The excellent Kirby and the Forgotten Land launched yesterday for the Nintendo Switch family of system and our reviewer awarded the game a stunning 9.5/10. The Washington Post were given the chance to speak to Kei Ninomiya of Nintendo’s Entertainment Planning and Development Department (EPD) Production Group Two, Shinya Kumazaki, general director at HAL Laboratory, Tatsuya Kamiyama, director at HAL Laborator, Yuki Endo, level design director at HAL Laboratory, about the new game and the Kirby franchise going forward. They were asked about the future of Kirby and whether 3D is form factor they would like to switch to using for the long-running Kirby series, after previously being constrained to 2D action. Shinya Kumazaki said there is definitely room for both 2D Kirby games and 3D Kirby games. He said that the team always want to challenge themselves to create new and innovative Kirby games whether they are in 2D or 3D.
Q: Does the team feel confident that this could be a permanent evolution of Kirby adventure games moving forward?
Ninomiya: We brought Kirby to the 3D action/platformer genre along with the series’ iconic elements, including the nonstop, feel-good action and excitement. We also incorporated elements that challenge advanced players while still maintaining playability. I feel that what we achieved in this game has opened up more possibilities for future Kirby titles.
We hope to continue this momentum and explore new genres and new ways to play in the future.
Kumazaki: While a full 3D game is certainly a fresh new look for the Kirby franchise, it doesn’t necessarily mean this will be the standard going forward.
Nintendo is on the same page as us, and this is something we talk about often. We hope to go beyond what is currently imaginable and challenge ourselves to create new and innovative Kirby games. This game was one of those challenges coming to fruition. We will continue to explore via trial and error and not just limit ourselves to 3D.
With that said, one thing I can say is that “Kirby and the Forgotten Land” came with such big changes that it could be considered an important “milestone” in the long history of the series.