Kirby has been a regular in multiplayer mini-games since the 3DS and the Switch is no exception to the rule with its third title of its kind.
Every hero deserves a little rest, and Kirby is taking some well-deserved time off after his epic The Forgotten World. This time, it’s out of the question to go on an adventure, but rather to savor a good feast of strawberries, fruits and pastries of all kinds. Kirby’s Dream Buffet is the latest spin-off of the little pink ball that everyone adores. This multiplayer game is reminiscent of the previous secondary episodes of the genre that Kirby has been playing since the advent of the eShop on Nintendo 3DS.
After ruthless battles in Kirby Battle Royale, Super Kirby Clash or Kirby Fighters 2the mascot comes to borrow from other types of less dangerous games. This Kirby’s Dream Buffet offers a strange mixture between mario party and Fall Guys to the delight of fast-paced party game fans. Full of good ideas and carried by the adorable artistic direction of the license, the title nevertheless struggles to offer a truly satisfying experience despite its very low price of €14.99. Available exclusively on the Nintendo eShop, we recommend that you read these few test lines before you start downloading this little spin-off.
A far from mature multiplayer mode
Like its predecessors, this little game aims to offer fast multiplayer games with simple and engaging gameplay. The online multiplayer mode being the main attraction of this title, it is this one that should be treated first. Although a game of the genre does not aim to offer an experience as complete as a Splatoon for example, it does not manage to offer sufficient comfort to make the most of short games and their yet effective gameplay.
In the online mode, players are immersed in a Grand Prix consisting of four different rounds. Two races, a mini-game and an all-for-one fight follow each other relentlessly to quickly crown the most greedy Kirby. In fact, the structure of the game is very well thought out. Harvesting strawberries lends itself perfectly to the different gameplay on offer and makes it a frenetic time filled with adrenaline.
Unfortunately, like many multiplayer games requiring reflexes and precision on Nintendo Switch, server performance leaves something to be desired and bogs down the experience. General slowdowns and latency for jumps and directions, in other words, the race rounds become a real obstacle course. Removing the joycons during the game or stopping rolling for a few seconds is also enough to disconnect the player and penalize him. Fortunately, it is possible to remedy this by launching games with friends in local mode, even if this option is not perfect for all that.
Kirby does not share his dessert
While it’s not too difficult to find opponents via online matchmaking, organizing games with friends in local mode is a whole different story. Via the internet, all you have to do is share a password to invite your loved ones, nothing could be simpler. But once your friends join you on the couch, you have to be prepared to make some concessions. Indeed, you have two options if you want to play in the same room. Battle mode or local connection mode. One not enough to complete the other, the offline multiplayer experience suffers from a terrible lack of completeness.
The local connection necessarily implies the presence of four players, all equipped with their Nintendo Switch and the game. Difficult to put into practice, most players will surely prefer to turn to local split-screen, a classic Nintendo game. And that’s where it gets stuck. Yes, it is indeed possible to play in split screen through the combat mode. However, only two players can compete against two computers. Impossible to replace the two remaining places with two other friends.
This choice is strange, but it is not impossible that it is explained by a concern for performance. Although local gameplay does not suffer from the latencies of online mode, the console struggles to run the game without greatly reducing the framerate and resolution (mainly in portable mode). When we see what is capable of accomplishing Mario Kart 8 Deluxethis lack of effort on Kirby leaves something to be desired.
Some icing on the cake
Fortunately, Kirby’s Dream Buffet no shortage of sweets to limit breakage. Only an update will be able to solve the problems that the title is facing, but we must admit that the overall experience is sprinkled with functions that sweeten this slightly bitter dessert. The progression in the game is rather well thought out, effective and even addictive. The total strawberries accumulated during races and mini-games add up to a “foodie level”. This level allows you to unlock cosmetic rewards like a battle pass, pushing you to play more and more to become the cutest Kirby in your games.
Customization is the only secondary aspect of the game, and even though this option is simple, it is still attractive. In addition to purely cosmetic rewards, some rewards take the form of new lands for the different rounds of the game, bringing replayability and challenge as you progress. Hopefully, however, the game will be followed for some time so that it remains interesting in the months to come.
The artistic direction of the game is also a real pleasure for the eyes which feed on the bright colors and the decorations while cakes. Unfortunately, these successful aspects are quickly lost in a ganache of all kinds of problems which quickly brings down the soufflé.