The first real 3D Kirby game from HAL Laboratory, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, is fresh in the memory of those who played it after its release in March this year. The translation of the unique pink down jacket platformer beyond the 2D plane, including its soaring jumps, breaths and copying abilities, made it possible to experiment with proven abilities. He also introduced two new copyable abilities in Drill and Ranger, as well as advanced abilities with their own attributes. These experiments continued with Jelly Kirby in the latest spin-off HAL Kirby’s Dream Buffet.
Kirby’s Dream Buffet is harder to put in a box than previous games. The main attraction of the game is a Mario Kart-style racing mode with an abstract culinary setting that can be compared to Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, but between races during each Gourmet Grand Prix there are also battle royale matches and mini-games. There are eight variations of typical food—related copied abilities available in certain modes, but Jelly is the only one invented for Dream Buffet. His emphasis on intangibility could still make Jelly a worthy candidate to appear in future mainstream games.
Jelly gives defensive potential to Kirby’s Dream Buffet
Kirby’s Dream Buffet returns seven copyable abilities: Gorenje, Drill, Hi-Jump, Needle, Stone, Tornado and Wheel. Their functions are basically the same as in the main platformers: Burning and Wheel shoot players faster on the race track, but others have seen an adaptation to the unique mechanics of this spin-off. For example, Tornado now sucks in any strawberries nearby, and Stone turns Kirby into a chocolate bar with a shock wave that knocks out opponents in a royal battle.
Jelly is the only food copying ability with exceptionally protective properties, perhaps due to the lack of existing options that would match the fast nature of Dream Buffet. After receiving a boost, players can turn Kirby into a jelly-like green blob for a limited time. The character is invulnerable for the duration of the action, able to overcome enemy attacks, as well as obstacles such as destructible cookie walls. By pressing the ability activation button again, Kirby can leave behind jelly balls that slow down opponents.; although it goes through his active time faster.
How Jelly Can Adapt Beyond Kirby’s Dream Buffet
Kirby’s Dream Buffet is the third spin-off in which a copyable ability appears. The first was Balloon, which appeared in the 2005 DS title Kirby: Canvas Curse; it was followed by Wrestler, which appeared in the later Switch title Kirby Fighters 2. None of the abilities appeared in the main game after their appearance, which perhaps does not bode well for Jelly as another force representing the format of his debut by-product. However, Kirby Fighters 2 is out in 2020, so there’s a chance the Wrestler could still appear in any game following Kirby and the Forgotten Land.
If Jelly switches to a traditional platformer, its passive ability status should be preserved. The food theme may remain an homage to the Dream Buffet, or the HAL lab may create a more typical variant based on mucus or ectoplasm to make sure that jelly is exactly the ability to copy food. In any case, the presence of Jelly can give Kirby an inherent speed boost and the ability to pass through certain enemies and walls for both 2D and 3D platformers.
One of the places where Kirby’s core game could expand Jelly’s capabilities is to make it more useful in combat. If players have an active form, they can theoretically absorb an enemy and slowly deal damage, like a Dungeons and Dragons Gelatin Cube. Dropping jelly pieces to slow down opponents seems less purposeful outside of the race track, but it can lead to a volcanic attack that launches particles into the air above and around Kirby. There are many options if HAL decides to bring back the side ability, although she should also consider revisiting Balloon and Wrestler.
Kirby’s Dream Buffet is already available on the Nintendo Switch.