GAME NAME: Kid Icarus: Uprising
DEVELOPER(S): Project Sora
PLATFORM(S): Nintendo 3DS
RELEASE DATE(S): March 23rd, 2012
It’s been 21 long years since the last release of a Kid Icarus game on a Nintendo console. After an appearance in the popular Nintendo franchise Super Smash Bros. Brawl, fans had been begging for a new entree in the franchise. At E3 2010, gamers dreams finally came true when Nintendo announced Kid Icarus: Uprising for the Nintendo 3DS. Also we learned it would be from Project Sora (who had helped on the Super Smash Bros. Franchise) and from legendary game developer Masahiro Sakurai. The game has plenty of modes and content to keep you busy for hours.
Story mode consists of many levels that are separated into three different gameplay types: Flying-based action, Ground-based action and then a Boss Battle. The main plot is Medusa has been resurrected and Pit and Palutena must stop her from destroying the world. I don’t want to spoil any of the twists and turns in the story so I will leave it at that. The flying portion reminds me of Panzer Dragoon or even a little Sin and Punishment. It feels like an on-rails shooter and they get creative in some of the levels on how you fly around which helps if from getting stale. The ground based missions are kind of frantic. These missions feel weird with the control scheme that the developers give to you. While the game is compatible with the circle pad pro, it isn’t for dual analog control. It is just for left-handed players. Instead you control Pit with the slide pad, shoot with L and look by flicking the touchscreen and then tapping the touch screen to stop the camera. It works, but dual analog would have felt much more comfortable and probably wouldn’t have required Nintendo to make a stand (which comes with every game) to play the game on. The final game segment, the Boss Battle, is pretty self explanatory. You just shoot and beat up the boss until they go bye-bye.
I’ll admit I was a little skeptical of the multiplayer when I first saw it. After some time with it though, it is one of the shining modes of the game. You can either play a 3 vs. 3 match called Light Vs. Dark or a 6-player free-for-all match. The Light vs. Dark matches have a little more strategy being you have a squad to play with. I enjoyed playing the Light vs. Dark more so then the Free-for-All. Both game modes are frantic and fast paced, almost like a 3D Smash Bros. contest, but have a learning curve and a skill to perfecting. Free-for-All is a little too crazy and some players online are really good at it, making it tough to play for Noobs like I was when first signing on.
The game doesn’t stop here though, there is a ton of other stuff to do as well. You have AR cards, which you can take pictures of or battle them right in front of the camera. Also there are a lot of collectibles and over 300 achievements in a Smash Bros.-ish layout. Also like Smash Bros., you get Idol Eggs which can be used in a lottery type system to earn new Idols. Their is weapon fusing, where you can put to weapons together and get a better and badder weapon. These weapons can then be created into Gems and traded on StreetPass with other Kid Icarus gamers. Also for replayablilty the game offers a difficulty slider which is risk/reward based. You have to bet your hearts you earn in the story mode that you can finish the level. If you die, you lose your hearts you bet and the game turns down the difficulty level for you. The reward to playing on the harder difficulty is that you can earn some ballin’ weapons.
Kid Icarus: Uprising is a great way for Nintendo to bring back a classic franchise. We would love to see some of the other classics such as Startropics or Earthbound brought back as well. The sound and voice acting is great even if the story and dialogue sound like something out of an 80’s cartoon. The 3D visuals are some of the best that we’ve seen on the handheld since its release. I recommend this to any 3DS owner as you will find something in it that will warrant the purchase, whether it be the single player or multiplayer, I feel that there is something here for everyone.