Even though I started this game a few days ago, I haven't talked about it and given how I'm liking it I feel that I should at least make a small post with my first impressions. The new Kirby title for the Wii is incredibly beautiful, a return to Kirby's classic gameplay where he runs around 2D stages eating his enemies and using their powers against them.
Return to Dream Land is one of the games that will go unnoticed in the Wii's catalog for having the cursed mark of being "a Kirby game". I've honestly always thought that Kirby is the most underrated franchise in Nintendo. While I can't deny that the games are too easy and kiddy, they're all very beautiful and usually have great presentation values, graphics, music and innovative gameplay.
Unlike Epic Yarn (which is also amazing, check my review for it here.) RTDL is a step back to the classic style of the old Kirby games, of course, there are some new things like the ability to play the game cooperatively with friends using King Dedede, Meta Knight and a spear-holding Waddle-Dee and many new cool powers for Kirby to steal. But going back to his roots didn't affect Kirby in a bad way, on the contrary, I'm sure that this will be one of the best games in the Wii that no one will play.
It tells a very simple story about an alien who crashes on Dream Land and his spaceship parts get scattered around the entire place so Kirby and the other three characters offer to help him rebuild it. Each world has four stages and a boss fight, each with some hidden gears that you need to find in order to unlock cool minigames and challenges that seem very difficult to be in a Kirby game. I've been playing very little daily to avoid finishing it quickly because it seems like the game's main quest is kinda short but the unlockables seem worth the effort of going around all the stages looking for the hidden items the alien thing requires.
Graphically, it is very beautiful, I don't know if I'm biased towards his games or not but I like the visuals in this game more than the ones in Mario Galaxy 2 and Donkey Kong Country Returns. HAL Laboratory always makes a great job with the visuals. The music is very cheerful and kiddy as well but it is really catchy and a welcome style for gamers like me used to more serious soundtracks or the shitty ones fighting games usually have.
I really recommend this title to everyone with a Wii. It is a very charming and relaxing game where you'll travel around varied stages, listen to amazing music and play as one of the cutest (and more powerful) gaming characters ever created.
Fortunately, I've got a ton of Kirby games recently: This one, Mass Attack and Super Star Ultra for the DS and Amazing Mirror as an Ambassador title on the 3DS. Besides, I'm planning to finish Epic Yarn as well so expect me to cover a lot of Kirby things during this year. I really can't wait for Nintendo to reveal a 3DS Kirby game.
Now, changing the subject but staying on the Kirby issue, it pisses me off how rare some of the games in the franchise can turn out to be. There are Kirby titles in the GBA and DS that I never noticed were released and if you want to buy them now, you have pay big bucks for them. Fortunately and as I just mentioned, I have a lot of his games and I'll definitely enjoy them in 2012.