Thursday, May 8, 2014

Kirby and the Amazing Mirror (Game Boy Advance, 2004)

If you think about it, Kirby is a huge communist. He takes all of King Dedede's food and redistributes it to he people of Dreamland. He's a pinko commie!



Kirby journeys to the Game Boy Advance for this game, which allows up to four players. Or one plus bots, as seen here. Adventure with four Kirbys? Can I just adventure with one?

Who are all these heat-stealing bastards?

Get out of the way! FUCK'S SAKE, MAN! YOU RUINED MY SCENE!

YOU'RE AMATEUR, MAN! FUCKIN' AMATEUR! WE ARE DONE PROFESSIONALLY!

Cupid Kirby plinks arrows at foes. That's a new power. This game has a few new powers, but all things considered it isn't really anything new in the world design department.

I like the Tornado power a LOT. It can obliterate groups of enemies. The downside is that it's hard to control and can easily hurl you into a pit.

Another downside is that it will have you heaving... and not in the good "heaving bosoms" way.

Speaking of which, it's time to explain the origins of Kirby.

"KIRBY BEGINS"

by Christopher Nolan

Once upon a time, there was Stephanie McMahon.

She was very sad because she had nice, medium-sized boobs, while some other women had bigger boobs.

Then she went and got big, ridiculous boobs!

All was well in the world, and things were good, except now people laughed at her.

Later, one of her new boobs managed to make his escape. More on him later.

The other soon followed, and was unaccounted for...until now.


His name...is Kirby.

When reached for comment on Kirby's true origin, Frankie Sinatra had this to say:

"By God, the titties on that broad."

-THE END-

This is a strange game. You have access to most of the levels from the start (it's more of a Metroid-style persistent world than a level-based system). Object is to find eight mirror shards guarded by bosses throughout the levels. These mirror shards are the result of the villain breaking The Amazing Mirror. Or something.

That villain?

Yo yo yo, pop a 40 and check your rollies, it's Black Meta-Knight!

The overworld. There are nine or ten stage-entrances altogether, and they put you at different parts of the large interconnected world.

Miniboss. This one is new. A lot of these minibosses have very Pokemon-ish names.

Big fan of the Mustard Mountain music in this game. It sounds like something out of Mega Man X2.

Speaking of similarities with other properties, here's a jumping uppercut straight out of Street Fighter II. There are so many different variations on powers in this game; I think it might even have Kirby Super Star beat in sheer quantity of powers. As well it should, this came along eight years later.

The first big boss that I encounter. It's like Golem from Dragon Quest made sweet love to Whispy Woods, and this was born.

This fight is much tougher than I expected for a first boss. Course, it's entirely possible that I'm fighting enemies "out of order".

Kracko is even tougher. He's the boss of Mustard Mountain. Such great music there.

That's two of the eight Mirror Shards found. Where are the three heat-stealing poser Kirbys during all of this?

We get a gander at the hilarious Cook power as I roam around getting lost.

The one bad thing about this game, and the thing that kinda kills it for me? The non-linearity. It means you spend a lot... a LOT... of time just roaming around trying to figure out where to go next. It's a massive, confusing game, and the areas aren't all that different from each other so you frequently get lost. I only enjoy open world games - and I enjoy them THE MOST, mind you - when they don't place restrictions on where you can make things happen.

Romancing Saga 3 was brutal for me because there were only a few trigger spots at any given time to move the story along, leaving me to wander around. Any given Elder Scrolls game (or the last two Fallout games) gets it right, since everywhere you go you run into quests to do and stuff. You can get lost but it always goes somewhere, rather than feeling like a waste of time because you can't find that one NPC you should be talking to somewhere.

Kirby finds himself face-to-trunk with The Space Jockey.

Far as 2D goes, this game has some very good-looking stages. Especially for a portable system.

A dog miniboss. For a moment I thought the name was Dog Boner. Be that as it may, this guy is quite the asshole. Every time he gets anywhere near Kirby he auto-grabs our hero and slams him. It was a frustrating fight that almost made me turn the game off.

Luckily, a hit of Ex and an hour in a Thai massage parlor and I was ready to try again.

"Just like I taught him!"

He throws Hadokens too? Seriously? Fuck this guy.

Our hero turns into a missile and gets fired over the ocean. Unfortunately, he quickly fizzles and falls into the ocean like a North Korean missile.

The next big boss... Gobbler. Look at that face. He's a semi-tough fight, much like Kracko. It appears that I've been fighting bosses from "later" in the game due to the open nature of it, inadvertently skipping ahead. I'm having trouble finding some of the earlier shards, and ending up in later areas. Three down, five to go.

