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Kirby’s Dream Buffet is a prime example of the series’ archival nostalgia

Fans of Nintendo’s pink puffball mascot kicked off 2022 with the release of Kirby and the Forgotten Land. main line Kirby 3DS-era games were often followed by spin-offs expanding different subgames, such as Dedede Drum Dash Deluxe Where Kirby’s Explosive Blast. Most of the ancillary activities in forgotten land were diegetic – Kirby plays Tilt-and-Roll or goes fishing in Waddle Dee Town – so it seemed less likely that HAL Laboratory would follow up with a related spin-off. Kirby’s Dream Buffet shows that the studio is more than willing to experiment.

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Whereas Dream Buffet matches the old Kirby price as Dream Course Where Airplane ride in that it puts the character in an unprecedented situation, it retains the spirit of the 3DS versions of HAL. A little after Kirby’s Return to Dreamland in 2011, the series celebrated its 20th anniversary with Kirby’s Dream Collection on Wii, and subsequent titles like Deluxe triple room, Planet Robobotand Star Allies included more nostalgic elements. forgotten land places Kirby in a completely original adventure, but Dream Buffet capitalizes on many of the same nostalgic and archival strengths of its predecessors.


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Kirby’s Constant Self-Reflection

Outside of a celebratory concert featuring Kirby voice actress Makiko Ohmoto, there hasn’t been a ton of fanfare for the show’s 30th anniversary – which is a shame considering how rugged Kirby’s Dream Collection was a decade before. It featured six games updated for then-modern hardware, but also a soundtrack encompassing the entire series up to that point, a museum with art and videos, and episodes from the anime. Kirby: Back home!

Future releases clearly had elements of this celebration. Although almost all Kirby The game has a version of Whispy Woods, more unique bosses have started appearing in remixed forms. Deluxe triple room‘s Paintra look like Curse of the Web‘s Drawcia, for example, and Star Allies‘ final boss Void Termina refers to items like the Master Crown of Back to dreamland. Secret endgame content offered even more, like Dark Meta Knight from amazing mirror appearing in Planet Robobotit’s Dededetour! fashion.


However, the collectibles of these titles carried a lot of weight. Deluxe triple room has 256 keychains based on pixel sprites from previous games (including some unique sprites for characters like Yin-Yarn from epic yarn), and Planet RobobotStickers served a similar purpose with official artwork. Kirby Star Allies on Switch went one step further with its post-launch “Dream Friends” support adding playable allies and antagonists from previous games.

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How Kirby’s Dream Buffet embodies this spirit

Kirby’s Dream Buffet is a simple spin-off. A brief cinematic intro shows Kirby being shrunk by the Dream Fork, but there’s no dark mystery behind this element as one might expect from main entries such as forgotten land. It merely serves as an excuse to place a set of customizable Kirby avatars in massive culinary obstacle courses in abstract spaces – an aesthetic that many have compared to Mediatonic’s. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout.


Players can compete in local or online matches to collect the most strawberries in three grand prize-style modes: races, mini-games (like defeating the most enemies), and a “battle royale” that involves defeat opponents with one of the game’s eight “Copy Food” abilities. Performance in each round helps increase Gourmet rank, with 135 tiers of rewards to unlock.

The game is arguably sparse even for its $15 price tag, but Kirby’s Dream Buffet makes up for that with references lovingly sprinkled throughout. These aforementioned rewards include new music tracks containing remixes of the entire series and costumes based on characters like Meta Knight, Adaleine or Taranza. There are also 256 character treats that serve a similar purpose to keychains and stickers, but can be set as a starting platform or placed around the main menu and Free Roll practice mode – where players find treats. other references to Kirbyfrom the Switch catalog as well as series staples like a Whispy Woods candy.


However Dream BuffetThe frenetic gameplay of should appeal to any group of friends interested in Mario Kart and mario party-esque shenanigans, it’s clear that HAL is hoping the spinoff will appeal to longtime fans. There are even unlockable bonus music tracks if the Switch save data pops up for games like Star Allies, forgotten landand Super Kirby Clash. In an industry often opposed to preservation efforts, it’s good to see Kirby keeping in mind its long history with so many releases.

Kirby’s Dream Buffet is now available on Nintendo Switch.

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