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Kirby & the Amazing Mirror

星のカービィ 鏡の大迷宮

Developers: HAL LaboratoryFlagshipDimps Publisher: Nintendo
15 April 2004
Kirby & the Amazing Mirror [星のカービィ 鏡の大迷宮] - cover art
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3.68 / 5.0
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427 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#809 All-time
#48 for 2004
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Releases 6
2004 HAL Laboratory Flagship  
Cartridge
JP 4 902370 508949 AGB-B8KJ-JPN
2004 HAL Laboratory Flagship  
Cartridge
XNA 0 45496 73419 0 AGB-B8KE-USA
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Title
Wish there were other kirny like this one
Probably the best Kirby game i've ever played. The way it enhances the series with a real difficulty (which is in many other chapter of the series a really dissapointing flaw) during the entire game and blending it with a metroidvania structure it's amazing (sorry for the pun), the maps of each level is incredibly big, hard to fully explore and full of path that can be opened only using certain abilities.
The map by itself is not the most easy to understand the first times, but when you do it, it becomes a giant quality of life for moving through the gigantic maze this game is.

The bosses are fine, nothing really overwhelming but fine, even if that's not the case of the final one, really cool boss fight, no spoiler, but really fun and good looking. The collectibles are a such a nice addition to the whole experience, the sprays are so cool, wish they were in more games too, the soundtracks are something i always love to be able to collect, even if i do never listen o them through the game and the hearts are just so satisfying to find.

And now, the only flaw i really felt when playing, the abilities. What i mean is that i found them an enormous missed opportunity, the abilities are really empty in this game, they don't have combos, moves or anything, they just have the base attack, the running one, and the falling one, but not even always, some of them is just a basic arrack and nothing more, and for a game with this incredible map, it really feels as a big miss; they could have add way more combos and moves and used them for accessing some portion of the map otherwise unreachable, some secrets...
But at least they work, look fine, and don't take away anything from the expirience; they should have just be better, but they're ok.

Unluckly i couldn't try the multiplayer or the minigames.

(Just in case, sorry either for the bad english and/or the bad review, english is not my native language and this is my first review ever)
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narin26nn_ 2023-08-12T23:11:56Z
2023-08-12T23:11:56Z
5.0
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Title
Kirby games hardly ever pique my interest but suddenly, add the Metroidvania tag to one entry and I’m all ears. The Metroidvania genre inherently intrigues me because I adore its design philosophy with the loose parameters that fracture the foundation of linearity. Kirby and the Amazing Mirror is the pink puffball’s first and only foray in the intricate 2D platformer subgenre, an experiment on the GBA handheld that would ideally expand the parameters of the typical Kirby level design and let its layers blossom. One question still remains: does Kirby’s world actually warrant a Metroidvania treatment? His primary ventures in 2D platforming would suggest so, considering the Metroidvania is a more fleshed out offshoot of the genre. What I’m wondering is if sculpting any standard 2D platformer franchise in the Metroidvania form would inherently make for a more engaging and substantial experience. For example, would Bubsy no longer prove to be disparagingly derivative only if his games featured more locked doors and power ups? Would that be enough for Bubsy to get into my good graces? The same hypothetical question could pertain to Kirby, albeit much less drastically than in the situation for the defamed bobcat. Kirby’s tried and true 2D platformer design simply never captured my attention like his fellow 2D platformer mates at Nintendo because the lack of restrictions to Kirby’s innate physicality made his games a bit too breezy for my liking. By forcing Kirby to accumulate to his full potential as par for the Metroidvania course, will it result in an experience that finally resonates strongly with me? After playing through Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, this question somehow remains unanswered.

