It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been waiting for the return of Pit and Kid Icarus for nearly 19 years now A series long thought dead was announced to return just a couple years ago at E3. Kid Icarus Uprising is developed by Project Sora and Masahiro Sakurai, the man very much responsible for the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. series.
But after 19 years of waiting how could Kid Icarus Uprising turn out. Is Pits new adventure one worthy of the series, one worthy of having a top spot in Nintendo’s stable. The answer is a resounding yes. Kid Icarus Uprising is a marvelous adventure with a ton of charm and a good sense of humor. There are definitely some things wrong with it, but overall Kid Icarus Uprising is a more than worthy addition to Nintendo’s library.
Uprising focuses on the return of the Goddess of Light Palutena, Medusa is once again threatening the world and its up to Pit and Palutena to save the world. Both characters retain their look from Smash Bros Brawl and all the other characters have been designed or redesigned accordingly so.
The story spans over 24 chapters that will take you a good 6 to 10 hours to beat, which really is pretty good for a handheld game. Kid Icarus Uprising is completely goofy, and self-aware. The hugely lighthearted tone of the game is a nice change of pace from all of the dark and serious stories you have around.
The game never takes itself seriously though, and characters are never afraid to break the fourth wall and admit they are in a video game. Characters keep the banter up throughout each mission and there is almost never a moment where you don’t have at least two characters conversing. Seeing as most of the dialogue is well thought out and genuinely funny though, this isn’t a problem.
Each mission with a couple exceptions plays out in two different parts. Palutena can invoke the power of flight for pit but it can only last five minutes. So the first part of each mission has Pit flying though the air, in a Star Fox sort of manner where you shoot down enemies. The flight parts are absolutely glorious; they are fun, easy to control, and the presentation is absolutely astounding on some missions.
After the power of flight runs out, Pit has to take the battle to the ground. This is where things get a little messy. Because of the control scheme, which requires the stylus to look around, the game becomes a little hard to control. You control Pit with the circle pad, shot with the left bumper and aim with the touch screen. You can fiddle around a little bit with the controls but nothing really helps all that much.
The biggest problem with the controls in Kid Icarus is that it’s just uncomfortable to play. When first starting the game is really was a nuisance, Project Sora did the best they could with the controls but no matter what you do the game is just uncomfortable to play, and too long of play sessions will start to cramp your hand.
After you get used to the game and have played a while, this will only become a minor annoyance and it isn’t enough to detract from the overall great experience that the game gives you.
Besides being a little harder to control, the land battles are generally just a little more difficult. You use the same controls, but you also have skills that you are now able to use. Each mission ends with a boss fight.
Beyond the main story, Kid Icarus Uprising is packed full of things to do. There are hundreds of weapons to obtain, that range from swords and staves to orbitars and giant melee clubs. Each weapon feels different and you’ll have to decide which one works best for you.
There are also treasure hunts to do; these are giant collage pictures where each tile has specific requirements to unlock. There are also hundreds of “idols” to obtain. These function very similarly to the “figures” in the Super Smash Bros. series. All of these things contribute to the just insane amount of things there are to collect in this game. It’s almost a little overwhelming when you really think about it.
There’s one other mode to talk about, and that would be the multiplayer mode. You have the option of playing with friends or playing with anyone in free-for-all matches or team based light vs. dark matches. The controls make multiplayer even harder than single player, and at times it can feel like your not even able to do anything in a match. But still, things work well enough and there’s a lot of fun that can be had in multiplayer.
Free-for-all matches feel utterly insane with various players running around shooting and using skills on each other. The light vs. dark mode is a little more controlled.
Two three-person teams square off against each other, with each team having basically a team HP meter. Each time someone dies this meter goes down, once it is empty one of the players on a team is spawned as either Pit or Dark Pit depending on their team. Once Pit or Dark Pit dies that team loses.
As I mentioned before, the presentation of Kid Icarus is just off the charts for a 3DS game. This is hands down one of the best looking games on the system and some of the effects and events in the missions are absolutely stunning to look at. The 3D effect also works fantastically for the game. It looks even better when played in 3D, and I found that it just wasn’t as enjoyable when it wasn’t in 3D.
Now something very important to mention in my opinion, the music. Let me start by saying this; Kid Icarus Uprising may very well have the best soundtrack that Nintendo has ever created. The well-known Motoi Sakuraba is responsible for it; you may know him from the Tales or Star Ocean series. The music just fits the game so incredibly well, and gets to heights of competing with even Zelda music for the best that Nintendo has done. It just adds even more to the excitement of the game.
There have been some great games on the 3DS so far, and its library seems to be constantly expanding. But I haven’t enjoyed any game on the 3DS to the point that I enjoyed Kid Icarus Uprising.
The story is quick paced and fun, the characters are funny and likable, the gameplay is intense, and the presentation and music are fantastic. Pile this on top of loads of content to work through and unlock, as well as a decent multiplayer offering and you have one of the absolute must play games on the 3DS.
Pits return is a resounding success, not without flaws of course (primarily the controls) but Nintendo and Project Sora have done justice to their old series. And who knows, Kid Icarus may have a bright future ahead for it.
Title : Kid Icarus Uprising
Format : Nintendo 3DS
Developer : Project Sora
Publisher : Nintendo
Release Date : 03/23/2012