Author Topic: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror  (Read 18672 times)

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Offline Jonnyboy117

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RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« on: September 15, 2012, 12:10:16 PM »
Please use this thread to discuss the winner of our latest RFN RetroActive poll, which was Kirby-themed for the character's 20th anniversary. Kirby & The Amazing Mirror is a GBA title that was also included in the 3DS Ambassador program. The original version supports multiplayer for up to four players -- if you get a chance to try this, or have memories of doing so, we'd especially like to hear from you.

Remember that posts in this thread may be quoted (or paraphrased) on Radio Free Nintendo when the podcast crew discusses the game on an upcoming episode.


HELPFUL TIPS FOR GETTING STARTED:
- A door with a glowing star on top is one you haven't yet entered. Try to find and enter every door!
- You can warp back to the hub area by holding L for a few seconds.
- Calling the other Kirbys (press R) is useful if you're low on health or want extra help on a boss.
- On the pause screen, press select to cycle through to the map. It shows how your current room connects to others; arrows mean the connection is one-way, while a solid line means the doorways work both ways.
- If you ever find a giant pink switch, be sure to step on it. This creates a shortcut from that point back to the hub world, which is very useful when you want to come back and explore alternate paths.
- Only certain Copy powers can destroy gray blocks, which often block secret doors. Try finding (and keeping) Hammer, Missile, Burning, and a few others for this purpose when you're specifically searching for secrets.
- The game auto-saves pretty often, although there's no indicator. Warp back to the hub area before quitting, if you're paranoid.

« Last Edit: September 17, 2012, 10:50:23 PM by Jonnyboy117 »
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Offline syn4aptik

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2012, 06:05:56 PM »
This will certainly be interesting. I started this game back when I first got it as an ambassador perk, but didn't finish. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing or what was going on. I guess it has like a Metroidvania thing going on but with even less story and direction and a terrible map. I think I might need to start over to have any chance of finishing it.
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Offline TheXenocide

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2012, 04:19:47 PM »
This will certainly be interesting. I started this game back when I first got it as an ambassador perk, but didn't finish. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing or what was going on. I guess it has like a Metroidvania thing going on but with even less story and direction and a terrible map. I think I might need to start over to have any chance of finishing it.
Yeah, me too. I managed to find the frst boss but I haven't been able to find another main boss at all.

Offline ejamer

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2012, 05:54:04 PM »
This will certainly be interesting. I started this game back when I first got it as an ambassador perk, but didn't finish. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing or what was going on. I guess it has like a Metroidvania thing going on but with even less story and direction and a terrible map. I think I might need to start over to have any chance of finishing it.
Yeah, me too. I managed to find the frst boss but I haven't been able to find another main boss at all.


You do realize that learning how to navigate the levels, find hidden exits, and locate bosses is the challenge for this game? If the game were a straight line it would extremely boring...
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Offline syn4aptik

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2012, 09:25:56 PM »
This will certainly be interesting. I started this game back when I first got it as an ambassador perk, but didn't finish. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing or what was going on. I guess it has like a Metroidvania thing going on but with even less story and direction and a terrible map. I think I might need to start over to have any chance of finishing it.
Yeah, me too. I managed to find the frst boss but I haven't been able to find another main boss at all.


You do realize that learning how to navigate the levels, find hidden exits, and locate bosses is the challenge for this game? If the game were a straight line it would extremely boring...


Well instead of boring, it's just confusing and sucks :)
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Offline syn4aptik

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2012, 09:29:21 PM »
To elaborate, to understand how to do a Metroidvania game right see Metroid, Castlevania: SON and subsequent games, Shadow Complex. You can capture the feeling and challenge of discovery without having an incomprehensible map system and confusing goals.
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Offline Jonnyboy117

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2012, 10:48:11 PM »
I just added some useful tips to the original post. Please check them out if you're having trouble. The game is definitely obtuse, but it starts to make sense pretty quickly once you get going.
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Offline Pixelated Pixies

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2012, 02:21:51 AM »
I just added some useful tips to the original post. Please check them out if you're having trouble. The game is definitely obtuse, but it starts to make sense pretty quickly once you get going.

