The best thing about Kirby, our pink gelatinous guy, is that he is so easily moldable. With that robust round figure and sparkling eyes that shine with friendship and innocence, putting a little hat on Kirbys head and giving him a sword all feel equally adorable and natural.
Hal Laboratories and Nintendo follow up Kirby's superb main course Kirby and the Forgotten Land with a delectable little treat for already stuffed Kirby fans on Nintendo Switch. Kirbys Dream Buffet is a multiplayer game in which you roll Kirby down dessert-themed levels, eat strawberries to make him as big as possible, and use food-based abilities to beat your opponents to the punch.
After an already stellar year, Kirbys Dream Buffet is a stunning dessert delight and a fun tangent for the franchise.
The main objective of Kirbys Dream Buffet is to eat as much food as possible. However, hidden blueberries and cherries may be found in several paths on each level. Some include burgers, eggs, and delectable sandwiches for the pink puffball to slam over in what I can only assume would be a health code violation.
The tricky part is that these levels are quite difficult to navigate, and Kirby isn't doing his usual platforming here, rather rolling around and feeling more like a Katamari than anything else. Strawberries, other fruits, and the essential power-ups are placed tactically throughout each level, so guiding Kirby towards them, dodge enemies, and avoid being bumped off the track is a recipe for some sweet, sweet mayhem.
There are also new Copy Food abilities, which grant powers to Kirby, but they do not count towards his strawberry total, but instead, they imbue him with abilities similar to those used in many of his previous games, only this time, they are based on food. For example, the doughnut works as a wheel and allows Kirby to smash the track at speed, the cupcake acts as a tornado and attacks the opponent while sucking up nearby strawberries with wind power, and a chilli pepper propels Kirby forwards with
They're all a little cumbersome but they're worth it in those decisive moments. As with the rest of the game, these are a fantastic marriage of risk and reward, allowing you to snatch victory in those crucial moments.
The Kirby who eats the most strawberries wins the main level, though you should always grab those fifty strawberries.
The main issue here is that the game is quite a large increase in the number of players, often putting one player far in the lead. However, there are so many obstacles and enemies that it does a decent job of keeping everyone at the same pace.
When the final tally is revealed, players receive an extra 40 strawberries for certain random triggers. These can be based on who defeats the most enemies, who uses the most copy abilities, Who eats the most blueberries, or a few more.
Each Grand Prix has two mini-games that take advantage of the main platforming levels. These remove the obstacles and instead place all four players in a small arena where the focus is on battling with the Copy Food abilities and your joyously bouncy bodies. The tricky rolling mechanic is so consistently silly and just good enough to control that it doesnt feel unfair.
The mini-games include other classic abilities, such as the needle and stone abilities, that are far more combat-focused than the previous ones. Getting pelted around by three other Kirbys, all with massive bulging bodies and a maelstrom of dessert-based copy powers, is a wonderful marriage of skill and madness.
In the best ways, Mario Kart feels like a Mario Kart game: strawberries or powers, and if you fall behind, you may even receive the invincible candy, only to return and waste your opponent, slapping up strawberries like a greedy Kirby at Wimbledon, and a major upset to the tally is entirely possible.
You can now play against three other players online in random or team-based matches. There are even commands mapped to the left analogue stick, although they are as basic as saying hey!, huh?, and very little beyond. I think theyre mainly there to annoy people.
I think this is a major missed opportunity, as it might be a great party game to play in a crowded living room. However, with this particular level of technicolor chaos, I think a four-player local mode would have been a real treat. However, considering this is a paid game, it isnt likely that I will ever get a chance to use it.
The online gaming has been fairly efficient in my opinion, as I found it easy to find players and my gameplay has been fairly smooth. There were some frame drops and freezes, but the game still kept everything together, and while the occasional stutter did occur, it wasn't enough to ruin the experience.
The gameplay modes in both local and online multiplayer are broken up into a Grand Prix (two levels, a mini-game, and a battle royale), or you can just play one of the options on your own. I hope a few more options are added, because the basic gameplay is great, but players may run out of things to enjoy fairly quickly.
The unlockables are what have kept me coming back so far, and each level gives you an experience based on your quantity of strawberries consumed, and there's a 180% bonus for playing online. I've unlocked costumes based on King Dedede, Meta Knight, an adorable little burger hat, and a load of different colours. It's fantastic to see such a wide range of Kirby songs represented.
The presentation is outstanding, and if my language hasnt already explained the thrills and joys of the challenges, please explain it further. At the same time, Kirby himself looks adorable as he tumbles and stumbles through each ridiculous new area.
The simplicity of the Kirbys Dream Buffet helped me to enjoy it for the whole day. While punching your opponents off a gigantic fork and snatching a strawberry out of them is hilarious, I would rather have a party game like this one.
Kirbys Dream Buffet is a funny and satisfyingly silly game that combines gameplay perfectly between moments of skill and total chaos. Along with plenty of fantastic rewards to unlock, Dream Buffet will keep players coming back for more helpings in the future.