Review by StarmanJunior
"An artistic game ruined by bad controls"
With the overabundance of 10/10 reviews of Kid Icarus: Uprising, one might think that the game is flawless in its entirety, with some of the best dialogue, graphics, controls, music, etc. etc. etc. fish sandwich. I bought this game for three reasons: the first being that I am a huge fan of the NES Kid Icarus's unique game design and challenge; and the second being that I'm obsessive compulsive and need to own the larger portions of franchised games; and the third being that my childlike nostalgia runs deep with Nintendo and so I keep giving them the benefit of the doubt again and again and again...even though I'm not sure why.
I'm not saying Nintendo is bad, but I have been losing faith in them in the past few years with their lust for porting already-made content, giving minimal effort on their new content, and a failure to come up with new and fresh ideas. The other two 3DS games I've purchased were Mario Kart 7, a nothing more than expected kart romp, and Super Mario 3D Land, where the less said is the better. That being that I needed a new Kid Icarus game did sound exciting, and maybe it was...for a while. But then the aggravation began.
See Kid Icarus's problem doesn't involve its appearance. In retrospect, it's actually quite a good game. The graphics are sharp and look amazing on a handheld system with crisp backgrounds and an attention to detail. During the flying section you will get to see a lot of different colourful backdrops which make you stop to look in awe as Pit takes a few shots to the face...no its not a bad thing. And the music is just wonderful. It's a mixture of old and new, as would be expected with a re-imagining like Kid Icarus. Some old tracks are remixed, and new tracks shine and fit the themes of the levels like a glove. The character design is noteable and nostalgic as well, as they bring back old characters into the new generation, and through the whole game you get a nice banter between Kid and Lady Palletunia (sp?). I find it kind of strange how casually they talk during heated battles, and even side characters and bosses get to put their two cents in. You even get to speak to Medusa as the three have a conversation like they were old locker room buddies and they're just pissed at each other because of some relationship issues. Some might find the dialogue corny, and it was definately at times...hard to take bosses seriously when they speak like Bozo the Clown, but it's generally enjoyable. I mean, that's what the volume button is for, right? The 3D looks okay, I guess, however people like me who aren't impressed by lame gimmicks will most likely keep the thing off for the duration because it hurts the eyes after about 15 seconds. Each level contains a flying section and a walking section to break up the momentum.
Yes, I found it start to get a little mundane after a while, because in every level you knew exactly what to expect. Fly around a bit, then land and search for the boss. Within that, there's treasures and items to find, and lots of enemies to fight. At the beginning of each level you can lower the intensity if you find your arse getting handed to you too often, and you can ignore that stuff if you're like me and 100% completion isn't a commonality in your game library.
So basically I've said some good things up to now. So what possibly made me want to take this game out and smash it to bits with a hammer? Well...
If I may reference Metroid Prime: Hunters. I bought that game when I first got my DS Lite, in hopes that it would live up to the expectations of its console versions, however throughout the first 30 minutes of play I kept saying to myself, "Gee I would be liking this a lot more if I didn't have to control Samus with a stick!"
Well picture that and Kid Icarus: Uprising is exactly the same. I don't know who decides that stick-controls are innovative, because they're not and they really detract from what should be an enjoyable experience. Yes I started to get frustrated after Pit sprung himself over the edge into a pitfall for the squin tillionth time because the touch pad had ultra sensitive dodge controls. Just trying to get comfortable while playing in bed or on the couch became a nightmare, and my hands became cramped as I tried to hold up my 3DS and control Pit's direction...as I was assaulted more by enemies because I wasn't facing in that direction. Sure I could use the stand that came in the oversized box, but I'm not going to use a stand with my 3DS. It's a handheld, and the majority of playtime on my handheld systems is when I'm lying in bed trying to relax after a long day of work, except I can't relax because I keep getting killed by enemies or by my own hand because the controls are completely assenine!
So I found myself playing less and less, because as you move on in the game, of course it gets harder. Not in the traditional sense, but more pitfalls to accidentally fall down and more slaughter by enemies because you swung the stick to fast and you're not facing them. I found it odd that these annoyances made the game frustratingly difficult to play...not by design of course, but then to have the easiest bosses in the history of gaming, well it was a little unbalanced. I found it hard to finish more than one mission a day, but then I found it even harder to get through missions because they would drag on with the same mundane annoyances that had been plaguing me before..except there were more of them.
And that's all I really have to say. In essence, Kid Icarus: Uprising is an amazing game! It has so many good qualities!.....but the controls are a nightmare...not bad, I mean they were a nightmare. I find little enjoyment control things with the stick. It's awkward and very counter-productive for gameplay. If you played Metroid Prime Hunters and can't get over the controls, this one is not for you!
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 04/25/12
Game Release: Kid Icarus: Uprising (US, 03/23/12)
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