Review by WodPython
"Sorry to keep you waiting!"
Twenty-four years damnit!!! Oh well, better late than ever... If only Gunpei Yokoi could have seen what Kid Icarus had turned into, RIP.
Well, I have to say, this game really is something. As most of you probably know, the original Kid Icarus for the NES was released in 1986 (1987 outside of Japan), as well as a Gameboy sequel known as Kid Icarus: Of Myth's and Monsters, released in 1991. Since then, the series fell into a dormant state, until Super Smash Brothers Brawl came out in 2008, which featured Pit as a playable character. Then come four years later, we finally see a true Kid Icarus sequel which of course is this game, Kid Icarus: Uprising. This game pretty much gave the series a complete makeover, mainly due to changing time coming with changing technology, so obviously we would expect a few changes.
The gameplay, while taking some time to get used to is pretty top-notch. There is of course single-player and multiplayer. I'll begin with the single player. For multiplayer, you will have to see my online section, which is coming later up.
So this game is chapter based, being a total of 25 chapters, each level representing one chapter. There are two sections of a chapter: the air section and the ground section.
For the air section, it is essentially a third person rail shooter, being that the game controls your flight path, and you shoot at passing-by enemies. You can only move in a plane essentially, meaning you can move up and down, left and right, and diagonal in all directions. This is done so you can dodge incoming enemy attacks. After about five minutes, if you are still alive, you begin the ground section, in which you lose your flight ability and have to use your feet on the ground.
This part (the ground section) is essentially a third person shooter, in which you now have full control over Pit. You're shooting is pretty much the same as before. As you progress, you finally reach the boss, and of course, it is your job to defeat it.
To be more specific with combat, you can shoot arrows as you aim to enemies and they slightly lock-on after you fire them, so you don't have to be super-specific when firing. Also, if an enemy is close enough to you, you can do melee attacks, one after the other to get some nice combos. You can also dodge, if you tilt the move button just before an attack hits you (the window of this to be done, isn't huge, but it's not small either, very doable, especially once you get the hang of it).
In between chapters, you can equip different weapons, as well as buy and even fuse them. To buy weapons, you have to have enough hearts, which are the currency of this game, which you get by defeating enemies, and completing chapters. You can also "Redeem Hearts" which is essentially selling your weapons. There are nearly countless weapons in this game, and each one has it's own uniqueness (some might be better far-ranged, while others might be superior in close-quarters) to it and are all awesome to try out.
You can also equip different power-ups in the form of a customization-like screen, in which you place different shaped Tetris-like blocks onto this screen. You can only fit a few though, but each one can give you different power-ups, like recovering some health, as well as giving an added effect to your shots.
The gameplay took me by surprise, and I wasn't all that into when I saw trailers and previews, but once I bought the game and started playing it, it was actually quite addicting.
I have to say, I was quite surprised by the story, and didn't think much of it too much until I started advancing in the game more. If you are thinking the same thing, I'd definitely give this a chance.
So it pretty much starts off as Medusa, having been destroyed in the original Kid Icarus, has some how come back and is using her Underworld army to wreak all sorts of havoc on the world. Of course it is your (Pit's) job to rectify this with of course from the help of the goddess Palutena. The story brings back some old enemies and bosses and characters as well as some new ones. Probably the most known one is Dark Pit. Pretty much the doppelganger of Pit who was sort of introduced in Super Smash Brothers Brawl as an alternative character costume to Pit. He seems to not be affiliated with the Underworld army though and is more of a mischievous villain than a serious antagonist.
The game environment is just gorgeous as well as some of the music. There are many different types of areas and atmospheres for you to venture through. They even bring back some old Kid Icarus themes in all their 8-bit goodness which if you played the original can bring out the nostalgic part of yourself. The graphic are pretty much just below what Super Smash Brothers Brawl was with a bit of blockiness here and there. Also the Pit and Palutena models have received a makeover as well being the same ones used in Super Smash Brothers Brawl. The boss and enemy designs were also very well done.
There is also voice acting in this game, which is also really well done, although there is a lot of talking done during the levels, which can be annoying for some. On the other hand, it can be very amusing, and there's even some fourth-wall-breaking for those who get a kick out of that kind of stuff.
To expand to what I stated in the gameplay section, the controls are excellent. Again at first glance it may appear a bit complex, but it's easier than it looks, but at the same time does take some getting the hang of it.
For the air sections, the default controls are, use touch screen to aim, use circle pad to move, and use the L-button to fire. For ground sections, you use the touch screen to scroll your camera, circle pad to move, and L-button to fire. You can also hold the L-button to do an automated firing sequence (ie. you DON'T have to keep pressing the L-button to do rapid-fire). Like I stated before, if you don't fire you can wait a second or two to charge and fire a more powerful shot. Also as stated before, your shots log on to enemies if the shots are close enough, and if you are close enough to an enemy you can press the L-button a few times to execute a few melee hits.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that the controls do take some getting used to and can be frustrating at times, but it requires some patience to finally become a pro with the controls. You can also put strain on part of your hand too unfortunately as well as maybe not aim exactly where you wanted. You can, however customize your controls if you do not like the default ones, although personally, I prefer them and they work very well once things start getting up to speed.
Now this is something I was very impressed with, much to my own surprise.
You can either play "With Friends" (ie. anyone you've exchanged Friend Codes with), or you can play "With Anyone" (ie... anyone, as in people also looking to play "With Anyone").
There are two different modes: Light vs Dark, and Free-for-All. In both modes, you fight on the ground, like ground sections in the story mode.
In Light vs Dark, there are two teams of three players each for a total of six players. You pretty much fight the other team and try to destroy the players there, but don't worry, you get revived when you die, although each team loses points when their respective players die. Depending on what weapon you're equipped with depends on how much points is lost. Like if you have a really good weapon, that could cost the team more points than usual if you die. Likewise, if you have a crappy weapon, it won't be so costly if you die, so think twice before you equip a weapon that is really powerful. When a team finally loses all it's points, the last person to have died will come back as Pit (light team) or Dark Pit (dark team), which is a powered up version of yourself (aka a regular fighter), and the first team to finally kill this Pit (or Dark Pit), wins.
In Free-for-All, it's essentially the exact same, except without the whole Pit/Dark Pit scenario. There are a total of six players, but if there is less than six, it will fill in the vacated spots with computers. Obviously no teams, it's every man for himself. The game ends when time runs out, and the game decides who comes in first, second, and third place. This is based on the score, which you accumulate by killing other players.
At the end of every match you generally win a power-up or a new weapons, which can each be used in single player as well. Likewise, weapons that have been obtained in single player can carry over to multiplayer.
There is so much content to this game, it's almost unbelievable. Many different weapons, as well as different achievements to unlock. The story mode is pretty good, about 10-15 hours to complete, and the online is really great. It feels rather satisfying beating some poor enemy as well as beating players online.
Definitely confirm, it is a worthy game for your 3DS collection. Whether defeating underworld underlings in the single player, or beating on players online, you'll definitely have some fun with it, especially if you played the original Kid Icarus as some nostalgia can do good. Like I've said before, it does take some time to get used to it, but I highly recommend giving it a chance and giving it a little bit of patience. I'd also go so far as to say it's the best 3DS game thus far, and probably will go on to be one of the best 3DS games ever and an excellent game overall.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/30/12
Game Release: Kid Icarus: Uprising (US, 03/23/12)
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