Triple H is the next miniboss. He clocks our hero with a sledgehammer.

I take the sledgehammer and use it to defeat the next shard boss: Hardcore Legend Fick Moley. Four shards down, four to go.

When reached for comment, Triple H was bummed that he was a mere miniboss while Fick Moley got to be a shard boss.

Now here's a pretty intense color scheme. I like it. The colors aren't as vibrant as Kirby Super Star due to the system that this game transpires on, but they're close.

Here's a tough section. You have to travel via Donkey Kong Country spinning barrel cannons, and pressing a button at the wrong time will give you a point-blank spike-head.

I find a heart container here that increases max health from 6 to 7. Apparently there are nine of these in the game. However, your maximum life is 10, so only four of the heart containers would actually benefit you.

Mega Titan here is an entirely new boss. He's immune to all special attacks, making this the one boss fight in the game that you can't completely gimp your way through with a Tornado assault or another overpowered weapon. He fires his four fists against the walls, which creates stars, and you fire those back at him to push him towards the electric charges on the walls. Once he bumps into those, he gets zapped for a lot of damage. Quite the innovative boss fight, which isn't something I ever really say during Kirby games.

After he gets zapped, he flops about like a beached trout. You can then hit the Jacknife Powerbomb to end the streak and win the title as the Wolfpac theme plays.

Five shards down, three to go.

At this point I'm just referring to GameFAQs and tracking down all of the major bosses to get their shards. Going in for the kill. That's six out of eight.

Next up, the eighth area: Radish Ruins. Really, the number order doesn't matter very much at all. The hardest area is Carrot Castle, and it's billed as #5.

Oh, did I mention that there's an ingame map? No? Well... it completely sucks.

A giant hand attacks! It's in full on groping mode, too. Just like The Governator!

"This hand, he also likes to grope ze titties? Very good! Very good!"

Next up, we get a Highlander main event, as Kirby battles Meta-Knight. The backdrop here is SWEET. Too bad it isn't a 3D game where you can hide out in the grass and launch surprise attacks.

Dark Matter: "Sweep the leg!"

Meta-Knight: "No! I won't do it! It'll kill him!"

While Meta-Knight refuses to sweep the leg, Kirby dishes out a crane kick and is instantly declared winner. IF DONE WELL, NO CAN DEFEND.

Candy Constellation is the ninth area. The UFO power is obtainable here, and it's pretty much the greatest power ever. It debuted in Kirby's Adventure for the NES.

The mysterious Black Kirby appears, and I thought there'd be a battle. Instead, he gives you powerups. So basically, he's Break Man?

What follows is the final area boss, TWO Gropenhands. Like Cait Sith, they're controlled remotely by Shinra Executive...

...The Governator. "Now I can grope VEMOTELY with ze giant soft hands!"

That gets me the eighth and final shard. Once the mirror is fully repaired, Kirby takes a moment to look at himself while "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson plays.

I'M lookin' at the maaaan in the mirror!

IF YOU WANNA MAKE THE WORLD! A BETTER PLACE!

Take a lookatyourself! And make a.... CHAAAAANGE!

NANANA

NANANA

NA NA NA

"I VEEL cop a feel on ze pink implant character! Because he is very very funny to me!"

Please, sir! You'll pop him!

Ya know, it's hard to believe that this guy is coming back to the big screen for Terminator 5 a year from now. Better believe I'm doing a day one review of that one.

I gotta wonder, if Terminator 2 came out today, during the internet generation, would people shit all over it the way they shit all over Terminator Salvation?

"The T-1000 is so unrealistic! How does it copy a guy when it only came into contact with his shoe?"

Because it's a movie, internet.

Inside the mirror, Kirby must again face off with Meta-Knight. One of the poser Kirbys shows up to lend a hand. BACK OFF, DUDE!

This is like a Super Smash Bros fight. Just a bunch of chaos while the green poser and DMK attack each other. Meanwhile, I stand back firing lasers. Terminator!

Win, and you end up in a void with the Master Sword. ...and Dark Mind, who is apparently this game's Dark Matter. He's much more corporeal than the usually-formless Dark Matter.

You damage him by striking the mirrors that rotate around him. Meanwhile, Green Kirby quickly gets owned, much like the Green Party did in 2000. THANKS FOR SCREWING AL GORE, GREEN KIRBY! No difference between the major party candidates, my ass!

Sword beam! Link has nothing on Kirby's version!





He has several "forms", but they all simply consist of him changing the properties of the ground. The only difficult one is when the ground ices over. All things considered, this fight is waaaay too easy.

Now we're talking! He becomes the Eye of Sauron.