Thanks man! Those tips have clarified some of the things I was unsure of. I was actually unaware that there was a Map, lol.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 02:23:24 AM by Pixelated Pixies »
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Offline ejamer

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2012, 04:08:50 PM »
I know people will complain and argue after hearing this, but checking the manual also helps understand what is going on. The gameplay tips that were posted at the start of this thread cover the highlights and should be enough for most people... but taking a few minutes to read never hurts when you can't figure out a game on your own.
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Offline TJ Spyke

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2012, 04:13:33 PM »
Yeah, but the Ambassador games don't come with a manual and I would bet that is how many here will play it.
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Offline ejamer

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2012, 05:40:15 PM »
Yeah, but the Ambassador games don't come with a manual and I would bet that is how many here will play it.


All Ambassador games come with a digital manual. When you select a game from the 3DS menu, there are two options at the bottom of the screen: manual and open.  eShop (ie: non-DSiWare) games are all the same way.  Some manuals are better than others, but if you can't figure out (for example) how to read a confusing map then maybe it's worth the 5 minutes to look through what's provided there.
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Offline Pixelated Pixies

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2012, 07:14:11 PM »
I know people will complain and argue after hearing this, but checking the manual also helps understand what is going on. The gameplay tips that were posted at the start of this thread cover the highlights and should be enough for most people... but taking a few minutes to read never hurts when you can't figure out a game on your own.

Not that I actively avoid reading manuals or anything, but I've been playing games for so many years that I just tend to dive in and try and work things out myself. Maybe that's a bad thing, I don't know. If I was confused by a certain mechanic on the other hand I would probably check the manual. In this case though I simply wasn't aware that there was a map, so I didn't bother looking at the manual.
 
Well, at least now I know.
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Offline ejamer

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2012, 07:33:21 PM »
I suspect my natural habit of at least taking a peek at the manual comes from being an old-school gamer. Most people will probably never bother to look at any of their manuals - digital or physical.


The games I grew up playing didn't have space to waste giving the back story (and often were such abstract or arcade designs that "story" was a stretch anyway) so you had to read the manual if you wanted any such details. Later, it would be common to find some interesting things in the manuals - passwords, tips and tricks, humorous writing or pictures - so even though it wasn't necessary most of the time, I'd still make a point to flip through the manual early on just to see what it might hold.


Honestly, there are times when I wish games relied more on manuals than in-game tutorials. Some of the slow-paced, unskippable, introductory BS at the start of modern games drives me nuts these days. *cough*Zelda*cough*  The old way, players who wanted to dive right in could - even if that meant they might be outclassed or wandering around clueless at the start.
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Offline Glad0s

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2012, 09:41:53 AM »
Thanks for the tips, Jonny. This will be my third attempted play through. The first two times, I enjoyed it, but it was never really clear to me what to do. I couldn't really tell if I was on the right path or completely lost. Hopefully I can get farther into it this time.
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Offline TheXenocide

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2012, 07:03:56 PM »
I've managed do make a little more progress in the game, but not much. I feel like this game would be a lot more accessable if the map system was a little better. I have a hard time keeping track of which world three door leads to which part of world three. I don't mind the open world thing so much, but one thing that just seems out of p.ace to me are the goals on the map. I don't see any point in their being a goal when it doesn't give you a piece of the mirror or open up a new world. Making it to a goal is a very hollow victory. And can some one please tell me how I "unlock" the maps? Some are detailed, but then others are zoomed way out and don't have any detail at all.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 09:23:00 PM by TheXenocide »

Offline Glad0s

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2012, 09:09:03 PM »
/\
 l
 l


Yes! The whole "goal" thing completely mystifies me. What exactly is your prize?!? Some 1-up's and health? Seriously?


But yes, I'm enjoying it so far. I really like the idea of using different copy powers to solve puzzles. Heck, the whole idea of using powers granted to you by enemies is ironically Wario Land-esque. Also, while I like the extremely free-form exploration for now, I'm kinda worried as to how difficult it may be to find certain bosses near the end of the game. We'll see....


