Kirby’s Dream Buffet is a pleasant surprise from Nintendo. While the content lacks, the gameplay almost makes up for its shortcomings.
The game’s concept is fairly simple: across four different mini-game rounds, players are tasked with ensuring Kirby consumes as many strawberries as possible. These rounds range from races, Mario Party-style mini-games, and a deathmatch finale. There isn’t too much variety here, and the game’s asking price of $15 already has you questioning whether or not it’s warranted. Once you pass those qualms, you’ll have a great time.
I wish there were more to see and enjoy.
Comparisons between Kirby’s Dream Buffet and Fall Guys are inevitable and for a good reason. Both games offer competitive mini-games before a grand finale. One key difference is the number of players. While Fall Guys hosts many players, Dream Buffet is limited to four at a time. This allows for more intimate gaming sessions; you can better keep track of your opponents and who to look out for.
The Biggest Flaw With Kirby’s Dream Buffet Is Nintendo’s Poor Excuse at Net Code
However, I wonder if the lack of stability with Nintendo’s online net code is the main reason for the four-player limitation. Issues with latency and connection hiccups were far too frequent, resulting in frustration all around. This is not a new problem for Nintendo, sadly. They can’t figure out how to create a stable online gaming experience successfully. Even Mario Kart, their most successful online experience by far, isn’t immune to these issues; they’re just cleverly masked. You can’t hide these issues in Kirby’s Dream Buffet, and the game suffers for it. When timing and precision are everything, anything less than stable is unacceptable.
Thankfully, the game is playable locally. This is where the festivities truly shine. As much as Nintendo does poorly with online gaming, they continually nail local multiplayer. My wife and I enjoyed our time with local multiplayer, even if two opponents were AI computer players. The only thing preventing us from playing more is that I am terrible at this game.
Seriously, I’ve yet to win against human opponents.
Still, I press on. Kirby’s Dream Buffet succeeds in its pick-up and play gameplay. Matches only last a handful of moments before you’re onto the next. Because of this, it’s incredibly easy to lose track of time. Telling yourself “just one more match” is a great way to kill an hour or two without realizing it.
The Kirby franchise has always done well with this style of gameplay. From countless spin-offs to various experimentations, Nintendo has used Kirby to try something new continually. While that works well with Dream Buffet, it’s also disappointing when you pair it alongside the proper Forgotten Land released earlier this year. Following one of the best Kirby game’s ever made with a good but not quite great game is disappointing.
There truly is a lot to like with Kirby’s Dream Buffet. Between collectibles, nostalgia, and addicting gameplay, there’s a lot to see and do. Yet there isn’t quite enough meat on the bone. For $5, or possibly $10, we’d be cooking with something here. Yet, for $15, your mileage may vary.
Some will find plenty of enjoyment and value, while others will wish they were offered a bigger slice.