The Nintendo Switch’s Game Boy emulator gets another classic addition, find out how it holds up in our Kirby’s Dream Land 2 Review for Switch.
Kirby’s Dream Land 2 brings so many staple features that are still around twenty years later.
Game Boy – Nintendo Switch Online:
☑️ Kirby’s Dream Land 2
☑️ BurgerTime Deluxe
Super NES – Nintendo Switch Online:
☑️ SIDE POCKET
NES – Nintendo Switch Online:
☑️ XEVIOUS pic.twitter.com/zu9RaXEtAF
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) March 16, 2023
Kirby’s Dream Land brought the basics that we know and love about Kirby. The suction ability, familiar enemies, and King Dedede. With Kirby’s Dream Land 2, a long of elements we recognize as being staple additions made their debut. The ability to inhale enemies and copy their abilities was added, all of them being long time staples. There are multiple memorable boss fights such as the Mr. Shine and Mr. Bright (the best boss fight in this title). Then they even added elements that didn’t stick around quite as long, the main one being three animal friends Kirby can combine with to enhance his powers in some way. Rick the Hamster, Coo the Owl, and Kine the Fish. All three are more mobile in particular terrain, and have their own version of each of Kirby’s abilities.
The overworld is also the familiar concept of multiple locations to be traveled to, with doors to enter for each level in each world. The number of levels in each world grows as you progress, and become a bit more complicated as well. The boss fights are where the game both sines and blunders though. We’ll start with the bad. In the boss fights, there is almost never a reason to use a copy ability. The stars the bosses leave in their dust as the result of an attack do so much damage when they’re spat back at them, not to mention its just more fun to play around the bosses’ movements and dodge before attacking.
Movement is frustrating sometimes when you’re using an animal friend, so sometimes they have to be left behind, but even if you do get caught on the edge of a scrolling level and die, there are plenty of chances to get 1UPs, so resources are expendable. Kirby’s mobility without an animal friend is typically always good enough to get you through any kind of terrain.
This is the Kirby game where the real evil starts to creep in. Kirby is known for having unexpectedly dark villains and twists in the story. Well this is where that all began. Kirby has to restore the Rainbow Bridges that connect all seven Rainbow Islands due to them being destroyed by Dark Matter. Unlike the first game where Kirby fights Dedede so he’ll return all the food, this game is about defeating a possessed Dedede to save Dream Land from being taken over by an evil force. The stakes are higher, and that’s shown in the fact that Dream Land 2 is about five times the length of Dream Land, with many more levels to go through and bosses to defeat. Its very, very simple storytelling, but it once again transitions into long term Kirby tradition. We owe our creative, dark twists all back to Dream Land 2.
Game Boy graphics aren’t great. We know this. The appeal of the Game Boy wasn’t great visuals, it was performance of a video game on the go. That being said, Dream Land 2 does a great job of getting the theme of Dream Land across to the players. It’s as simple as trapezoid shaped hills, star designs on objects, and spikey or round enemies. Even today all the familiar enemies back from the original games still have the same design today, because they make up the theme and design of Dream Land. After all, Kirby is a big round ball with flat feet. How hard can it be to get him perfect on any console?
With the original shades of green that the Game Boy presented, the game looks fine. Where it really looks great is with the Game Boy Color setting turned on in the options. Dream Land looks far better in color, and unless you’re looking for nostalgia, that’s the optimal way to play.
It’s Kirby! Of course, the music is great! If any complaints at all, it would be that the music is a bit repetitive, but in a short game like this, themed music doesn’t get annoying because it doesn’t get played as many times. The animals each have themes, and each location has themed music as well for when their animal friends aren’t in use. The light, twinkly music reminds you that this takes place in a world of light-hearted wonder, making the player, especially kids, feel comfortable traversing the worlds filled with possible dangers and difficulty.
Kirby’s Dream Land 2 Review – 7.5/10
While not the most exciting of the franchise, Kirby’s Dream Land 2 deserves so much credit for introducing mechanics and ideas that were later turned into well known features worldwide. This game was a huge expansion on its predecessor, and introduced a story that Kirby and everybody in Dream Land would vaguely follow in games to come. Kirby’s second title was a stepping stone in the right direction on almost everything, and while the excitement of that may fade halfway through a gameplay today, it absolutely didn’t fade back when people were experiencing Kirby’s first huge adventure for the first time. For anybody who wants to know about he origins of Kirby and other Nintendo games, Dream Land 2 is a great place to start.