Nintendo announced this morning that Kirby Star Allies is going to be released on the Switch on March 16, 2018. Kirby has new abilities such as Artist and Spider, but they really have to switch it up if they want to make a mark in Spring 2018.
The Switch, since it’s come out, has pretty consistently had one major game per time period that was supposed to be their big release. It was Breath of the Wild, then Splatoon 2, then Mario Rabbids and then Odyssey followed by Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and finally the BOTW DLC after that. But Spring 2018 has more of an open feel to it.
Kirby Star Allies is probably the biggest release coming from Nintendo for the Switch from now until May. Bayonetta and its sequel are getting rereleases in February and Hyrule Warriors is getting a Switch release. But, looking over the Nintendo release calendar, there only appears to be one major Nintendo character’s property launching an original game until the summer: Kirby.
Kirby’s Dream Land is one of the most fun games you can play and it still holds up today. But have you really had a fantastic Kirby experience since then? Kirby’s big Wii game even promises a return to Dream Land, so they certainly didn’t differentiate too much from the original over 15 years did they?
It hasn’t been the most innovative franchise over its life; it’s pretty fun and comfort food at this point. Kirby eats things. Kirby gains weird powers. Same tree bad guy in the first world. Etc etc.
But if you want to keep the Switch’s pretty consistent momentum going into the new year, you have to give us some original game to sink our teeth into. The world is not going to go crazy over a rerelease like Bayonetta or a not particularly well received game like Hyrule Warriors. Those are nice distractions but they’re not moving the needle.
Kirby has to innovate to keep the momentum going. It’s the big and only Nintendo property releasing an original game this spring. It can’t just be the same Dream Land formula redone. It’s got to be innovative and new. Or the Switch could have a big gap in its release calendar.