• Review: Kid Icarus Uprising

    Posted by Mike Yawney on March 27th, 2012 View Comments

    It’s clear Nintendo is proud of the Kid Icarus franchise. Sure, one could argue Nintendo dragged it’s feet taking more than 20 years to bring the angelic hero Pit back to life, but one look at his latest title and you’ll see just how much time and effort went into this latest production. Kid Icarus: Uprising shows just what the Nintendo 3DS is capable of while at the same time revealing the system’s Achilles heal.

    Medusa is back, ready to bring mankind to its knees. Our flightless hero Pit, once again takes to the skies with the help of the Goddess of Light, Palutena to destroy Medusa and take on a mysterious new foe.

    While the story may reflect that of the original Kid Icarus the gameplay certainly does not. This is not a side-scrolling adventure. In fact the title plays out much more like a third person shooter than an action adventure title those familiar with the franchise might expect.

    Each level is broken down into two main parts. The first half will have gamers testing their aerial combat. You’ll guide Pit through the sky as you take aim against enemies, some familiar and some new. The second part puts Pit on the ground using both ranged weapons and melee style combat until ultimately squaring off against a boss. The levels essentially follow the same formula throughout the game. Thankfully developer Project Sora does a good job mixing it up by adding customizable weapons, plenty of power-ups and even multi-player to keep things fresh.

    The use of the lower screen is quite remarkable. It often displays the humorous banter between the Gods without interrupting gameplay. And it really is quite humorous. Characters often reference the first Kid Icarus game along with other Nintendo titles. They even poke fun at some of the game mechanics such as load times within the levels. I don’t often laugh at video game humour but did find myself chuckling on occasion.

    What I didn’t find humerus was the control scheme. In most games you would use a second analog stick to control the camera and direction your character is moving in. Since the Nintendo 3DS doesn’t have a second analog stick the camera along with aiming is controlled with the stylus on the lower screen. The result is a hand cramping experience. Your left hand thumb is on the left analog stick guiding Pit while your left index finger is on the LT button to fire. Meanwhile your right hand is using the stylus on the lower screen to adjust the camera and aim. It doesn’t take long for cramping to set in. This could explain why Nintendo includes a plastic stand to play the game on a table. To add insult to injury Kid Icarus: Uprising does support the Circle Pad Pro, but only uses it to make the game easier to play for left handed gamers. The right analog stick can not be used to aim or control the camera. It just doesn’t make sense.

    Kid Icarus: Uprising is a lengthy title with high replay value but the awkward controls can make the experience frustrating. Even I had to force myself through the first few levels to get the hang of the controls. It really is the main problem with this title. But when the system doesn’t have the hardware necessary to pull off the desired controls who do you blame, the hardware manufacturer or the game developer?

    The Good

    Long Game
    Witty dialogue
    High replay value

    The Bad

    Awkward controls

     

     

     

     

     

     

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