Monday, April 16, 2012

Kid Icarus: Uprising arrives



Even though I've played Kid Icarus when I was young, and enjoyed his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, I really didn't know what to expect with Kid Icarus: Uprising for the Nintendo 3DS.  The original Kid Icarus was very much so - a platformer with Zelda-like dungeon qualities in-between with the finale as a side shooter.  Kid Icarus on the NES was a unique game ahead of its time, and its 3DS incarnation is set to do just the same.

The game's levels are divided up starting the player with a flying shooter portion, then ends with a land section and a boss.  The flying portions are just an absolute blast to play, and are easily the game's highlight.  The land portions, however, are a little bit awkward in controls, and can be difficult at times.  But no matter what part of the level you're playing, controlling the 3DS with both the D-pad and stylus is a real workout - hence the free plastic stand they supply.

Now unless you have a healthy and steady hand to hold the system, the stand is a must.  You could argue that having to create a brace just for a game is a waste and needless, but then again it's free.  And I don't care how much anyone would bitch and moan about the stand; you will get tired, and you will need support, and you will find a second wind when you use it and relieve all that tension in your wrist.

As for re-playability, it has it in spades.  There are a TON of weapons to earn, find, and trade, each having variable stats.  What's more, depending on how you acquire them, their stats may vary.  One of those factors is simply upping the difficulty on a level.  The more difficult you scale the level, the higher the risk and reward.  Using the hearts you collect as payment, you run the chance of failing and losing all of them.  But the reward can be worth the effort - getting a regular weapon, or the same weapon with a ton of boost stats.

And the game's story does constant nods to its predecessor with its occasional NES visual references presented in 8-bit memory, reminding the player that it has not forgotten its roots.  Kid Icarus: Uprising does a well-done job in bringing back a beloved game to this generation, satisfying its unique hardcore fan base of yesteryear while catering to this generations fast pace.
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