Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack is getting a pink puff of power, as Kirby and the Amazing Mirror is getting added to the Game Boy Advance app on September 29, 2023.
Originally published on the Game Boy Advance in 2004. This was a co-production of Kirby owner HAL Laboratory, Flagship, who also worked on The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages, and Dimps, who is best known for making fighting games like Street Fighter IV and The Rumble Fish.
Flagship was the group that actually took charge of planning the game. Dimps did the programming, sound and game design, while HAL provided art and debugging. Interestingly enough, Shigeru Miyamoto was tied as a producer to this game, but not two Nintendo employees best known for coming from HAL. Satoru Iwata was at this point already president of Nintendo. Kirby’s creator, Masahiro Sakurai, was already an independent game developer, but he has a special adviser credit in the game.
Kirby and the Amazing Mirror is the first game in the franchise to shift from a simple platformer game, to a Metroidvania. At this point, all three Game Boy Advance Castlevania games, and Metroid Fusion had already released to the system, creating a trend for this genre to become more popular.
One can imagine this as an expansion of everything Kirby had been able to do before. While he mostly still jumped platforms and swallowed enemies to take their powers, he now also had free reign to conquer the game map in any order or direction that he wanted. Players would also find that the worlds had small puzzles and sub bosses to get in the way of progress, as well as tons of items to collect.
What makes Kirby different from other franchises is a focus on making players feel powerful, instead of making them want to surmount challenges. Consequently, several items can power up Kirby, such as health points, food, lives, and cell phone batteries.
However, Kirby offered challenge of a different kind, in the form of finding your way around the map itself. Coming after Super Smash Bros Melee, Kirby and the Amazing Mirror also has multiplayer competitive modes, in the form of separate mini-games, as well as the ability to play several parts of the main game.
Kirby has been well represented on the Nintendo Switch, in terms of classic games and new releases. The platform isn’t likely to get the 3DS games, it has forged a new path for the franchise with Kirby and the Forgotten Land, the first fully 3D game in the series. It’s also received deep cuts like Kirby Tilt N’Tumble, so maybe Nintendo and HAL will continue to fill out Kirby’s gameography on Nintendo Switch Online in the future.
You can watch the official announcement trailer below.