The mirror that the title alludes to is actually as mystically grandiose as it sounds. The angel-winged glass frame is currently being corrupted by an ambiguously evil presence, which puts the general welfare of Dreamland at great risk into succumbing to a dark demise. Kirby and his friends follow what looks to be Meta Knight into the mirror to cease the formidable force possessing the sacred artifact. Notice how this Meta Knight’s complexion looks more depleted than usual? It’s indicative of the game’s prominent theme of a mirror presenting a shadowy reflection of thyself. However, the prevalence of this theme does not mean the world inside the mirror is a spooky bizarro Dreamland. The GBA’s pixels render something just as colorful and charming as the 16-bit aesthetic last seen in Super Star, even if they display a better refinement to the point where the overall aesthetic no longer reminds me of Laffy Taffy and chocolate cake. The mirror world is a diverse environment consisting of nine unique districts, and their distinctiveness is reliant on competent graphical prowess for discernibility. The theming presented here recalls how every sequential level in linear games like Kirby’s Adventure and Kirby 64 comprises a loose motif, only now sprawled out to the wider parameters of a labyrinthian playground. Some districts of the mirror world include the dry canyon of “Mustard Mountain” with flaming hot lava belching from the earth, the frozen grounds of a sparkling ice estate called “Peppermint Palace,” and the Halloweeny haunted house of “Moonlight Mansion,” etc. The stringy, purple foliage of “Cabbage Cavern” is especially eye-catching. Whether or not the world seems like super-gluing nine individual Kirby worlds together and calling it cohesion is a bothersome nitpick of the overall design, at least the wide level variety will at least ensure that the foregrounds will never become stale.

The main objective of Kirby and the Amazing Mirror is to collect the misplaced nine pieces of the mighty reflector, restoring its power and central symmetry across the realm. Each of the nine pieces are scattered across nine areas on the map, all branching from the radius of the first area if not close to its base with the mirror frame. You know what else is neat and convenient? Any of these areas can be visited at any point in the game regardless of how far the player has progressed. The player’s progression on their mission to collect all nine mirror shards is as loose as an incontinent bulldog, scrambling around the map willy-nilly as if the boundaries that comprise the core of the Metroidvania design philosophy cease to exist. This lack of definition is the core issue of Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, as I’d be hard pressed to call a game with this extent of liberal progression barriers a Metroidvania game. The root of the game’s difficulty stems from navigating around these boundless parameters to reach that area’s boss and collect the mirror shard. Finding the correct path to the penultimate foe can be tricky, for the game merely offers a substandard rendering of the area’s outline until Kirby uncovers its map sealed in a large treasure chest. The beta version is at least practical as one can still make out the general layout through the microscopic yellow clusters. Still, it’s far more efficient to use the full map as a reference to see where the door portals lead and the intended trajectory to the goal. Otherwise, the player will likely stumble upon the handful of dead end areas on the map. Kirby will be trapped into using a warp star to ascend above the clouds, teleporting him back to the main room with the mirror at the end of the flight. Marking these points of no return as “goals” on the map just beams with irony considering they lock you out of the previous room and force the player to trek all the way back to square one and lose their footing to the real objective. The player can collect extra goodies that stream down from the sky as compensation, but the player will never truly need them because the game upholds that typical brisk Kirby difficulty curve. For a game that tries to make the Metroidvania genre as flimsy as humanly possible, unknowingly encountering one of these rooms feels like the game is unfairly punishing the player for exploring at their own free will.

If the player finds the map and uses it to direct themselves to the actual goal, they’ll be greeted by a boss holding a mirror shard. Their encounters are the true means of finalizing an area, as retreating to the central room after beating them makes sense unlike meeting one of the “goal areas.” Like their domains that they occupy, the strength of the bosses are not on their individual merits, but as an eclectic coalition. Some Kirby mainstays like the thunderous, one-eyed Kracko, and Whispy has adopted a rocky skin coating with a walrus mustache chiseled in, dubbing himself the regal King Golem. Apparently, Nintendo noticed that Kirby fans were growing tired of fighting the tree for the first boss in every game and swapped him out with this titan, but who are they trying to fool? Really, the bosses that will tickle the player with their familiarity is the opposable duo of Master Hand and Crazy Hand. I was certainly titillated by this lark being a lifelong Smash Bros. fan who has fought them a countless number of times as Kirby beforehand, and intrigued at the reminder that both Kirby and Smash Bros. are both the brainchildren of Mr. Masahiro Sakurai. Playing a glorified game of whac-a-mole with Moley is unpredictable, and bumping the Mega Titan into the electric current includes some neat physics. The real challenge revolving around the bosses is simply finding the way to them, which somehow makes their encounters marginally more gratifying than they would be in a typical 2D platformer.

