Posted by: dafster | April 28, 2012

Kid Icarus: Uprising – Review!

It’s been around 21 years since Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters was released, so Nintendo decided to renew the series to give us something generally awesome. Yes, that’s right, Kid Icarus: Uprising. The last time we saw Pit in his “modern day” form was in Super Smash Brothers: Brawl, but players who didn’t know much about the original series (which was most of us) were left wondering who this angel called Pit was and where they can find his games. Seeing him in modern graphics means he presumably had appeared in a modern game, right? Wrong. But he is now.

The game starts with Pit running through a hallway and into the sky in which his Goddess ruler – Lady Palutena – tells Pit what’s going on. Medusa – an old rival – has been resurrected and has unleashed an army of underworld monsters to destroy the human race. There’s actually a lot more to the story than that, but unfortunately anything past the first 9 chapters are mostly spoilers, so I can’t talk much about that. While the story can sometimes get a little off-topic, it’s generally engaging and often humorous. In fact, one of the best things about this game is that the characters are almost always talking to each other during levels, which can sometimes add something to the storyline or can just simply be funny. For example, during one level Pit says: “No seriously this Place is huge! There was even an extra loading screen back there!”, in which Viridi – Goddess of Nature responds: “Ssssh, we’re not meant to talk about that!” The game is packed with humorous comments in every level, keeping it constantly light-hearted, even during the tougher boss battles.

Speaking of the levels, they’re epic. Before each level starts, you choose a difficulty you’d like to play at and bet a certain amount of hearts (which is the game’s virtual currency). The higher the intensity, the more hearts you have to bet, while the lower the intensity, the less you have to bet. If you choose a difficulty that’s very low then you end up having to spend hearts from the beginning. If you die during a level then you lose some of the hearts that you’ve betted, and if you keep dying then you keep losing the hearts you’ve betted until you can’t lose anymore. The reason you have to bet more hearts to make the level harder, is because the harder the level, the more enemies there are and the more enemies there are, the more hearts you can gain by destroying them. Most levels have three segments: A flying segment at the start in which Pit is granted the ability to fly by Lady Palutena (he can’t usually fly, even though he has wings!) and is faced off against all kinds of flying enemies which he can destroy using many types of weapons, which I’ll talk about later. This segment is a great on rails shooter similar to Star Fox 64. You can move Pit around to dodge attacks from enemies using the circle Pad, while using the touch screen to aim your shots and the L button to fire. This controls better than it sounds, it’s only when your power of flight runs out and you’re forced to fight on land where things get a little trickier.

On land the controls are similar, only it isn’t on rails. Because of this, you’re forced to adjust the camera manually using the touch screen at the same time as aiming at enemies, so if you’ve just changed direction in which you’re walking with the circle pad, you’ll also have to adjust the camera along with it. This doesn’t seem quite as natural as the flying segments and can be a little difficult at first, but surprisingly you actually get used to it after a while and it becomes second nature. On land you can attack by either shooting or using melee attacks we’re you have to get up close to an enemy and press the L button to perform the attack. That may sound like a difficult task for when you’re trying to dodge attacks at the same time, but thankfully Nintendo have put in a solution for that which is a special dodge dash. By quickly flicking the circle pad when you are about to get hit by an enemy’s attack, it is guaranteed Pit will dodge it unless it’s an impossible to dodge attack. Now where have we seen this before? Oh yes, Metroid: Other M. Speaking of Metroid, there are many Metroid references in this game, including enemies that look IDENTICAL to Metroids, though of course they aren’t called that. Pit also encounters the Space Pirates, even though they apparently have no reference to Metroid. Pit even brings the topic up that those enemies remind him of Metroids, and Viridi typically tells him to stop referencing to other game universes (The game also has references to Dr. Mario, Super Smash Bros Brawl, Donkey Kong and possibly other games that I haven’t noticed)  Getting back to the camera, most issues occur when you are in a tight space and a really annoying enemy that’s always moving shows up.

The third segment is the boss battles and there’s one in every level! The boss battles are generally on the easier side, though still may give a slight challenge. Most are on land though some are in the sky, making it an on rails sky shooter. Epic. I almost always enjoyed the bosses, it’s just a little disappointing when the final boss battle of the entire game isn’t very difficult. Still, as I said, it will provide you with a challenge and you’ll see why none of the bosses are too difficult when you finish the game and unlock a special feature which I won’t give away as it’s a bit of a spoiler.

That’s all about the levels, but it’s definitely worth mentioning the weapons. The weapons are one of the game’s strongest points, there’s a huge selection on them, over a hundred in fact, though each weapon is one of nine types: staff, bow, club, orbitar, blade, claws, palm, cannon or arm. Each weapon different in certain areas, some are stronger in melee attacks while others are stronger in long distance shooting. But the real awesome thing about weapons is the ability to fuse them together to make even better ones, I was able to fuse two of my weapons together in order to make a Viper Blade, a blade that fires poisonous shots towards the enemy that can deal damage even after you’ve hit them. You can also swap weapons via StreetPass and receive new ones via SpotPass. Every day I receive a new weapon through the internet and even if you have to buy them using the game’s virtual currency of hearts, it still gives the game some replay-ability.

The last of the game’s features that I’m going to mention is the online multiplayer. In this you can face off against anyone around the world or your friends, via WiFi. Unfortunately I can’t say much about this as the online isn’t working for me, but I do know that there are two modes: Light vs. Dark, where you split into teams to fight against each other and Free-for-all where it’s one on one. As I said, I can’t say much about the online, but from what I’ve heard, it’s great fun.

The Verdict

Presentation

9/10

This game alone has the potential to reboot the entire series and cause many sequels to come!

Graphics

8.5/10

The flying segments look AWESOME, though when on land you may notice a few lousy graphics for enemies, often when they’re large enemies like bosses.

Sound

8/10

It’s still the sort of music you’d find for a DS game, though there are some great orchestral mixes here and there. You can also re-listen to any tracks you like when they’re stored in the unlockable section!

Gameplay

8.5/10

Sometimes the gameplay can get a little dull as it’s repeatative, but once you get over that, you’ll really enjoy it.

Lasting appeal

9/10

With the amount of weapons, secret options, online and more, you’ll be playing this game well past the credits!

Final score

9/10

When I first saw the trailer for this game, I had a feeling it was going to be something great and it is. This is another essential 3DS game!


-Dafster

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