I've completed my first Gameboy advanced game in my end of 2023 GBA only challenge! First I'll write about a memory from my childhood the game brought up. Then I'll talk about a single game mechanic I liked.
The game of the day is Kirby and the Amazing Mirror!
Memory: 98% Completion
The big thing I remember about this game was that I really wanted to get 100% completion. I would go through the levels over and over looking for the side collectables. Different colors for Kirby (my favorite was the chalk gray), maps, OST songs that you could play from the menu, and extra lives. I got to 98% completion, everything except 1 bonus color. I knew the specific level the collectable was in, but I could not for the life of me find it. I remember going to that room and just thinking about where it could be!
Drove me crazy.
This is suprising looking back, since I am definitly NOT a completionist. My wife suggested I finally get that 100%, to which I quickly responded "no thank you". Some things are better left unfinished, especially as an adult where I feel like I need to justify where I spend my time.
Mechanic: Falling Headfirst
The way Kirby falls is awesome. First, he does a little front flip right at the top of his jump arc. This gives you a visual queue of how high your jump will be, which I think is neat. The real trick though is if you fall down for long enough. Kirby flips over to falling head first (another visual queueu), and 2 mechanical changes happen.
- When you finally hit the ground you bounce!
- If you fall on a monster you deal damage instead of taking it!
Lots of locations in the game are designed around these 2 changes. Places have long falls followed by gaps perfectly spaced for the little bounce. If you aim correctly you dont have to ever hit the jump button. Vertical rooms also have enemies placed just right to be bonked by Kirby's hard, pink head. This level design, along with Kirby's faster then normal run speed, makes the game have a "flow" I didn't expect!
If I ever make a platformer, this fall + bounce is something I'm definitly going to steal.
The next game on my list is Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. I'm excited to dig back into the unique card system, aaaaannnnd listen to my wife make fun of Kingdom Hearts every time she sees me playing!