Other notable bosses the player might recognize like Bonkers the Gorilla and the pudgy, overall-wearing snowman Mr. Frosty have been relegated to the position of minibosses. These subsidiary foes that Kirby still fights in an empty arena have their own special use, for sucking them up upon defeat will naturally grant Kirby their distinctive powers. Kirby’s extraordinary ability to absorb the genetic properties of Dreamland’s denizens is exactly why the Metroidvania translation should be ideal. One of the hallmarks of the Metroidvania genre is gaining new abilities to unlock more of the map, and progressively adding the swiss-army knife roulette of physical properties Kirby can emulate to his arsenal offers the opportunity to craft something really engaging. The full potential of this is ultimately sullied by the game’s total abandonment of boundaries, but the developers still attempted to incorporate some Metroidvania-esque properties throughout the levels. At times, lines of concrete blocks are broken to unveil passageways, a grounded pole must be stomped, and cutting the thin strings that support a few specific platforms. The developers have even reimagined the classic bonus task of igniting the fuse to a cannon and racing to climb inside its interior before it blows to launch Kirby to uncharted territory. These few instances of using Kirby’s powers for further excavation is unfortunately the full extent of the game’s Metroidvania properties, and their utilization is only needed a piddly number of times. However, for those brief instances, the game makes sure to inconvenience the player as much as possible. Like the traditional Kirby games of yore, the floating ball of bubble gum can only hold one power up ability at a time, and this power is removed any time he receives damage. The power ups required to break through the hurdles are very specific, making the player trudge through the map to find the enemy who possesses it. All the while, the player must also be cautious, lest an enemy bumps off the power up and lose it on impact. The tedium I endured through this cumbersome process did not evoke the confident feeling one gets from accumulating power in a Metroidvania game.

Helpful aid in Kirby and the Amazing Mirror comes in other aspects, I suppose. When Kirby whips out a pink flip phone (the fashionable model at the time), this Chatty Cathy calls up the rainbow coalition of other Kirbys to stand on switches, fight valiantly alongside him, and takes turns frenching him to restore his health. What you might consider gay, the Kirby’s would consider the behavior to make them better friends. The mirror must be attached to a radio tower because Kirby’s flip phone gets more efficient cell service than my modern Iphone 12. The only drawback of receiving around-the-clock assistance is that the phone’s battery power is a scant three bars of usage. Fortunately, batteries are a plentiful item on the field. While I certainly appreciate the efforts of Kirby’s friends, I’m not certain that they are needed because Kirby games never really require extra assistance on account of how easy they tend to be, this one included. I tended to use the phone’s other function on the opposite trigger which acts as a cab service to take Kirby to the center of the mirror world because the game features more dead ends than hedge maze.

For how simple Kirby and the Amazing Mirror is from a design standpoint, there is still plenty to uncover. Treasure chests that don’t feature the area’s maps can be found on practically every block of the map, which could include extra skins and music tracks to name a few. I wish the game incorporated the explored percentage of the map into some sort of true ending like in the previous Kirby games, since the map is fairly accessible for exploration due to the lack of impediments. As it is, restoring the mirror with all nine pieces results in Kirby facing the shadow version of Meta Knight, which should’ve been the final boss of the game for the less inclined players. Then, Kirby faces off against the true culprit of corruption, an intimidating arcane being called Dark Mind. The fight against the menacing deity comes in four phases, but Kirby can slash at him with the immense power of Meta Knight’s sword and make quick work of him as his core progressively starts to manifest with every phase. That, and the other Kirby’s can still bushwhack him with just one phone call. For those who yearn to lick the game’s plate clean, or so to speak, Dark Mind should’ve been locked behind a completionist bonus like O2 in Kirby 64, making for a better incentive to explore the mirror world to its full extent. Blasting the last phase of Dark Mind’s center as the credits roll mid-flight might indicate a slapdash effort on the developers part, implying that even the final fight was never intended to be all that substantial anyways.

