The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of those monumental games you use as a common reference point in casual discussion, whether you’re talking about Super Mario Odyssey, Genshin Impact, or real life grass fields (I swear, the graphics these days are so impressive). The benchmark for “giant 3D open world leap forward” was brought up by IGN when talking to Kirby general director Shinya Kumazaki and expert director Tatsuya Kamiyama at GDC, asking if they felt like Kirby & the Forgotten Land was the series’ “Breath of the Wild moment.”
Kumazaki replies that Forgotten Land was certainly a turning point for the franchise, and a first step towards creating 3D Kirby games, but also that it won’t necessarily be the new standard of the franchise going forward: rather, it’s added a method and genre of expression as a possibility, as HAL Laboratory operates by settling on the core idea of a Kirby game before deciding whether or not it’s 2D or 3D. HAL made the proper 3D leap recently only after incrementally building up skills and experiences, only settling on making Forgotten Land after finishing Kirby’s Blowout Blast (a small, simple 3D title on 3DS).
It’s an interesting and thoughtful response, and one worth reading through if you have the time. Kirby and the Forgotten Land was our Game of the Year 2022, and absolutely worth a look if you haven’t experienced it already.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land inhales Best Family Game at Game Awards 2022
Kirby and the Forgotten Land wins best Family Game at the BAFTA Awards 2023
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