Oh, and I think this is a much better game than Wario Land 4, for the record.
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Offline ejamer

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2012, 09:01:36 AM »
I've managed do make a little more progress in the game, but not much. I feel like this game would be a lot more accessable if the map system was a little better. I have a hard time keeping track of which world three door leads to which part of world three. I don't mind the open world thing so much, but one thing that just seems out of p.ace to me are the goals on the map. I don't see any point in their being a goal when it doesn't give you a piece of the mirror or open up a new world. Making it to a goal is a very hollow victory. And can some one please tell me how I "unlock" the maps? Some are detailed, but then others are zoomed way out and don't have any detail at all.


Totally agree about the Goals. They don't seem to give anything meaningful... in fact, it's kind of disappointing to end up in a Goal room and know you're going to be kicked back to the starting room instead of continuing to explore.


Detailed level maps are hidden in treasure chests. You have to explore to find them. Frankly, this is my biggest complaint with the game right now because the "zoomed out" map is virtually useless and it's totally possible to miss a chest holding the map and be stuck wandering through a level without much guidance. Once you have the detailed maps, it's much easier to plan out where you want to go - even if that means backtracking to get the necessary power somewhere else.


Does anyone know how to make the yellow platforms drop to open up new paths? I thought it was a weight thing using the Rock special ability... but that didn't work. I made one drop accidentally but have no idea how that happened.


Currently sitting at 50% with 5 mirror pieces out of 8. Pretty happy with that level of progress... but the "easy" stuff is mostly done and I need to figure out some new stuff (or get help) before long to keep moving forward.
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Offline Pixelated Pixies

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2012, 09:48:11 AM »
Been playing this for a few hours today. I agree with much of what has been said already.
 
I have found the Map in the Amazing Mirror (AM) to be pretty obtuse. Part of the problem seems to be that the map lacks the detail neccessary to work out spacially where Kirby is within a given box. Akin to Super Metroid, AM has a map system which is comprised of connected 'boxes'. Also like Super Metroid, it can be difficult in AM to determine where you are within a given box. You usually have a rough idea of which direction you need to go in order to reach the next box, but it's not always apparent which door will lead in which direction. It can be a little frustrating.
 
I have a theory for why some people, myself included, might find the Map somewhat frustrating. For the purposes of comparison I think it's worthwhile looking at Super Metroid, which is perhaps my favourite game.
 
Why, you may ask, would a guy whose favourite game is Super Metroid find the map in AM to be frustrating given that they're so similar? I believe it is because Super Metroid is a better game.
 
Now, while that may seem like quite a caustic statement, for me the overall quality of the game has repercussions for how appropriate the map system is. With Super Metroid, the game is fun enough for me to want to explore. The level design, combat and general sense of atmosphere in Super Metroid suck me in to such an extent that I feel compelled to explore the world. With a game like Super Metroid, therefore, all I really need is a basic map which highlights where I've been and where I've yet to explore.
 
With AM, however, I don't find the level design, platforming or enemies to be all that engaging. As a result, I'm not looking for a map which is as abstracted as that seen in Super Metroid. What I want from AM's map is something which shows where exactly I need to go to move on. It might be a strong indictment of the overall game that I simply don't want to have to explore in AM, something which I love to do in other (I would argue more well made) games.
 
In my opinion, therefore, the problems some people have been having with the map are more reflective of their experience with game overall, than they are with the design of the map itself.
 
I could be wrong though.

« Last Edit: September 23, 2012, 10:30:40 AM by Pixelated Pixies »
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Offline Jonnyboy117

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2012, 11:18:31 PM »
Is anyone else having a great time with this game? The reactions so far seem to be quite negative, but I loved it back then and am finding that it holds up really well.
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Offline Pixelated Pixies

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2012, 04:27:05 AM »
Is anyone else having a great time with this game? The reactions so far seem to be quite negative, but I loved it back then and am finding that it holds up really well.

