I recently picked up a backlit Game Boy Advance along with a ton of games I have never played before. I did have a GBA as a kid but, like most children, I had my parents buy games that interested me but were not particularly good games. I am now interested in playing some of the games that many people say are the best on the system. One such game a lot of people recommend is Kirby and the Amazing Mirror. Now, it’s not the best on the system but it is one of the must plays. I had to experience it for myself! I love Kirby and remember playing Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards a long time ago on my Nintendo 64, so I was eager to pick up another Kirby game.
Overall, my experience with the game was okay. I understand why people say its a must play but I also agree with some of their criticisms as well. One fault of the game turns it from being an excellent game into just a good game.
+Cute Story +Area Design +Graphics +Non-linear +Controls +Music
-Extremely confusing traveling from one area to another -Collected lives disappear
Essentially, the Mirror World (a dimension parallel to Kirby’s own Dream Land) is attacked by a dark being known as Dark Mind who disrupts the balance. Somehow, Meta Knight notices what is happening and attempts to prevent the destruction from spreading to Dream Land. Meanwhile, Dark Meta Knight (a creature of Dark Mind) arrives in Dream Land through a portal and attacks Kirby, thereby splitting him into four separate Kirbys and escaping. The Kirbys follow him by using a warp star which lands them in Mirror World. Upon arriving, the Kirbys witness a fight between Meta Knight and Dark Meta Knight in which Meta Knight is defeated. Dark Meta Knight traps Meta Knight in a mirror which he then breaks into pieces before escaping through another mirror. It is now up to the Kirbys to traverse this new world, find the missing pieces of the mirror, rescue Meta Knight, and defeat both Dark Meta Knight and Dark Mind, thereby restoring peace.
The story is okay but may have a few plot holes. I’m not exactly sure how Meta Knight knew about the goings on in Mirror World nor do I have any idea why Dark Meta Knight shows up out of the blue and of all things splits Kirby into pieces and then leaves again. I feel as if this could have been told a bit differently for a much more interesting and cohesive story. Otherwise, I thought it was fine.
Kirby and the Amazing Mirror is a 2D, non-linear, side-scrolling platformer in which Kirby travels through nine different areas in an attempt to acquire the eight mirror shards. Each area can be done in any order and traveled through as many times as necessary. You don’t even have to explore the entirety of each area to complete the game. While adventuring, there are tons of enemies to fight including lots of mini-bosses. Kirby is able to use his sucking power to swallow an enemy and acquire its power if it has one. This is useful when needing to get into a certain area or defeat other enemies. There are also plenty of items to collect including the shards, door switches, paint cans, music pieces, and extra lives. The switches are not mandatory but will make it so much easier to get back to that particular area without having to travel through other ones; switches activate the door to that area which will appear in the main hub of the game. Oh, and you do have to travel almost blindly through a level in order to find the area map to make it less difficult to find the boss.
The game also has a lot to do with multiplayer which may make it even more enjoyable but I have no one to test that out with who would have a GBA let alone a link cable. There are multiplayer mini-games which would be a lot more fun if you have some friends to play them with but I also believe they can help you through each level in the campaign, which may be why Kirby was split apart.
Each area was unique, colorful, and interesting and populated with a ton of enemies who respawn just after stepping a bit away from their spot. The boss fights were enjoyable and never too frustrating, especially because you can call in the other copies to lend a hand. I loved everything about the design except for a couple of things.
The design of this game is almost perfect and I was so upset with the one huge flaw that I never actually finished it! I love that you are able to do an area any time you want but it was so incredibly frustrating getting from one to another. The game provides a map for each area which is helpful and easy enough to understand but it’s getting to a particular area that is the hard part. As far as I could tell, there was no way to know even by looking at the map how to get to another area. Even after hitting the switch to get the door added to the main hub, I still had a hard time; after acquiring so many doors I couldn’t even remember which one was which! Not to mention the whole choosing the wrong door sometimes and it not allowing you to go back without completing the area or restarting the system. I spent more time looking up walkthroughs and information online than I spent playing the game. It was too frustrating just running around and doing the same part over and over. I was so upset that I had to constantly look stuff up; I want the exploration to be enjoyable enough to do on my own and easy enough to understand. It wasn’t even easy looking things up either because no one was clear enough on where to go and watching videos takes forever.
Exploring through each area after having that area’s map isn’t crystal clear but doesn’t take too much time to figure out.
The other irritating aspect of the game was the lives. Each time you play you start off with two lives and it doesn’t matter how many you collected during your last play. The first time I played the game I collected about 5 by the time I was done and went back the next day only to find that I lost them all. The game automatically saves your progress almost instantly but apparently not how many lives you acquired. Honestly, it’s hard enough staying alive and even collecting extra lives in the first place that it doesn’t make any sense why you shouldn’t be able to keep them. It would still be challenging.
The controls were great and I found it very helpful that when you acquire a new ability from an enemy that you can go into the menu and it will tell you the different moves you can now use.
The music for each area was lively and catchy and I loved all the sound effects!
The cartoony graphics and simple character designs were done so well that they really hold up today and probably will for a very long time.
The difficult part of the game was traveling between areas, which I previously explained as being extremely frustrating. While in a particular area I didn’t have too hard of a time and thought there was just the right amount of difficulty. I did have to do areas multiple times, especially because it only takes a few hits before you lose a life but this didn’t bother me. The more I did it, the better I got.
Kirby and the Amazing Mirror provides only slight replayability unless you collected everything the first time you played. Though, it would be fun for me to go through again with other players if I can make that possible. I don’t have the need to collect every possible item but if you find that to be fun then go for it! You can also go back and explore other areas you missed including any mini-bosses. Replayability is pretty low for this game.
~Play with other friends to make the experience much more enjoyable; though it is fine by yourself using the AI for help
~Play for at least a couple of hours at a time so when you collect extra lives you can use them and not lose them.
~Finding the map in each area first is a huge help so you don’t travel to places you don’t want to and then try to find the switches followed by the main boss.
~Look up maps online for each area, which gives you an idea as to where everything is and makes the experience a bit more enjoyable. I used the maps kindarspirit provides on Gamefaqs. Just scroll down a bit to the map section. There are also some walkthroughs but I only found those to be marginally helpful. I couldn’t find anything which easily explained how to get from one area to the next.
~Take your time to find hidden areas which may reveal mirrors to another room or area and don’t forget to use the powers of near by enemies for help
Neo Reviews (gameplay)