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Kirby & The Amazing Mirror Package Art
†GENRE
††Platformer
†DEVELOPER
††Flagship/HAL
†PUBLISHER
††Nintendo
†NUMBER OF PLAYERS
††1-4
†CONNECTIVITY
††No
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Kirby & The Amazing Mirror

It has been quite some time since Kirby got his own video game. Sure he was in Nightmare in Dream Land also, but that was more of a revamped version of an already stellar game. There's also Kirby Air Ride, but that's like saying the upcoming Mario Power Tennis is a new Mario platformer. All tricks and tidbits aside, this is Kirby's first new foray into platforming since 2000's Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. If you want to get technical, the '98 Kirby's Dream Land 3 for the Super Nintendo was the last great Kirby title. Now, a handful of years later, Kirby is finally in the spotlight again with the release of Kirby & the Amazing Mirror. Does it stack up well against the now classic Dream Land series? Or does it slump up against its N64 counterpart? With the help of Zelda developer Flagship along with HAL Laboratories, this is definitely the step in the right direction for Kirby's career.

visuals

The bright colors and lighthearted environments make the latest Kirby title one of the most charming games on the Game Boy Advance. Practically everything in this game oozes with cuteness. The pink puff that makes Kirby what he is will always get a grin whenever he changes "costumes". Even the bosses don't look that sinister. Some are even half-way to this side of comedic. All of the characters animate smoothly and the frame-rate never drops when the action gets intense. To be fair, though, the action never gets intense enough to sponsor a frame-rate dive.

audio

To this day, I still have a few theme songs from the Dream Land series stuck in my head. Unfortunately, none of the music in Kirby & the Amazing Mirror is that memorable. However, that doesn't make it a bad collection of high-tempo tunes. The music suits the game in every way, shape and form. Sound effects follow the musicís example and create a collection of astoundingly produced samples. All around, this is a game that will inspire gamers to turn up the volume on their GBAs.

gameplay

The layout of the game is fairly simple. After the Amazing Mirror becomes evil and is shattered into several pieces, an evil version of Meta Knight slices Kirby into four pieces. It's up to Kirby and his three alter egos to collect the mirror shards and bring piece to Dream Land. Each shard of the mirror takes Kirby to different lands. Within those lands are different areas. It's not too entirely difficult to find your way through each land, but it can be a bit too restricting and linear. In order to achieve your goal, you must defeat the boss of each land and collect the shards that fall behind.

The action in the game is straight forward and mirrors that of other Kirby titles. Kirby isn't that big of a warrior, so all he can really do is jump, fly, and suck up different objects and enemies. The latter power is when Kirby becomes a monster. With around twenty different enemies to inhale, Kirby can absorb their powers and the player can progress through the game at their leisure. Some powers are required to advance, while others are just fun to toy around with. The twist to the regular formula, however, is the three extra Kirbys that tag along. In order to call on your buddies, you must use Kirby's cell phone. In single-player, these guys aren't extraordinarily useful unless they're used in a boss fight. You can't control them yourself or control their formation at all as you may have been able to in Four Swords. They're generally a garbled mess of Kirbys trying to do their part. Thankfully, it works and brings a fresh kick to the series. It's all about the multiplayer, though.

Aside from the regular story mode, you can check out three different mini-games including Speed Eaters, Crackity Hack, and Kirby Wave Ride. Each game has its own difficulty settings and is also available in multiplayer. Each game is very simple in execution, but can become addictive over time. Speed Eater is just that; the players try to eat whatever the food is under the lid of a platter as soon as the lid is removed. Crackity Hack uses a meter to measure Kirby's power in order to break a huge crack into the crust of Kirby's realm. Kirby Wave Ride sounds exactly like what it is. The easy race mechanics makes this the best mini-game in the series.

multiplayer

Like Four Swords before it, it's all about the multiplayer in this game. You can have a friend, or three, team up with you in the story mode or participate in the mini-games. You'll need one Game Pak per player for the main game and just one Pak for the mini-games. The cooperative mode makes this title that much better.

overall

If you're interested in a brand new platformer, Kirby & the Amazing Mirror is strongly recommended. The gameplay is fun and addictive, making it well worth your time even if the cute visuals aren't your thing. It could have been a bit longer, but all-in-all, it's a great addition to anyone's library and the biggest complaint is that a follow-up hasn't been announced yet.

final score 8.6/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Austin Starr
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"If life's not beautiful without the pain / well I'd just rather never ever even see beauty again"


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