Kid Icarus: Uprising Review
It’s been almost 26 years since the original Kid Icarus launched on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was known as a gritty, fast paced, immensely hard side scrolling adventure. One thing is for certain, not much has changed in Kid Icarus: Uprising, apart from the side scrolling aspect of the game. Pit is back this time around with the ability to fly and the right to use some of the most dangerous weapons known to gods.
The game begins with Pit finding himself as the servant of the mighty Goddess Palutena, and he is entrusted with defeating the now resurrected Medusa; whose only wish is to wreak havoc on humanity with her Underworld Army. Throughout the journey, you are introduced to more twists and turns than could ever be expected from a Nintendo game. Story definitely seemed like a large emphasis this time around, and it paid off. This adventure is a lengthy one in terms of the solo mode (story) alone. You will encounter quite a few Gods and Goddesses with whom you are entrusted to save and defeat. They range from factual characters like Medusa, Hades and Thanatos to fictional ones like Phospora, Palutena and Viridi. The character list in this game is huge, and the same can be said for the enemies.
When it comes to visuals, Kid Icarus : Uprising surpasses anything that has been released on the 3DS thus far. With nicely detailed environments, fleshed out character models, and the shear amount of content on the screen, it is by far the prettiest game to date. Not only that, the 3D effect itself is a wonder to behold. As Pit flies through rivers of exploding lava, as enemy shots blow right past him, and as the world comes barrelling towards him at sonic speeds, the 3D immerses the player like never before. All this without a single hitch in the frame rate. It stays at a solid 60 fps even with 3D turned on. Other notable aspects of the graphics are the smooth animations as pit dodges, runs and flies about your screen. It all looks seamless and wonderful. The game is beautiful, and seems to push the 3DS hardware nicely.
The music can be fun and quirky at one moment, then quickly transition into a symphony that lets you know you`re about to hit some pretty nasty enemies. It excites you as you fly through hordes of enemies, or as you battle some of the most intense boss fights ever. It`s fast paced and energetic and is delivered at all the right moments. The game is also fully voiced, and does not take itself seriously at all, delivering funny, albeit sometimes corny lines while you fly around shooting enemies down. Pit will have full conversations with Palutena and other gods during battle. These conversations are enjoyable, but easy to drown out when in the heat of battle. Often time the games makes reference to the fact that it is a game, as well as to the first Kid Icarus. Overall, the soundtrack does a magnificent job of making the player feel the action around them.
The most important part of a video game is the controls. To begin with, this game will take some practice to perfect. The flying (as well as ground portions) is dealt with the control stick, you are on rails (ground portions are free roaming), so you are essentially flying to dodge incoming enemy fire. The shooting is done with the L trigger and you use the stylus to aim your shots. At first this may be uncomfortable, however, once you get used to it, you`ll realise quickly, that a 2nd analogue stick would not be able to compensate for the speed and accuracy to you get from this control scheme. As gamers, we should be able to adapt to a control method, especially when the games speed and frantic pace require it. The game plays smoothly and would not be as fun any other way.
While in solo mode, you partake in chapters. At the beginning of every chapter, you decide what intensity you wish to tackle it on. An intensity of 0.0 will reward you with very little in terms of hearts, and powerful weapons. Being called effortless, it also lacks any challenge. As you spike up the intensity, you bet your own hearts ( If you are to die during that level, you lose half of what you have bet, and if you are to retreat, you`d lose it all). The highest intensity is 9.0, and at that point, enemies will shoot more, and their accuracy will have improved immensely. Not only that, it would take quite a few more shots to down enemies. The trade off is a lot more hearts, and weapons with better attributes to help you along on your adventure. Every chapter begins with you flying in the skies defeating enemies, and ends with you on the ground running around shooting and slashing at enemies. While on the ground Pit finds different vehicles that pack a mean punch; they are a must for tougher stages. At the end of every chapter Pit fights some of the most challenging and thrilling bosses is any Nintendo game to date.
The collection aspect is one of the most compelling parts of this game. And it is clearly influenced by Smash Bros. The game features a total of 108 weapons, ranging from bows to claws and swords alike. However, this number is much larger considering the fact that each weapon has different attributes. Puzzle pieces are earned for collecting power ups, as well as completing certain mission based objectives like clearing a level with a certain weapon. Idol dolls (trophies) can also be earned by doing the egg toss and there is an AR card battle feature which lets players use KI:U cards to battle using the 3D camera. All the extra content gives this game a lot of re playability.
The multiplayer in this game is by far its best added bonus. Its a world of fun, and not to be taken lightly. Having played both local and on-line, it is smooth, and has no issues with lag. Players are given two options: Light vs Dark, which has two teams of three duking it out until the last man standing becomes Pit or Dark pit. Free for All, is a frantic 6 man battle to see who can rake up the most kills. This experience is not a shallow one, but is very simple to get into. Select a weapon, equipped some power ups, and off you go to battle in some well designed battle arenas. This mode is bound to keep you occupied for a long time.
It would be an understatement to say this game is good. It breaks down walls with its action packed and diverse game play, stunning 3D graphics, and a quirky cast of Gods. The volume of collectibles, as well as an engaging multi player adds so much depth that it makes it a must purchase title for every 3DS owner out there.