| paleface [sys=GBA; cat=Platformer; loc=NA] |
|Reference added: 146|
"Kirby's platformers on GBA."
Rather massive little platformer starring that little pink blob of super-powered Silly Putty. At first it's really, really confusing, then you find the map (Select button from the Pause screen, if you please) and things start to at least fall into some kind of order--or at least, you can tell where you haven't been yet among the half-dozen or more colorful little worlds populated by all kinds of cute little monsters.
As in Kirby's Dream Land 2 (I really should write up something about that game... it gets darn hard though), Kirby can suck up enemies and capture their power. Swords, kung-fu, fireballs, freeze breath, fire breath, boomerangs, etc, are all at his disposal provided he captures the right beastie. Let him get hit and he drops the power, but if you're quick he can suck it back up. Losing all your lives isn't really so bad as you just restart back at the main world nexus with your progress intact.
Nexus? Progress? Yeah, don't forget that map. You start in a cloudy little place with a few mirrors around. You can warp through the mirrors to other worlds, each of which consists of little platforming levels with one or more exit mirrors. Eventually after following mirror warp paths you'll find the boss--beat him and you recapture a shard of this old cracked mirror or something. Then you'll want to go in search of more bosses in other worlds.
It starts to get tricky in that at certain points you need certain powers to break through obstacles in your path. I think most of the ones I've hit so far have been optional (guarding hidden powerups), but I'm sure eventually, as in Dream Land 2, finding the right power to break obstacles will be mandatory to proceed. This can get a little trying as the beast with the requisite power may be nowhere nearby, so you have to go capture him, then proceed to the obstacle without losing the power. The map is huge and incredibly maze-like, and I'm sure this will take just about forever.
The new gimmick here is that Kirby is split into four different color Kirbys. Provided your cel phone has enough battery power, you can call them up and tell them to come over and help you out. They'll fly in and start pounding on people--this is particularly helpful against bosses and sub-bosses. In other areas they're more of a detriment than anything as they confuse the view and get killed/stuck in pits quite easily. Oh, they also steal your powerups.
Now, if you have four carts and a link cable, supposedly you can play co-op all the way through with four people (and probably two or three I suppose). That might be kind of nice, although really two Kirbys in one room gets a little busy. Oh well I'll probably never link this up, so it doesn't matter much.
I have linked up for the three minigames, since you don't need an additional cart for those. Too bad they're only fun for about thirty seconds. As with the games in "Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land" (see entry 146) they're really simple little timing games. One has you press the button when food appears. Another has you press the button to jump your surfboard off little waves: time it right and you get a speed boost toward the finish line. The last one is a bit more complicated, you have to time a power meter, then aim at a rock below your character very quickly to try to split it with a big karate-chop. They're quick and cute and you'll get sick of them almost immediately.
Fortunately, the main game has enough stuff in it that you probably won't be running out of things to play any time soon. With lush graphics, nice sound, and pretty much endless platform exploring, this game has a lot going for it. I'm generally not that keen on exploration-heavy platformers (never did get past that in Metroid, for instance), but once you find it, the map here makes that aspect pretty bearable.