The lights are on
When Kid Icarus's angelic boy wonder Pit returned to
relevancy in Super Smash Bros Brawl, a new entry in the Nintendo cult classic
series was widely predicted. Now that long anticipated sequel has finally arrived
on the Nintendo 3DS and proves that long waits, even one two decades long, are
well worth it. Though its roots lie in a NES era sidescroller, Kid Icarus
Uprising offers a fresh Nintendo experience that stands on its own while still
dishing out healthy doses of nostalgia to fans of the original.
Kid Icarus Uprising's greatest strength is its creative
presentation. It easily rivals Resident Evil: Revelations as the best looking
game on the 3DS, offering colorful flamboyant visuals. Its energetic art style
is matched by an outlandish narrative. Dialogue and voice acting are both
deliciously corny and the bulk of the game's story is told through clever humor
and colorful personalities. Of these, Pit rightfully stands out due to his
goofy optimism and lovable idealism. Frequent breaks of the fourth-wall and
recurring call backs to the game's 8-bit origins round out the amusing
storytelling. In an age where games are taking themselves more and more seriously,
it's refreshing to see one take an opposite approach.
Uprising's gameplay comes in two different flavors. Each
level in the game begins with Pit flying through the sky, blasting away at a shooting
gallery of incoming enemies. Movement through the levels is automatic, allowing
the player to focus solely on dodging and aiming. Following these concise
thrilling flight sections, the fight is continued on foot. Using the default
control scheme, Pit is moved with the circle pad, while aiming his weapon is
handled with the touchpad. Pressing the L button handles both melee and ranged
attacks, with the latter offering both rapid fire and charged shot options. Dodge
attacks further diversify attack options and come in forwards, backwards, and
sideways varieties. Camera control is handled by quickly sliding the stylus on
the touchpad. Overall, the controls take some getting used to and can lead to
hand cramps during long terms of play. While discomfort is a definite issue, it
only slightly distracts from the game's more impressive qualities.
Coming from the developers of Smash Bros, the amount of
collectables in Uprising is predictably extensive. Not only does it possess figurines
akin to the titular fighting game series but also a plethora of unlockable
powers and weapons. Ranging from swords to staffs, the 9 different weapon categories
offer a diverse range of options to dispatch baddies. Different weapons can be
obtained from treasure chests scattered across the game's levels or by buying
them from an in-game store. There is also a system in which weapons can be
fused together to form stronger ones. Players can further enlarge their arsenal
by playing the game's action-intense multiplayer. Multiplayer offers both a
standard all for one deathmatch and the "Light vs. Dark" mode which tasks two
teams with taking down the opposing side's angel. Overall multiplayer is a fun
and frantic experience dominated by items which turn matches into a smorgasbord
3DS owners looking for challenging gameplay will be pleased
with what Uprising offers. Difficulty is set before each single player mission,
with higher difficulties accessed by betting more of the game's Heart currency.
Additional Hearts and superior weapons can be reaped on higher difficulty
levels, though the risk of losing the waged Hearts balances out these potential
rewards. Levels require intense concentration and reflexes on the higher settings,
which makes even the first initial levels punishing ordeals. These challenges
are completely optional however, and the game is expertly balanced to be open
to both casual players and gaming masochists.
Kid Icarus Uprising is a clever and unique addition to the
Nintendo 3DS library. While many will likely have gripes about the occasional
discomfort caused by Uprising's control layout, those who can look past the occasional
sore fingers will enjoy abundant entertainment with this title. Few handheld
games can claim to have so much content packed into them and fewer still are as
charming as Kid Icarus Uprising.
Originally Posted at my Blog:
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