He makes frequent use of Gravity Man's power from Mega Man 5. That said, this is the hardest fight in the game. BY FAR.

He has a final form, and it's basically a quick vertical shooter stage. Fun stuff, and if you fall here you start right back at this point.

The credits actually start rolling once you win the fight, and from there the objective is just to land as many hits as possible before the credits end. It's pretty weird.

That concludes things for this game...

...except that everyone is still on guard because of the presence of the mysterious Black Kirby, who has done nothing but help. Wow. I'm speechless.

Good game, but I can't say I got a whole lot of enjoyment out of it. Spent most of it lost until I looked at guides and found out where all of the bosses were.

A nice perk for finishing is that if you start a new game, you get the Master Sword at the beginning. Unfortunately, you only keep it until you lose a life, from what I can tell.

One big issue I have with latter-day Kirby games is the way you can easily gimp your way through. This series was never difficult, but the later games pretty much hand you your victories. You can shoot King Dedede with beams or fireballs until he's defeated and he'll never even be able to counterattack. Back in my day, he was an opponent to be respected.

There's also the whole issue of Helpers. Turning a power into an enemy that's on your side. They pretty much do all the work, as evidenced by Triple H slaying half my foes for me in Kirby Super Star (coming soon). I don't know if you can do that in this game, because I never tried. It takes an already not-very-difficult type of game and turns it into a complete cakewalk.

One thing you CAN do in this game: With the press of a button you can call those other three Kirbys and they wreak havoc for a little bit. They're essentially three helpers at once. They might as well just give the player nuclear weapons, because it completely nullifies any challenge the game could pose. Reminds me of that Arrow Rain power you could get in Assassin's Creed Brotherhood (or ACII... or both... can't remember) that was basically a smartbomb.

In any case, that was fun. Doing Kirby Super Star next, then I'll be done with Kirby and moving onto some RPGs.


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8 comments:

  1. The bosses in this game seem pretty cool in a really goofy way haha. Phan Phan and Moley and Box Boxer are pretty great. They definitely do seem like pokemon. Smash bros and pokemon appear to be huge influences on this game (crazy hand even appears too, huh?) But aren't smash bros and kirby made by the same guy? (could explain why kirby is so good in smash bros)

    I like your point about T-2. I think one of the reasons that film is considered a classic now is because most of us saw it as kids. So, we retain that "childlike sense of wonder" about it...or something. Same with Space Jam and Independence Day and...The list goes on. Not sure if it is just because of the internet, but we are definitely more cynical now as a culture. And you are probably right that people would hate on T2 now.

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    1. We'll find out next year with Terminator 5, I suppose. People are already hating on it pretty hardcore for being a sort of remake of the rest of the series. I'm not too crazy about it having 92 year old Arnold, but that's what people wanted (a LOT of people hated on Salvation for not having him). I'm still excited to see it though. I don't think it'll be a remake in the way people think it will. They're probably going to go the Star Trek route and have it be a new timeline while not discounting the other timelines that have already been established. Also, it'll have quite a bit of stuff in the future with adult John Connor, so those of us who wanted a continuation of that story will be getting more of it. I'm optimistic for this.

      That said, I wonder how many of the people who will hate on the movie because of how old Arnold looks were the same people who, five years ago, hated on Salvation for not having Arnold. Even though his presence wouldn't have made any sense past a brief cameo, and we got that. CGI, but it had to be CGI so it wouldn't look ridiculous. People are very "grass is greener" with their media in this generation.

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  2. Enjoyed the guest spots from Arnold and Frankie Sinatra. Funny stuff all around. I know you said you're doing Super Star and then calling it, but it'd be good to see Kirby's Adventure and Dream Land 2 from you at some point. Those were probably the best early games and they're missing from the lineup.

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    1. Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I can definitely do KA and KDL2. I haven't played them since the 90's so I'd have to do write-ups from scratch, but I'll give it a go eventually. KDL2 in particular I'd have a LOT to say about since I first played it as a kid.

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  3. Well, speaking for Super Star at least, the point of helpers isn't so much to have a CPU companion doing all the work for you, it's to give the game a TOTALLY BITCHIN' TWO PLAYER MODE

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  4. I wonder what was up with the black Kirby.

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  5. You ARE a North Korean missile.
    So Black Kirby is treated just like African-Americans? Geez this is the most unexpected commentary yet.
    This game looked really beautiful; I'm impressed with what they did with the place. Also need to wrap my mind around there being huge numbers of Kirby games now.

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    1. Can't believe I read this the same day I read about your hand mount. So the hand boss you pictured freaked me out.
      Kirby and Smash Bros being from the same team is a connection that really makes sense.

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