We usually say jovially that there are many games of Kirby and that these do not stop coming out. It's no joke, there are so many that several of them could well be forgotten altogether given the excess supply. Nor are we going to deny that there are pleasant surprises like Planet Robobot or the excellent Kirby and the Forgotten Land of this year. But the truth is that Nintendo falls back into repetition by overexploiting the pink ball and this time it is with a casual title, called Kirby’s Dream Buffet for Switch for a reasonable price of $14.99 USD.
Perhaps, in essence, its price is the first problem with this release. We are aware that contrary to what the mobile market thinks, not all games should be "free" in favor of micropayments. Nevertheless, games like Kirby’s Dream Buffet they give the impression that they were born with the aim of being 'free-to-play' and that at some point the developers changed their minds.
As a result, we have a simple running game, focused on multiplayer – just like so many others. Kirby–, fledgling single-player mode, zero story or campaign, and some replayability. But not much either. HAL Laboratory's habit of implanting all kinds of styles and game types into its official mascot is well known, which is not bad but positively experimental. This is not the exception.
The main theme of Kirby’s Dream Buffet it is of course the food, especially cakes and desserts that with their graphic quality (appealing to realism), can become cloying. We roll a custom Kirby through levels and obstacles made up of food and cutlery, aiming to reach a mountain of strawberries and cream. Along the way we must devour as many strawberries as possible trying not to slow down the fat Kirby.
Whoever has devoured the most strawberries at the end of the course is the winner. The importance of arriving first lies in being able to choose a plate with an additional 50 strawberries that add up to the last count. The road, however, is not a stroll. During races, mini-games or pitched battles, we constantly have to fight against opponents – human or artificial – that can attack us with special abilities and waste valuable strawberries or time.
The skills are not individual, because although aesthetically customizable, each character is playable the same as their competitors. During the levels we can obtain any of the powers through surprise boxes, in the style Mario Kart. These abilities include tornadoes, wheels, fires, chuzos, jellies, springs, weights, and the rest of the arsenal familiar from previous Kirby games. Its effects are temporary and not as devastating as in the aforementioned Mario Kart.
Comparisons of Kirby’s Dream Buffet con Fall Guys are certainly accurate, although limited for the nintendo pink ball. Pastel colors display a bright palette but so many sweets harass the eye. The obstacles, meanwhile, are not as developed as in the Mediatonic game and also less chaotic..
Between competing online, in local multiplayer with up to four players, or another Switch console, the game offers the same random levels and motivations are slim. Try to get closer to the racing genre, party with the minigames and battle royaleeven so, it remains halfway without taking advantage of any of them in its entirety.
There is a gourmet level that we increase as we play more competitions and get better places. As rewards we get decorations for a Kirby cake, colors and cosmetic accessories to customize our eater Kirby. There's not much to dig through the mountains of food and candy at this virtual feast. The references to Kirby are so obvious that even with a Snorlax they would have worked the same. Only, you know, Snorlax couldn't roll the same...
There's nothing wrong with experimenting, and Kirby is the quintessential star of Nintendo franchise style experimentation. The idea of Kirby as a rolling ball has already been seen since the Pinball, Block Ball, Tilt ‘n’ Tumble and derivatives. Nevertheless, Kirby’s Dream Buffet it is an excuse whose entertainment passes quickly and does not stop giving the feeling of 'free-to-play'.
Kirby's good handling with the 'stick' leaves one wishing that he had been closer to Super Monkey Ball, a game that when it arrived on the GameCube was also surprising for its refined controls with a single 'stick'. We expected skill-challenging scenarios controlling a rolling Kirby between gigantic dishes, instead we received multiplayer without much flavor.
Perhaps it is time for a well-deserved rest for the creation of Masahiro Sakurai, from whom we have recently learned a lot thanks to his debut como youtuber. The Forgotten Land It was a giant step in Kirby's legacy, but he must learn that sometimes you have to wait.
Digital copy of Kirby's Dream Buffet for Nintendo Switch provided by Nintendo.