Kirby’s journey through the looking glass could’ve been outstanding. Kirby’s inherent role as a 2D platformer protagonist already made him a prime candidate for a Metroidvania entry, and his copy ability could’ve worked wonderfully for the smattering of Metroidvania upgrades to unveil more of the area. All this wasted potential on display is tragic. What Kirby and the Amazing Mirror is at the end of the day is a tumefied rendition of The Great Cave Offensive, only less offensive because the design isn’t as staggeringly claustrophobic (pun actually intended). I hate having to tell Sakurai how to do his job, but this isn’t what a Metroidvania game is, either by its foundation or progression. The Great Cave Offensive was my least favorite chapter in Kirby Super Star, so the inclusion of a map and varied area themes could only do so much in Sakurai’s attempts to sway my negative opinion of it with a full game. Does he think it’s his crowning achievement? If so, Sakurai needs to lay off the sauce.
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Erockthestrange 2023-07-15T22:06:19Z
2023-07-15T22:06:19Z
6.5
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2024-05-30T00:56:08Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Nizondo 星のカービィ 鏡の大迷宮 2024-05-28T22:50:57Z
2024-05-28T22:50:57Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
CloudOfForgetting 星のカービィ 鏡の大迷宮 2024-05-27T02:11:44Z
2024-05-27T02:11:44Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
themusicofghost Kirby & the Amazing Mirror 2024-05-25T18:24:38Z
GBA • XNA
2024-05-25T18:24:38Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sadgirl2023 星のカービィ 鏡の大迷宮 2024-05-24T16:12:21Z
2024-05-24T16:12:21Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
lol1slayer 星のカービィ 鏡の大迷宮 2024-05-23T01:28:24Z
2024-05-23T01:28:24Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Maliptail 星のカービィ 鏡の大迷宮 2024-05-23T00:06:45Z
2024-05-23T00:06:45Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Bel3 Kirby & the Amazing Mirror 2024-05-22T05:39:58Z
GBA • XNA
2024-05-22T05:39:58Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
thepardunk 星のカービィ 鏡の大迷宮 2024-05-15T22:56:26Z
2024-05-15T22:56:26Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
misutaapopo 星のカービィ 鏡の大迷宮 2024-05-12T07:04:14Z
2024-05-12T07:04:14Z
3 /6
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Gritty 星のカービィ 鏡の大迷宮 2024-05-07T23:30:21Z
2024-05-07T23:30:21Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
UntilImSane 星のカービィ 鏡の大迷宮 2024-05-02T01:45:30Z
2024-05-02T01:45:30Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
CERO: A
Player modes
1-4 players
Media
1x Cartridge
Multiplayer modes
Cooperative
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Local
Franchises
Also known as
  • Kirby & the Amazing Mirror
  • Kirby of the Stars: The Great Labyrinth of the Mirror
  • Hoshi no Kābī Kagami no Daimeikyū
  • Kirby & die wundersame Spiegelwelt
  • Kirby e il labirinto degli specchi
  • Kirby y el laberinto de los espejos
  • Kirby et le labyrinthe des miroirs
  • View all [7] Hide

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  • Previous comments (13) Loading...
  • Banana_PD 2022-07-18 16:21:37.964211+00
    Never played Metroid or Castlevania when this was new, so I was confused by the map, especially coming after Nightmare in Dream Land.
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  • standbytheseawall 2022-08-14 19:49:03.723428+00
    moshi moshi, Kirby desu
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  • SnowAmbition 2023-02-07 19:52:20.620759+00
    Best Kirby game
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  • xNobility 2023-06-14 22:18:31.810263+00
    Best 2D Kirby game
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  • DomMazzetti 2023-08-04 17:31:37.311207+00
    The only Kirby game that actually takes advantage of the movesets.
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  • sudatantalus 2023-09-01 05:28:58.534451+00
    it took me way too long to realize that i actually love this franchise
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  • TimeVault 2023-12-14 17:30:03.336049+00
    sucks
    reply
    • warioman 2023-12-16 11:01:21.514704+00
      [2]
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  • Kaioshinx 2023-12-25 08:36:40.718292+00
    This is the easiest bullshit game I've ever played
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