Review: Kirby’s first foray into a 3-D world hits the mark in ‘Forgotten Land’

Among Nintendo’s stable of characters Kirby holds a special place. He’s not the most popular. That distinction belongs to Mario (think of the scores of games that bear his name). He’s not as revered as Link who stars in the venerable “Legend of Zelda” series.

Still, the puffball has managed to carve a niche. It’s especially notable seeing as how he and Mario both started as side-scrollers and developed their distinct gameplay styles.

Whereas the plumber’s adventure focused on platforming, the puffball leaned heavily on power-ups called copy abilities. Kirby’s games don’t expect players to make split-second jumps or navigate platforms to reach a flagpole. His games involve swallowing enemies and absorbing their powers. If the pink protagonist sucks in a swordsman, Kirby comes out wielding a blade. The same goes for bombers and fire hurlers, he adopts their powers as well.