Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What's The Best Kirby Game? (Part 2)

Let's keep going with the Kirby Countdown! Part 1 can be read here.

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

Kirby and the Amazing Mirror isn’t great, but it’s at least different. Mirror is a Kirby game in the style of a Metroidvania game, full of backtracking, using special powers to open up new areas, and exploring a giant map. It’s a decent game, if a little confusing.

The problem is that Mirror demands more attention than a normal Kirby game should demand. If you play it without realizing right off the bat that it’s a Metroidvania game, you’ll quickly end up running in circles and feeling incredibly dumb. This is a game that would have been great on the DS, where the bottom screen could function as the map. Because it's on the Game Boy Advance instead, it just feels like a confusing tangle of rooms.

8. Kirby Mass Attack (DS, 2011)

Kirby Mass Attack had an unusual idea: Make Kirby into a platformer/real-time strategy game. It mostly works, aside from some control issues. The game puts you in control of ten Kirbies, and it can be difficult to single out one at a time with the stylus. That’s a problem when the main form of control is selecting and flinging Kirbies.

Still, the game is interesting and you’re always doing something new, like balancing all of your Kirbies on a giant tower or mobbing a larger baddie to take him down. There are tons of unlockables, including a faux-RPG that’s fun to play. It’s all right if you're not expecting anything earth-shattering.

7. Kirby: Squeak Squad (DS, 2006)

Kirby: Squeak Squad opens with a really weird intro: The titular Squeak Squad steals a piece of cake that Kirby is about to eat. Kirby proceeds to kick the crap out of all of Dream Land just to get it back. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Kirby is a psychopath. That cake better have been worth the string of bodies left in Kirby’s wake.

Anyway, Squeak Squad gets almost everything right for a Kirby game. There are tons of powers, the levels are quick and snappy, the music is excellent and the boss fights are fun. The only problem is that it’s way too easy to get 100% completion. It’s so easy, in fact, that once you do finish the game, the developers see fit to tell you, “You’ve finished this game 100%! Really!” I’m not kidding. I wish I was. It’s still a fun ride while it lasts, and if you can pick it up for cheap it’s highly recommended.

Click to read Part 3 here.

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