How Jelly Could Translate To Mainstream Games
The first real 3D from Laboratoire HAL Kirby Game, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, is fresh in the minds of those who played it when it was released in March. Translating the pink puffball’s unique brand of platforming outside of the 2D plane – including its floating jumps, inhale, and copycat abilities – offered opportunities to experiment with proven powers. It also introduced two new copy abilities to Drill and Ranger, as well as evolved abilities with their own attributes. This experimentation continued with Jelly Kirby in the latest HAL spin-off. Kirby’s Dream Buffet.
It’s harder to put on Kirby’s Dream Buffet in a box than previous titles. The main attraction of the game is a Mario Kart-style racing mode with abstract culinary environments that have drawn comparisons to Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, but there are also battle royale matches and mini-games interspersed with races during each Gourmet Grand Prix. Eight food-themed variations of typical copy abilities are available in some modes, but Jelly is the only one invented for Dream Buffet. Her emphasis on intangibility could still make Jelly a decent candidate to appear in future main titles..
Jelly brings a defensive edge to Kirby’s Dream Buffet
The seven copy abilities back in Kirby’s Dream Buffet are Burning, Drill, Hi-Jump, Needle, Stone, Tornado and Wheel. Their functions are largely the same as in the main platformers, with Burning and Wheel pulling players around the racetrack faster, but others have seen tweaks for this spin-off’s unique mechanics. Tornado now sucks up all nearby strawberries, for example, and Stone turns Kirby into a chocolate bar with a shockwave impact that stuns battle royale opponents.
Jelly is the only food copy ability with exclusively defensive properties, possibly due to a lack of existing options that match Dream Buffetis fast in nature. After getting the power-up, players can turn Kirby into a gelatinous green blob for a limited time. The character is invulnerable for the duration, able to pass through enemy attacks as well as obstacles like destructible cookie walls. By pressing the ability’s activation button again, Kirby can leave behind globes of jelly that slow opponents; although this goes through his active time faster.
How Jelly Can Fit Beyond Kirby’s Dream Buffet
Kirby’s Dream Buffet marks the third time a copy ability has been introduced in a spin-off. The first was Balloon, which appeared in the 2005 DS title Kirby: Curse of the Web; followed by Wrestler, which appeared in the most recent Switch title Kirby Fighters 2. None of these abilities appeared in a main game after their introduction, which may not bode well for Jelly as another power representing the format of its first spin-off. That said, Kirby Fighters 2 released in 2020, so there’s a chance that Wrestler could still appear in any game that follows Kirby and the Forgotten Land.
If Jelly makes the jump to a traditional platformer, her status as a passive ability should be retained. Its culinary theme could remain a tribute to Dream Buffet, or HAL Laboratory could create a more typical variant based on slime or ectoplasm to ensure that Jelly is specifically a food copy ability. Either way, having Jelly could give Kirby an inherent speed boost and the ability to pass through certain enemies and walls for both 2D and 3D platforming.
One place one main line Kirby the game could grow Jelly gives him more utility in combat. If players have the active form, they could theoretically absorb an enemy and slowly do damage similar to Dungeons and Dragons‘ Gelatinous cube. Throwing chunks of jelly to slow opponents seems less useful outside of a race track, but it could result in a volcanic attack that launches particles into the air above and around Kirby. There are plenty of options if HAL decides to bring the spin-off ability, though he should also consider revisiting Balloon and Wrestler.
Kirby’s Dream Buffet is now available on Nintendo Switch.
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