I thought it was about time I got back to actually posting. I was in Southern Wisconsin this weekend. The weekend was a chance to kick back in the bucolic town of Spring Green. While I do love the area, it lacked good phone service in many areas preventing my exploration of local Poke stops and gyms. Add in a stormy Saturday and it was clear I needed a game to play. Luckily I had my 2DS complete with a large backlog of Virtual Console titles. My last Kirby game was Triple Deluxe which left a fairly bland impression on me. I felt like getting into a (hopefully) great Kirby game and therefore opted to try Kirby & The Amazing Mirror. KAM was originally released for the Gameboy Advance in 2004 and was developed by HAL. Despite my childhood appreciation of Kirby, I seem to have overlooked this title until now.
My seven year old neighbor (S.) has tried to convince me on numerous occasions that Kirby games offer a rich tapestry of story and character. On visits to borrow video games with his family S. will regale me “fun facts” about the Kirby-verse. S. has also berated me for owning a Kirby game on my 2DS and not playing it. “I’m a busy adult” is not a sufficient excuse to appease S.’s Kirby proselytization. Thus I dedicate this play-through to S.
Here is my closest approximation of the Kirby & The Amazing Mirror story. Meta-Knight fails to defend Dream Land from some unknown force which creates a shadow version of the sword wielding guardian. Kirby tries to help and is split into four color variations and a shadow version. Then a magical, presumably amazing, mirror breaks and Kirby must reassemble the mirror because this is a game and we need a goal. Top notch.
While I cannot argue that this story makes much sense or even wants to, I will contend that the game itself is solid. Kirby can easily be given a rap of being too easy compared to other Nintendo platformers, but I have found KAM moderately challenging. I am never at much risk of losing all my lives, but I have had to put forth a concerted effort to avoid taking excessive hits and bosses tend to take me a couple tries to defeat the first time.
Aside from fighting enemies, the true crux of the game is a map layout that reminds me of Metroid. Kirby starts in a central hub with a door and an empty mirror frame. Entering the door leads to the woods themed world commonly saved for the beginning of Kirby games. However, as I progressed through the level it becomes clear that this game does not present a perfectly linear stage progression. I uncovered additional rooms that have doors leading back to the hub room. I now had multiple entry points to the worlds. I have played several hours of this game and often I found myself turned around and looking for hidden paths that lead to new areas. I found my first boss after some repetitive meandering though the world. Upon defeating a spooky looking Wispy Woods I was granted a piece of the aforementioned, purportedly amazing, mirror. It was not until this point that my task was abundantly clear, locate the bosses in the maze like levels and defeat them to complete the mirror which will, I assume, unlock the game boss or perhaps a higher tier of level that leads to the game boss.
Now, I don’t want to under-emphasize how much trouble I have been having with the maze like nature of the world. I often feel like I have searched every possible pathway when a new one suddenly appears. I have had to work harder just trying to find the next boss than I do actually fighting the bosses.
As of this post I have found 5 of the game’s bosses and am currently not sure where to look to find the 6th one. I am enjoying the game and would recommend it to Kirby fans who want a challenge. My only hope is that I can complete the boss search without consulting a guide.