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Kid Icarus

 

Kid Icarus

ESRB: Everyone - E
Platform: Nintendo DS , DSI
Category: 3DS
 
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Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Opus

After approximately ten years, Kid Icarus makes his return in what turned out to be a great addition to the franchise. After playing this on the 3DS, I’m hoping they bring Kid Icarus back to the console.

Graphics

I have to say that these are pretty much the best graphics I’ve seen so far on a hand held device. Based on his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl (because really, before Brawl, he was basically an 8-bit kid), Kid Icarus moves smoothly from a graphical perspective. The various environments he finds himself in are beautifully designed. During the air battles, the game subjects the player to very fast paced animations that nonetheless come off as fairly seamless and glitch free.

Sound

The music is also really great and underscores the scenes very well. The voice acting and dialogue is cheesy but in a good way. This game doesn’t take itself too seriously and ends up a better game because of it. During the gameplay, there is plenty of dialogue going on between Kid Icarus and the Goddess Palamecia, whom he serves. The dialogue often conveys either relevant information or serves as comic relief for the player; however, depending on your level of patience, the constant chit-chat between the two characters can wear thin after enough time.

Gameplay

Kid Icarus: Uprising does a lot of things very well but it has a couple of what I feel are glaring flaws. I don’t think the flaws break the game particularly, but they’re something for fans to watch out for.

First off, here’s what the game does right. The story appears to be targeted at a 10+ audience but doesn’t skimp out on depth or seem to insult the intelligence of young gamers. I know back when I was growing up, we kids were pretty smart (or maybe that was just me). Again, not taking itself too seriously either really helped. It’s fun like a video game should be.

The game also paces itself very well and not just in terms of storyline but the game play as well. The levels, which consist of an air battle before taking the action to the ground, are fast paced and don’t take too long. The makers seem to understand that some of the people who would play the 3DS would probably do so in between classes or on a break or maybe at a bus stop or something. Basically, they don’t require an overly huge time investment but are long enough to give the player something and leave him or her satisfied.

Another thing the game does well is provides the player with loads and loads of unlockables. I can imagine some people might not like that but it does keep you playing. These unlockables can take the form of items, weapons, music you can play back, and more. They’re usually unlocked either by finding chests in the levels or achieving various goals such as completing a level under a certain time limit or at a certain difficulty level.

Kid Icarus: Uprising does have an online multiplayer game but it is actually a tad too hectic for my taste. Up to six people can play at once in either a free-for-all or a Light vs. Dark team death match. Good on paper but it could have been delivered better. This is one of the few games that I would promote the single player mode over the multi-player.

Now earlier, I mentioned some flaws. Specifically, I’m talking about the control scheme. Let me give you a little background here. The levels, at least so far as I’ve gotten, consist of two parts. A flying battle followed by a ground battle. They explain it by stating that the goddess who grants Kid Icarus his gift of flight can only maintain that gift for a limited amount of time and if he were to fly too long, his wings would burn up and he’d plummet (sounds pretty familiar if I’m not myth-taken). Fair enough. Now, during the air battles, assuming you’re right handed, you hold the 3DS with your left hand, use the joystick to fly around the screen dodging enemy fire while pressing the L button to fire. As far as your forward momentum is concerned, think Star Fox 64 in that it’s taken care of. Now, with your right hand, you use your stylus on the lower screen to aim while the upper screen where all the action is taking place shows the aiming reticule move to reflect the movement of your stylus. Now, the thing with the DS and 3DS is that I always found playing with the stylus in one hand to be kind of awkward unless I’m playing, say, Sudoku or a crossword. Still, in the air battles, you can pretty much get used to it after awhile. Now you got your ground battles. You still use the stylus to aim but now you’re also using it to rotate your view left and right. What you have here is a situation where it’s relatively easy to strafe but once an enemy gets behind you or you find yourself trying to turn even, it becomes real awkward.

Conclusion

I say if you have a 3DS and you want a good action game that won’t scar the kids, and you’re not too easily frustrated by a control scheme that’s not the best, then I would recommend you buy this game. It has some pretty good strengths and a pretty good sense of humour. I admit I laughed a little during one scene where Kid is talking to the Goddess Palemecia and she confesses that her all seeing eye couldn’t find a certain bad guy and jokes that it’s because of her botched laser eye surgery. If you’re fairly easy-going but still don’t like spoilers, I’m sorry about the previous sentence. If you’re the anal type who’d over react, you probably deserve it.






 
 

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