Published on March 30th, 2012 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
Kid Icarus: Uprising Review
Some might say the Nintendo jumped the gun when it came to the 3DS’ release date. The console didn’t have as many launch titles as many would have liked, in particular, first-party titles. A new Kid Icarus was definitely on the radar for Nintendo, but we didn’t quite know when.
It has been a full two years after launch and we’ve got Pit once again taking on Medusa in a battle for the good of ye old Earth.
Kid Icarus: Uprising brings us right back into the control of an Angel by the name of Pit. With the help of the goddess of light, Palutena, we are now on the way to stopping Medusa and her vicious snake face.
While the premise of the game is based around a simple revisiting of an older title, there is much more in store for fans out there. The team of Project Sora did a great job taking on an action title sewn with lighthearted jabs of comedy. It was oddly pleasing to hear characters chatter and crack jokes about everything, even themselves.
The game revolves around two different styles of battle, three if you really want to include the vehicles that you can jump into. The first type is done in the air. This is done by placing the Nintendo 3DS console in your left or right hand and using the touch screen to aim the reticle while moving Pit with the swivel pad. The shoulder buttons are used to shoot or melee depending on the distance of the enemy.
The second type of battling is done on the ground. This also involves the swivel pad, but tapping it twice in a given direction will make Pit dash. This can also be combo’d with the ‘fire’ to deliver differing attacks. It is helpful in the multiplayer realm knowing which attacks are stronger and how you can use them in a pinch.
Although I have played many games on portable devices, the learning curve for the Nintendo 3DS and FPS style was a struggle for my hands to get used to. I was disappointed to hear that the Circle Pad Pro wasn’t going to be supporting a dual analog scheme. It seems that Nintendo DS fans that are familiar with the ‘stylus guiding’ will not have any trouble, but on a next-gen console like the 3DS—it is a definite want.
I ended up changing the button layout and sensitivity multiple times just to figure out what worked best for me. In the end, moving the reticle with the X, B, Y and A buttons worked best on the ground and the standard controls were just fine in the air. I also placed the sensitivity all the way up so that it played more like a responsive third person shooter title. It did become repetitive having to change the controls after every completed level or sequence, but it was almost impossible for me to play without doing so.
After many hand cramps and position changes, I was finally finding some comfort in my chosen style. Now that I was all done fidgeting with the controls, it was nice to finally be able to take in the game.
The graphics are pretty high up there in quality, as they should be for a first-party title. There were a lot of things that really made the game shine, but there were also noticeable areas that were just plain gross.
Flying over cities and watching hundreds, if not thousands, of soldiers and people below was a tremendous experience. It felt at times like I was watching a movie. Enemies were varied and detailed, in particular, the boss battles. It was great to take on large scale bosses and feel like they weren’t some big dumb block of pixels. At times I was only left with a sliver of health and made the experience that much more fulfilling.
As mentioned before, the game looked great, but did have a few blemishes. Certain areas were full of detail and flare, while other landscapes, when close up, looked jagged and blocky. Running though the city in Chapter 3 did leave me to encounter some sharp edges of rock that were grainy and nothing more than awkwardly placed. This was puzzling to me being that other areas were vibrant in color and looked like they were tediously pieced together with care.
The overall content value for Kid Icarus: Uprising is pretty high. The game itself has 25 chapters in the story mode and hosts a slew of discoveries. The multiplayer is also one place where players can drop their newly learned skills. Although this is great, it does fall victim to its own accessory–which I only used on the first level.
The multiplayer of the game stems around two different modes. The Light vs. Dark mode drops players on either side for a Team Deathmatch feel. Players can also become Light or Dark Pit, which plays an important role in the matchup.
The other mode is the Free-For-All. Sharpen up on your dashing shots ‘cause you’re going to need them. This is where things get hectic. Sometimes, you don’t even know where the fire is coming from, but you press on for that Day Break piece.
The multiplayer is addicting and looks as though it had the potential to be great. Stats from the games are shown on the “Together” screen, which makes the experience that much more fulfilling. The modifiers also make all of the weapon unlocks useful after fusing them to create new weapons.
I can see these options getting old over time. If this is something that Nintendo wants us to keep coming back to regardless of how long or how little we’ve owned the game—then there has to be more. I know it is tough to incorporate big huge stylized games on to one little screen, but there needs to be compromise in newer maps or game changers.
Kid Icarus: Uprising was kind of a surprise for me. Even after seeing the game in action multiple times prior to launch date, I didn’t quite know where the game was going to land. Was it going to follow the hype and be that awesome?
The dialogue of the game left me laughing to myself and enjoying the characters more than the action on screen. It made the overall experience fun to play, but also felt like I was still sticking it to the bad guys.
I haven’t spent this much time on a handheld in a long time. The multiplayer could be really fun to play which only adds to the game assortment of unlockables, but the replay value stops halfway. The game had me setting down my console to charge, play, and die again—only to repeat the cycle. It is tough to give the game a lower score encircling controls. With that being said, when a game is released on a handheld–controls are everything. Even with all of the added value in content, believe me when I say, “Your hands will hate you for playing this game.”
– Accessory usage