope they're planning on adding the combo abilities or whatever you want to call them. and I hope they make something like this : the more players playing the more the game gets hard just to even thing out.

Rovelius
Rovelius

If we can ACTUALLY DIE this time... I'll gladly pick it up. I love Kirby games and sadly Epic Yarn was not one.

franzito
franzito

This Dreamland is really something!

DryMaster
DryMaster

BlueFlameBat.... Umm... the article says that you can play as dedede, metaknight and waddledee

BlueFlameBat
BlueFlameBat

The playable character roster is a sausage fest. Why couldn't Meta Knight replace Waddle Dee instead of Adeleine?

BeanoFatardo
BeanoFatardo

TheoAlmighty.... you beat me to it! love kirby.... they just aren't challenging enough!!!

NightFox313
NightFox313

Wait - "the flaming dragon"?! Kirby now has T3H PH1R3!

SloganYams
SloganYams

Bring back the double-sided lightsaber!

TheoAlmighty
TheoAlmighty

i love kirby but sometimes i wish the games were more of a challenge!

DesertLynx83
DesertLynx83

The flaming dragon looks so awesome! Can't wait!

NELSQNFTW
NELSQNFTW

I got my hopes up thinking this was the Kirby game for gamecube but it doesn't look like it .... bummmer .... and also, i think they should make a Kirby game similar to the N64 one, where you can fuse abilities

almossbb
almossbb

finally, cant wait to play this, and skyward sword

zeldafreak4life
zeldafreak4life

It's nice to finally get this finished Gamecube game we were supposed to get several years ago.

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Wow looks very good. Can't wait for it!

game-ster23
game-ster23

Great cooperative play. Looking forward to using these new abilities.

TheMudora
TheMudora

AHHHHH! Why did my Wii have to break down...

Super-Poke-Bros
Super-Poke-Bros

This sounds great! I love Kirby :D I hope it's not TOO easy though...Yes it's Kirby but...something like Super Star/Ultra, where there were some easy levels and some that were pretty hard.

EKO_ASSASSIN
EKO_ASSASSIN

yeah cuz Epic Yarn was the easiest game ever made so they had to redeem themselves

Superzone
Superzone

Been waiting for a Kirby game like this for YEARS! Can't wait!

RPG_Fan_I_Am
RPG_Fan_I_Am

Man, Nintendo is really pumping out titles lately. I mean Zelda, Donkey Kong Country, Theres like 5 Mario style games... and now Kirby. Its a good couple years to be a Nintendo fan. As for me, I'm just happy to have some new games out.

moviequest14
moviequest14

Though this is almost an automatic ''shame on you!'' I actually never really enjoyed the original Kirby titles..but I tried epic yarn and was surprisingly satisfied with how well it held up compared to other games so I think I would be willing to give this one a try...

pcty
pcty

I'm sold

Too-DementeD
Too-DementeD

This is the kind of kirby game I've been waiting for. Original Style Kirby on a home console.

Fartman7998
Fartman7998

Finally they are returning to what made games like Kirby Super Star and Kirby's Dreamland 3 so good

enrique_marrodz
enrique_marrodz

Looking great! as I officially started with Kirby in Epic Yarn and then played the 3DS VC one, I think this is a great follow up for me!

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

@ darkfury23 Lots of people bought epic yarn,and it did well in reviews. I liked it too. Still,it is indeed nice to see Kirby go back to his power-stealing roots. I'm also stoked that I'll have one more game to play as Meta Knight in. He is so awesome! I smell a fantastic game in the future. Along with all the other fantastic games I smell in October.

calvinsora
calvinsora

October is going to be an annoying month. So many games, so little time and money.

darkfury23
darkfury23

ah this is awesome I was just thinking the other day after playing kirby's dreamland on the game boy original, how much I would love it if they remade it on wii. nobody bought kirby's epic yarn cuz it didn't even look like kirby.

justindragon
justindragon

can't they release games at summer i mean school starts at September

-Vulpix-
-Vulpix-

Another game coming out in October. How does one afford everything? looking forward to this though