It’s been 19 years since the last Kid Icarus game graced a Nintendo console. After the overwhelming success of Super Smash Bros, Brawl and the popularity of fan favorite Pit, star of the previous two Kid Icarus titles, Nintendo has finally decided to let gaming’s favorite angel take to the skies once again.
Was the 19 year wait worth it?
Yes, yes it certainly was. Not only is Kid Icarus: Uprising the best Nintendo 3DS game to date, but it’s easily one of the best titles to come out this year.
What’s the Story?
Uprising plays fast and loose with the gods and legends of Greek mythology. After years of peace in Sky World, The goddess of light, Palutena, must summon her forces to combat the resurrected queen of the underworld, the goddess of darkness, Medusa. Leading Palutena’s army is the young captain of the guard, Pit. Ready for action and loyal to a fault, Pit takes to the skies once again to combat the forces of the Underworld Army.
Despite being an angel, Pit has one particularly striking fault; he can’t fly on his own. Fortunately, Palutena is able to sue a portion of her divine power to grant Pit the power of flight for five minutes at a time. As Pit journeys across a myriad of locals including ancient Greek towns, outer space, and the underworld, he meets a number of new friends and foes along the including the human warrior Magnus, the goddess of nature, Viridi, and the alien menace, the Aurum.
How’s it Play?
Uprisng’s levels are typically split into three sections. The first portion of a level typically consists of Pit flying to his next destination in an on-rails-shooter segment where he’ll gun down enemies while soaring through the skies, darting through caves or navigating treacherous labyrinths. The second half of a level sees Pit on the ground, fighting his foes via a vast array of melee and ranged weaponry as well as an assortment of special powers and trap-like abilities.
The final section of each level has Pit squaring off against one of many titanic bosses. A few of these villains will make return appearances as bosses, but for the most part, the game does an excellent job providing a wide variety of unique and challenging fights. Each level also has a difficulty slider which allows the player to sacrifice hearts, the general currency in the game, to increase the difficulty, which in turn increases the value of treasures and weapons found during the stage.
The game uses a rather unique control scheme. The default scheme has the player use the left shoulder button to fire shots and attack while using the analog nub to move Pit around the screen. To aim, the play must use the touch pad to adjust the direction Pit is facing in order to line up their attacks with their intended target. The style takes a bit of getting used to, but after playing a few levels, players should be able to acclimate to it rather quickly.
The game also features the option to use the Circle Pad Pro peripheral to better accommodate left handed players. Had Nintendo also added a feature which would allow the use of the Circle Pad Pro to control camera movement instead of the touch pad, this game would have controlled perfectly.
Any Other Noteworthy Features?
The game features an astounding amount of replay value. After completing levels, players are encouraged to replay them not only for better rewards, but also to access special areas that would have otherwise been unavailable to them on lower difficulties. In many cases, players can also receive special rewards by completing special challenges listed in the game’s Treasure Hunt grid. These challenges typically consist of completing a level in a certain amount of time, getting a certain number of hearts, or completing the level using a specific weapon.
Uprising also features a very fun multiplayer mode. Players can choose to either play a local match with friends or use Nintendo’s online service to play with others across the globe. Two gameplay modes are available: Light vs. Dark, which plays out much like a traditional team based combat mode and Free-For-All, which pits (no pun intended) every player against one another in a race for the top score. Both modes are a lot of fun and also allow the player to earn rewards that they can use in the single player campaign.
Another interesting feature included in the game is the ability to scan special augmented reality cards with the 3DS camera. This function allows players to expand their collection of items and special figurines in the game and also provides another fun diversion to boot. If players place two cards in front of one another, the AR idols that appear will battle out in a duel. The game comes packaged with five cards, and more will become available through special magazine promotions and events hosted by Nintendo.
- Incredible amount of replay value.
- Great adjustable difficulty levels.
- Humorous fourth-wall-breaking dialogue.
- Fun multiplayer mode.
- Great soundtrack.
- Control scheme is a bit hard to get used to at first.
- Some vehicles move awkwardly.
- Ability to use the Circle Pad Pro to control the camera is sadly absent.
- Dash mechanic is a bit finicky.
FINAL VERDICT: A