To put my negativity into some context I should say that I have never been a fan of Kirby Platformers. Adventure was pretty cool back in the day but by and large I find Kirby Platfrmers to be a little boring. However, I have to imagine there are quite a few fans of Kirby's platformers out there (otherwise Nintendo would have stopped making them) who do in fact appreciate Amazing Mirror and what it tries to do. I'm just not one of them.
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Offline ejamer

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2012, 08:26:53 AM »
Is anyone else having a great time with this game? The reactions so far seem to be quite negative, but I loved it back then and am finding that it holds up really well.


It's probably my favorite game in the Kirby series -- although the Wii entries seem pretty good too based on very limited play.


Although I complained a little bit about having to find maps earlier, I do really like how the world is one big area to explore. That gives a ton of freedom about how you approach and experience the game. There are also a ton of special powers to learn how to use, big and small secrets hidden all over, and some mini-game diversions for when you don't want to keep exploring.  (Has anyone else tried the mini-games?)


I'm not sure what to think about the gimmick of having four Kirbys running around. It's frustrating when you need them to help flip a switch or move a heavy block, because the AI doesn't seem to clue into what I want after summoning them to my location. But that doesn't happen often so is really just a small annoyance. (Multiplayer would be nice, but unless it was online play I probably wouldn't get to make use of it anyway.)


The cell phone gimmick is cool though. Being able to instantly call your Kirby counterparts to your location is a fun bonus when fighting bosses or just looking to create some chaos in your immediate area. It's also very convenient to be able to warp to the main screen at any time, giving you lots of options about where to go next if you've been finding switches that open new mirrors.
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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2012, 02:08:40 PM »
Yeah, Jonny, as you can see from my above comment, I'm quite enjoying the game so far. It's probably my favorite Kirby game ever, as it mixes the semi-boring, easy, typical Kirby gameplay with sime very interesting game design ideas. Cool stuff.
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Offline pokepal148

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2012, 12:02:11 AM »
To elaborate, to understand how to do a Metroidvania game right see Metroid, Castlevania: SON and subsequent games, Shadow Complex. You can capture the feeling and challenge of discovery without having an incomprehensible map system and confusing goals.

At the same time the fact that you dont keep every power you find forever is quite intresting, it becomes an endurance run between you and the path to the secret you are after. Metroid you just come back later with a missle upgrade, here you have to find the power
you need and hold onto it with your life. The map is horrible though
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Offline TheXenocide

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2012, 06:27:29 PM »
I'm having a hard time getting sucked into this game (no pun intended). I just feel like I don't make enough progress when I play for an hour or even two and I find myself gravitating towards other games. I really want to finish this game, though, so I'm going to pull up some YouTube guides later and see if I can't make a descent dent in this game.

Offline Pixelated Pixies

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Re: RetroActive #24: Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2012, 07:04:35 PM »
At the same time the fact that you dont keep every power you find forever is quite intresting, it becomes an endurance run between you and the path to the secret you are after. Metroid you just come back later with a missle upgrade, here you have to find the power
you need and hold onto it with your life. The map is horrible though

That's actually an interesting point. Indeed, there have been quite a few times during my play through of AM that I've found myself trying really hard to retain a certain power. Particularly those which have the potential to break the grey blocks.
 
One of my primary criticisms of the Kirby series of platformers has been that although the power-ups are broad (in terms of variety), they've never been particularly deep. In other words, there's loads to choose from, but few of them actually have any gameplay significance. In Kirby platformers you're never really tasked with using Ice to freeze water, Fire to light torches, or Wind to blow propellors. Those are, of course, all very generic and boring examples, but you get the point. The choice of which power-up to use in a given Kirby level is usually a stylistic one; very rarely is it a tactical one (there are of course exceptions).
 
AM makes some improvement in that regard, but I still think the game could have went further in giving the various power-ups more utility. There's few, if any, situations that I've come across, for example, which were not overcome by using the 'Fighter', 'Hammer' or 'Fire' power up. Power-ups have always been a staple of the Kirby series, but they've never been woven into the design of the games in the same way as they have with Nintendo's other series'.

That is not necessarilly a bad thing. Personally, though, I find Kirby's take on power-ups less satisfying.

« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 07:11:05 PM by Pixelated Pixies »
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